A world without job interviews sounds like a mighty fine place to live, so long as there are alternative ways to land a job. And this is a world that Flipkart and Udacity are both looking to embrace.
Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart has hired three graduates from Udacity’s Android Developer Nanodegree program without interviewing any of them. According to Flipkart, decisions were based purely on the candidates’ Nanodegree projects and corresponding Udacity profile. Udacity, for the uninitiated, is a heavily bankrolled edtech startup that offers a myriad of online courses, such as Ruby, iOS, and Android development.
Flipkart said that it is partnering with Udacity for more “interviewless hiring” in the future, as it looks to streamline its recruitment process and get a head start on the competition.
“Flipkart is one of the most innovative companies in the way they approach the market,” explained Sebastian Thrun, cofounder and CEO of Udacity. “Our goal is to have our Nanodegree graduates be in demand for the jobs of today like mobile, data analyst, web development and machine learning, among others.”
There’s certainly been an increase in innovation at the cross-section of education and recruitment in recent times. Earlier this month, Udacity announced a new Nanodegree Plus program, priced at $299 per month instead of $199. The main difference is that with the higher tuition, Udacity guarantees jobs for graduates within six months of completing the program.
Elsewhere, tech startups such as 500 Miles are using big data to help find people not just jobs, but meaningful careers. And the likes of Job Today are focusing on same-day recruitment aimed at service-based industries.
But in technology-focused industries there is often a dearth of talent, and this is the gap that Flipkart is looking to plug with Udacity. Rather than waiting for experienced developers or those who have honed their interview techniques, they’re basing their hiring decisions purely on the potential demonstrated in a graduate’s coursework. It’s probably safe to say there will be some form of caveat in the contract that makes it easy for an employer to ditch a new hire if things don’t work out, but this streamlined process means they get first dibs on someone who could prove a rising star of the coding world.
“The conventional hiring process often comes down to the performance of the candidate on that specific day, which may not be a true reflection of their skills and temperament,” said Peeyush Ranjan, chief technology officer at Flipkart. “This is where a partner like Udacity comes into the picture. We met them a few months ago with our case and wanted to try out this new space. The shortlisted profiles provided by them and the in-depth data we received were very helpful and allowed us to assess the candidate’s competencies in a much better way.”
Estimates put around 50,000 to 70,000 mobile developers in India today, and it’s expected that 20 million will be needed by 2020, according to the Internet & Mobile Association of India.