Hiring in India. Travelstart Montesuma stories 27/30


Some years
ago we were trying to hire some people in India and this is parts of that

I came in
contact with a young man through LinkedIn. We chatted for well over three months
and decided to meet. He flew to our Cape Town office and we had meetings and
compared what to do for a couple of days.

I was eager
to build our business in India so against my gut I agreed to take him on. But
taking him on required three full days of salary and perks negotiations. I was
exhausted. After we shook hands the young man continued to negotiate, via email
once he was back in India. Duh! He was given some simple assignments to fulfil
before we arrived. It was stuff he could do in his free time.

I arrived
in India a month later together with a small entourage. It was the young mans
time to shine. First night he took us to a local Indian restaurant and I got
sick immediately, even before leaving the place. The next day the young man
continued to negotiate about his salary package. I couldn’t believe it. I had
been warned about the greed of some Indian people but this was too much, and I
kept running to the bathroom.

I wanted to
look at offices but he had only arranged one place to visit and that was in an
area a stones throw from his family house. When we arrived at the site the
builders were already busy building the mans dream. They all greeted him with
first name. I think they were related. “This is going to be technology, here’s
the call centre and here’s my room etc”. 
I had to run to the bathroom all the time and lost 6 kilos those five
days. When looking at the proposed team on an org chart we noticed that the
last names looked similar. When we addressed this we found that most of the
people were close relatives.

We had a meeting
with a possible financial manager, not close related, perhaps distant. When I
asked him what he knew about Travelstart he gave me a five-minute story of our
company, correct with dates, numbers, people. He even told me how many kids I
have and my wife’s name. I was looking around to see if someone was standing
with Q cards. A different experience to say the least.

afternoon we were invited to his family home. My colleagues bailed out and
rather wanted to sit in the air-conditioned hotel talking strategy, so I went
alone. It was a typi.jpgcal upper middle class Indian family area. His family was
lovely, all living together. I was so sick I thought I was dying. The whole
family watched me as I was trying not to faint while trying to eat the food and
drinking tap water… no kidding! On the way back I asked the driver to stop at a
hotel. I think they had to renovate the toilets after my visit.

My colleague
was doing a great job scouting for programmers but found it a bit harder than
expected. We told our young Indian man that the launch was probably going to
have to be postponed for at least two months because it was more complex with
recruits than expected.  And our
young man complained.  After two
days of wining we understood what his problems was… If we delayed launch chance
were he wouldn’t get his bonus. That was it for me. I fired him. He’s career
with the company lasted for six days.

Hiring is
extremely hard on your home turf, but it’s nothing compared to hire in a new country.
The important thing is however to get the first one right. The rest of the team
almost falls in place automatically.

Our young
Indian man gave us one of our core pi.jpgllars when it comes to recruitment: never
hire anyone who cares too much about his salary. We have turned people away several
times when they worry too much about their salary.



The young
man is now a manager for Expedias business in India. We obviously value things

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