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不看专业看性格:一家科技新创企业的用人之道

不看专业看性格:一家科技新创企业的用人之道

Aman Kidwai 2022-05-10
这家公司的高管认为,招聘新员工时标准太窄,会影响招揽优秀申请人的机会。

过去十年,硅谷增速迅猛。然而随着利润不断增加,围绕文化、多样性和人才的企业战略都变成了事后考虑的事项,而这些其实是各家企业的生命线。

“硅谷的创新文化已经变成了贪婪文化。”内容管理系统(CMS)公司Contentstack的首席执行官内哈·桑帕特说。

在“大辞职潮”(Great Resignation)和劳动力萎缩的背景下,企业很难找到并留住员工,不过对人才漫不经心的态度似乎正在改变。Contentstack的联合创始人包括桑帕特、她的丈夫尼桑特·帕特尔和首席运营官马修·拜尔都认为,已经找到壮大科技人才库的解决方案,即从行业外寻找技能可借鉴复制的人。

桑帕特把自己当作案例。虽然她的大多数背后有风投支持的同行都毕业自斯坦福大学(Stanford University)、麻省理工学院(MIT)和加州大学伯克利分校(UC Berkeley),她却毕业于丹佛大学(University of Denver),主修法语和传播学,后来在圣克拉拉大学(Santa Clara University)获得工商管理硕士(MBA)学位。她刚开始工作是做公关,后来转投科技行业,曾经在VMWare和Sun Microsystems公司工作10年。

2018年,三人在出售软件公司built.io之后创建了Contentstack,总部位于美国旧金山。2019年,桑帕特搬到奥斯汀,开设了位于美国的第二家办事处。

迄今为止,该公司募集的风险投资已经超过8000万美元,客户包括丝芙兰(Sephora)、摩根大通(JPMorgan Chase)和拳头游戏(Riot Games)等公司。Contentstack认为公司稳步增长的重要原因在于重视能够带来广阔视角的非传统人才。该公司最近新招的员工包括银行家出身的销售支持主管、曾经担任教师的人力资源专员,还有学会计专业却来软件公司工作的工程师。

“我们差点没招[那个学会计的学生],现在他是公司的顶尖工程师之一。”桑帕特说。

虽然进展并不明显,但招聘时更看重技能而不在意是否科班出身的趋势逐渐上升。IBM是最早提出“技能高于学位”的科技巨头之一,苹果(Apple)和谷歌(Google)等公司对一些岗位也已经取消学位要求。不过尽管很多科技公司在一些岗位要求中提出加大包容性,很多还是依靠熟人关系或“精英”大学寻找候选人。

“对我来说,最关键就是两点:机会和关联。”桑帕特表示。她指出,招聘新员工时标准太窄,会影响招揽优秀申请人的机会。她说,扩大标准范围可以解决内部人才缺口问题。“重点不是招聘最有经验的人。而是要找有学习意愿的人,这样的人才有动力做出让人兴奋的改变。”

“英雄不问出处”的文化

新冠疫情爆发时,梅根·福格桑格还是美国马里兰州的小学教师。2020年,她兼职帮助Contentstack研发培训材料,最终成为全职培训和课程专家。她说,身处科技行业跟管理三年级学生截然不同,但她在当教师时所积攒的技能明显能够借鉴,比如搭建培训课程,还有用简单术语解释复杂的概念。

她的工作也扩展到员工参与方面。受新冠疫情影响,团队成员四散各地,福格桑格的任务是将不同地区和业务部门的同事联系起来。

桑帕特说:“我们发现她在公司内部认识人并将人们联系起来的能力非常强,科技行业可找不到人做这个工作。”她还强调了在新冠疫情期间此类工作对提振员工士气的重要作用。

很少有公司招聘教师做人力、找会计师做工程、找天体物理学家担任首席运营官,也很少有女性当首席执行官。桑帕特表示,Contentstack全都符合,而且充分实现了多元化。在美国与欧洲、中东和非洲地区(EMEA)的员工里,女性占42%,有色人种占25%。

“招聘时主要看价值观和个人性格,而不是可以学习到的固定技能。”Contentstack的收入支持高级主管肖纳·科津斯基表示。“主动性无法学习,因此找到积极主动的人并激励他们是招聘过程的核心。”

桑帕特的人才战略可以说是她之前在科技公司招聘的经验总结。她回忆道,在VMWare为了招一位没有大学学位的人,几乎“拼了命”,后来那位应聘者业绩名列前茅。

在Contentstack招聘非传统人才方面,她遇到的挑战没那么多,但她表示,“当初还是跟一些人抗争过,才能改变思路。”

桑帕特说:“强迫自己离开舒适区,让看起来或说话方式不一样的人加入,是成长的重要环节,然而很多公司并不清楚应该怎么做。"(财富中文网)

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

过去十年,硅谷增速迅猛。然而随着利润不断增加,围绕文化、多样性和人才的企业战略都变成了事后考虑的事项,而这些其实是各家企业的生命线。

“硅谷的创新文化已经变成了贪婪文化。”内容管理系统(CMS)公司Contentstack的首席执行官内哈·桑帕特说。

在“大辞职潮”(Great Resignation)和劳动力萎缩的背景下,企业很难找到并留住员工,不过对人才漫不经心的态度似乎正在改变。Contentstack的联合创始人包括桑帕特、她的丈夫尼桑特·帕特尔和首席运营官马修·拜尔都认为,已经找到壮大科技人才库的解决方案,即从行业外寻找技能可借鉴复制的人。

桑帕特把自己当作案例。虽然她的大多数背后有风投支持的同行都毕业自斯坦福大学(Stanford University)、麻省理工学院(MIT)和加州大学伯克利分校(UC Berkeley),她却毕业于丹佛大学(University of Denver),主修法语和传播学,后来在圣克拉拉大学(Santa Clara University)获得工商管理硕士(MBA)学位。她刚开始工作是做公关,后来转投科技行业,曾经在VMWare和Sun Microsystems公司工作10年。

2018年,三人在出售软件公司built.io之后创建了Contentstack,总部位于美国旧金山。2019年,桑帕特搬到奥斯汀,开设了位于美国的第二家办事处。

迄今为止,该公司募集的风险投资已经超过8000万美元,客户包括丝芙兰(Sephora)、摩根大通(JPMorgan Chase)和拳头游戏(Riot Games)等公司。Contentstack认为公司稳步增长的重要原因在于重视能够带来广阔视角的非传统人才。该公司最近新招的员工包括银行家出身的销售支持主管、曾经担任教师的人力资源专员,还有学会计专业却来软件公司工作的工程师。

“我们差点没招[那个学会计的学生],现在他是公司的顶尖工程师之一。”桑帕特说。

虽然进展并不明显,但招聘时更看重技能而不在意是否科班出身的趋势逐渐上升。IBM是最早提出“技能高于学位”的科技巨头之一,苹果(Apple)和谷歌(Google)等公司对一些岗位也已经取消学位要求。不过尽管很多科技公司在一些岗位要求中提出加大包容性,很多还是依靠熟人关系或“精英”大学寻找候选人。

“对我来说,最关键就是两点:机会和关联。”桑帕特表示。她指出,招聘新员工时标准太窄,会影响招揽优秀申请人的机会。她说,扩大标准范围可以解决内部人才缺口问题。“重点不是招聘最有经验的人。而是要找有学习意愿的人,这样的人才有动力做出让人兴奋的改变。”

“英雄不问出处”的文化

新冠疫情爆发时,梅根·福格桑格还是美国马里兰州的小学教师。2020年,她兼职帮助Contentstack研发培训材料,最终成为全职培训和课程专家。她说,身处科技行业跟管理三年级学生截然不同,但她在当教师时所积攒的技能明显能够借鉴,比如搭建培训课程,还有用简单术语解释复杂的概念。

她的工作也扩展到员工参与方面。受新冠疫情影响,团队成员四散各地,福格桑格的任务是将不同地区和业务部门的同事联系起来。

桑帕特说:“我们发现她在公司内部认识人并将人们联系起来的能力非常强,科技行业可找不到人做这个工作。”她还强调了在新冠疫情期间此类工作对提振员工士气的重要作用。

很少有公司招聘教师做人力、找会计师做工程、找天体物理学家担任首席运营官,也很少有女性当首席执行官。桑帕特表示,Contentstack全都符合,而且充分实现了多元化。在美国与欧洲、中东和非洲地区(EMEA)的员工里,女性占42%,有色人种占25%。

“招聘时主要看价值观和个人性格,而不是可以学习到的固定技能。”Contentstack的收入支持高级主管肖纳·科津斯基表示。“主动性无法学习,因此找到积极主动的人并激励他们是招聘过程的核心。”

桑帕特的人才战略可以说是她之前在科技公司招聘的经验总结。她回忆道,在VMWare为了招一位没有大学学位的人,几乎“拼了命”,后来那位应聘者业绩名列前茅。

在Contentstack招聘非传统人才方面,她遇到的挑战没那么多,但她表示,“当初还是跟一些人抗争过,才能改变思路。”

桑帕特说:“强迫自己离开舒适区,让看起来或说话方式不一样的人加入,是成长的重要环节,然而很多公司并不清楚应该怎么做。"(财富中文网)

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

Silicon Valley has experienced rapid growth over the past decade. But as profits have piled up, corporate strategy around culture, diversity, and talent—the lifeblood of any organization—has become an afterthought.

“We went from a culture of innovation to a culture of greed in Silicon Valley,” says Neha Sampat, CEO of Contentstack, a content management system (CMS) company.

Amid the Great Resignation and a shrinking workforce that has left companies struggling to find and retain employees, that lackadaisical approach to talent now seems to be changing. Contentstack's co-founders, which include Sampat, her husband Nishant Patel and COO Matthew Baier, think they've found a solution to widening the tech talent pool: identifying people with transferable skills from outside of the industry.

Sampat points to herself as a case study. While most of her venture-backed peers came from the likes of Stanford University, MIT, and UC Berkeley, she graduated from the University of Denver with a double major in French and communications, followed by an MBA from Santa Clara University. Her professional career began in the public relations industry before she later pivoted to tech, working at VMWare and Sun Microsystems over the course of 10 years.

The trio founded the San Francisco-based Contentstack in 2018 after selling their software company built.io earlier that year. In 2019, Sampat moved to Austin and opened a second U.S. office there.

The company has raised over $80 million in venture funding to date and its customers include Sephora, JPMorgan Chase, and Riot Games. Contentstack attributes much of its growth to its focus on non-traditional talent, who bring a wide array of perspectives. Recent hires include a banker-turned-sales enablement leader, a former teacher who’s now in an HR role, and an accounting major now holding an engineering position at the software company.

“We almost didn’t hire [the accounting student]” Sampat says. “He’s now one of our top engineers.”

Hiring for skill instead of name-brand laurels is on the rise, although limited. IBM was one of the first large tech companies to embrace a skills over degrees approach and companies like Apple and Google have removed degree requirements from some jobs. But even at tech companies that have made job requirements more inclusive, many still rely on familiar networks or “elite” colleges to source candidates.

“Everything, to me, comes back to two things: access and relatability,” Sampat says, arguing that narrow standards for incoming employees have blocked quality applicants. Expanding those benchmarks could address internal talent gaps, she says. “It's not about having the most experienced people. It's about having people who have the willingness to learn and are driven to build something exciting.”

A “come from anywhere” culture

Megan Fogelsanger was an elementary school teacher in Maryland when COVID-19 hit. In 2020, she was hired part-time to help develop training materials for Contentstack, eventually earning a full-time role as a training and curriculum specialist. Now in tech, a far cry from overseeing third-graders, the skills she cultivated as a teacher have proven to be transferable, she says, such as building curricula for training, and explaining intricate concepts in simple, straightforward terms.

Her role has also expanded into employee engagement. With the team fully remote due to the pandemic, Fogelsanger is tasked with connecting colleagues across geographies and business units.

“We learned that she has this really special knack for getting to know people and connecting people within the organization,” Sampat says, emphasizing the impact of this kind of work on employee morale during the pandemic. “You don't hire somebody to do that from the tech world.”

Not many companies have a teacher in HR, an accountant in engineering, an astrophysicist as the COO, or a woman CEO. Contentstack has all of that, and diversity, the CEO says. Women represent 42% of U.S. and EMEA employees and people of color make up 25%.

“Hiring really is based on values and personality, rather than a fixed skill set that can be taught,” says Shauna Kozinski, Contentstack’s senior director of revenue enablement. “Motivation cannot [be taught], so finding motivated people and then inspiring them is really at the core of the recruiting process.”

Sampat’s talent strategy is a postscript of sorts to her hiring efforts in previous tech roles. At VMWare, she recalls having to “fight like hell” to hire someone without a college degree. That applicant wound up as one of her top performers, she recalls.

She hasn’t battled the same challenges to hiring unconventional talent at Contentstack, but says she “did have to fight with others to get them to change their mindset.”

“Forcing yourself out of that comfort zone and including people who look different or talk differently is an important part of growing,” Sampat says. ”And a lot of companies just don't know to do that."

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