Spotlight – Tanaya Chakrabarti

Building up a Talent pipeline – whether in Navi Mumbai or in Lonand – is a daunting task. Meet Tanaya Chakrabarti, our Talent sourcer, the person who keeps people coming to work with us, the person who runs the show when it comes to finding the right people to work at Wunderbar Kids.

 What is a typical day at Wunderbar Kids like? How is it different from the other places you’ve worked at?

Its almost 7.45am and my phone rings…it’s from the accounts team, wanting to know the salary detail of an employee, right away. I give away the details and the phone rings again! This time, it’s a candidate who has been scheduled for an interview that day and she calls up to inform that she won’t be able to make it today as her Mother-in-Law is unwell!!! Well, with a sigh, I reach office and help my team to make arrangements for the recruitment drive for the day, checking with the candidates if they are making it on schedule. All throughout the day, the recruitment drive goes on, meeting various candidates from diverse backgrounds ; shortlisting some, rejecting some. Some hilarious moments, some serious discussions with which we draw to a close on the interviews. Oh, there is a recruitment advertisement that is slated to hit the newspapers tomorrow, I get the changes done in the creative through the designer and send it across to the agency. Then I receive a phone call, from the representative of a college where we are participating in the campus recruitment drive. He wants some urgent information immediately. As I type away the information, a Regional Manager calls me up to say that one of his employee is leaving and he needs a replacement ASAP! OK!!!! Is what I say and hang up. Then its time to debrief with my team on the day’s event, which goes on for long and then as I plan to call it a day, the accounts team member ( the one who called in the morning) calls me back again! He needs some clarification on the information that I had sent him!!! Phew…….this is a brief glimpse of my typical day at Wunderbar Kids.

Insanely crazy or crazily insane it might sound, but I enjoy the frantic pace at which we work. No wonder, work hard; party harder is our Mantra for survival.

Why join a start-up? Why not join an established company where HR is a lot more process oriented and seamless?

If I look back, my journey of almost 2 years has been nothing less than phenomenal. After slogging at a few corporates ( 2 of them were fortune 500!), deep down in my hearts, I started detesting the 3 Ps of the corporate world –

  1. Painful policies & processes which have to be followed like the Holy Grail! And the approvals which you require at every step…”Sir, approval de do naa!” is what goes over a phone call which you make after 5 hours of waiting for a reply. The bureaucracy .
  2. Passing on the buck to another team / department and saying “ This does not fall under our purview”
  3. Politics. Where power lies in the hands of few, politics starts thriving and growing increasing the power distance. Ahh and how do I forget the sycophancy!! “Saaar, aaj mummy ne aap keliye khaas gajar ka halwa bheja hai…aapko pasand hai naa” voila….gajar ka halwa scores over merit and hard work!!!!

So, I wanted to break away the shackles of the 3 Ps ( and many more) and work in an environment where I am accountable for my work, where decisions can be taken quickly over an informal chat, a culture where I am encouraged to make mistakes and learn from them. An Organization where everyone works as a close – knit team and there is no politics or power distance.

I could sense the environment and work culture during my elaborate and fun – filled interview process( first time ever I wasn’t being questioned on why I had so many job jumps!!) and since then I wanted to be a part of Wunderbar Kids!

What are your biggest challenges with finding talent and how do you overcome them?

Finding talent of a business which is localized in nature is challenging and being the first designated HR representative, I had my share of disappointments and successes too. My target audience consists of mainly  first-time job seekers, who come with their own set of challenges and priorities. For them, a job might not be the first priority as their family would be; so it has been difficult to convince them to agree to our requirements. Not to mention, the challenges of dealing with a target audience which has traditionally had a high attrition rate. The talent pool matching our requirement has always been scarce and we have been using various different sources to create a pipeline – newspaper advertisement is one of the biggest hits, followed by centre inquiries through our recruitment banners. These sources do help us build a strong database. For eg. We recently closed 2 candidates with the help of our old database.

What’s your WK sales pitch? How do you get people to join?

It is amazing to witness how the recruitment process has evolved along with the organization growth. The process has become much more predictable and scalable than what it was 3 months back. Our every touch point with the candidate is strong to get them interested in us. In fact, as our processes and systems have scaled it’s helped me build a feedback pipeline with departments like marketing who’ve really created ome wonderful suppor material – like our beautiful website and a fantastic corporate AV film. The organization’s growth story also helps us attract quality candidates.

In what ways do you think WK has changed you professionally?

Today if I look back, I have seen the function grow while going through trials and tribulations, through success and failures. The transition from a recruitment function to that of a talent acquisition function would sum up my story and growth at Wunderbar Kids, as I have grown with the Talent acquisition and management function. And the learning goes on!