Headstart higher – speed dating for startup hiring

Headstart higher - speed dating for startup hiring

Headstart higher - speed dating for startup hiring

Last saturday (9th June, 2012), I and 250+ startup enthusiasts came together to be a part of Headstart Higher – India’s first speed dating session for startup hiring. This unique event, organized by the Headstart network, was held at American Center in New Delhi, India.

If not all, most entrepreneurs would agree with me when I say hiring for a startup is one of the biggest challenges. Why? Well, the reasons are in abundance.

Headstart Higher

Two speed dating sessions were held in total. Each of them spanning over one hour, with each startup dating over 25 prospective candidates.

Startups from varied fields such as education, design, e-commerce, travel, social media, microfinance and internet marketing enthusiastically participated to hire candidates for Programming, Sales, Design, Social Media, Content Development, Operations among many more.

Queue outside American Center for Headstart Higher

Queue outside American Center for Headstart Higher

Open networking in progress at Headstart Higher

Open networking in progress at Headstart Higher

Speed dating for startup hiring in progress

Speed dating for startup hiring in progress

Speed dating for startup hiring at Headstart Higher

Speed dating for startup hiring at Headstart Higher

Startup enthusiasm

It was a lively event with high levels of energy resonating through the entrance and the lobby. If the above pictures could serve as visual examples, it’s easy to notice the enthusiasm.

“The hiring event was a great success for us. I’ve never seen so much enthusiasm for working in Startups. We found some really awesome coders whom we are meeting next week. Great work by Headstart guys!” – Ankur Singla, Akosha

“Professionals are finally understanding the advantage of working in a startup. Met so many enthusiastic candidates who want to create value more than just take home a fat pay cheque. We need more of such events.” – Deepikah Arora, Sparklin

“Never met so many startup JOB enthusiasts ever. Was a brilliant event. Kudos to Headstart guys for pulling off such a show. I was able to short list 15 out of 30 candidates. I wish it happens more often!” – Ashish Tulsian, Posist

“With several sources of early stage funding coming up, we have been noticing that hiring is becoming the number one challenge for growth of startups. We also know that there are a number of people who are interested in working for startups. So, this is essentially a matchmaking problem. Within the constraint of a regular 3-4 hour startup saturday, speed-dating was the most suited solution.” – Arpit Agarwal, Headstart Network, on how the idea of Headstart Higher came about.

55 startups

820+ dates over the 4 hour event.

More than 2500 interactions.

30% conversion rate, startups found the most efficient resource for hiring.

If you’re present at Headstart Higher, we’d love to know your feedback/suggestions in the comments section below.

Startups & candidates, how often would you like to attend such an event?

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About the Author:

Himanshu Khanna is the founder of Pixelonomics and a senior designer at Sparklin. If you’d like to connect with him, follow him on Twitter: @SparklinGuy

  • Deepti

    While you are right in saying that there is dearth of people who would want to work for a startup, I believe startups are themselves at fault for not recognizing the right candidates. (Plz take it with a pinch of salt, this coming from a startup enthusiast who would love to work in a startup). I have faced situations where writing to startups and continuous following up with them have resulted in sheer waste of time. Maybe they are pressed for time but a note to say we are busy always helps!  (Sangeeta Narayan describes it beautifully in the Quora link you shared).  Also, I was interviewed by a startup where the founder was coaxing me to take a pay-cut ( My quoted salary was anyways lesser than the market). The point here is not about money, it is about genuineness and that one-one relationship startups are known for. I am ready to give my time and work my ass off for your company and you are not even courteous enough to reply to my mail or be honest with me! Guess its luck that the right candidate finds the right company to work for! :) 

    • http://www.deepikaharora.com/ Deepikah

      Hey Deepti! I like your attitude. Startups are always short on time but I feel your pain about no communication. Why don’t you drop in a mail at hello@sparklin.com and let’s talk more?

      • Deepti

        Thanks Deepikah! Currently I am on a academic break and planning to study further so am not sure if I’d be of any help for you! I just wanted to share these experiences because I have startup complain about talent and when finally someone approaches them they behave as if they don’t care. (I guess they don’t intend to but that is the impression). You know to picture other side of coin :)

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