Founded by three friends of Bangladeshi-origin, raising close to USD 90 Million to date, NewsCred today has offices in London and New York, but their story started in a small garage in Dhaka city. NewsCred's engineering department almost entirely works out of Bangladesh, and one of the most sought after places to work in the country.
Tradeshi’s Shadab Parvez recently spoke to Leonika Hannan, Head of HR, NewsCred, to know about the inner working of NewsCred’s human resource management, how NewsCred attracts and retains best talents, how to maintain a great team, and how she navigates through the complex science of managing people.
What follows is a lightly edited transcript of their conversation.
Shadab Parvez: How has the process of hiring staff changed since you started at NewsCred?
Leonika Hannan: When I joined NewsCred in 2014, the hiring process was fairly quick and a candidate would usually meet about 2 people before we decided whether or not to make an offer. We’ve reflected and iterated on this process over the years and now have a system in place which results in low employee turnover.
On average, our talent acquisition process today takes anywhere from 3-4 weeks to complete. Candidates go through several interviews with all relevant stakeholders. During our interviews, we assess three major areas: technical skill, communication skill, and cultural fit.
Shadab: What are the top five things any successful HR manager must do to get the best out of millennials in Bangladesh?
Leonika: It is hard to come up with a sure-fire checklist but following ideas should help.
Shadab: Name five tell-tale signs of an employee contemplating leaving the company? If they are star performers, what could be done to retain them?
Ideally, a company should not find itself in a position where an A player wants to disconnect. Interventive driven strategies, such as increasing pay, may work once in awhile, but is an indication of a deeper rooted problem. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent your star performers from leaving:
Shadab: As Bangladesh edges closer to middle-income status as a nation, companies cannot ignore rising wages. Please provide five strategies to evaluate an employee's request for a salary increase. If applicable, how can the impact of increasing a single employee's salary on their peers be managed effectively?
Leonika: Rather than providing 5 strategies, I’ll encourage you to ask these 5 questions in order to determine whether or not you should increase an employee’s salary:
You can effectively manage ad hoc salary increments by pursuing a culture of meritocracy rather than one based on years of experience and age. When you have a system in place which rewards employees for performing, there will be limited negative responses from peers. In order to achieve this, you must create an appraisal system which is transparent and metric driven.
Data demonstrates that your judgment to increase an employee’s salary is just and objective based. Finally, if you choose to increment someone’s salary based on performance, you will need to do the same with all other employees if they perform equally well or better. A one-time increment for an employee is a recipe for disaster.
Shadab: We observe NewsCred regularly hosting Hackathons, seminars and workshops, some of which are open and others are invite-only. How do you see these benefiting the workforce and can such an approach be applied to companies in other industries? If yes, which ones can benefit and why?
Leonika: We host and sponsor events primarily for two reasons: