Hiring through hacking

Ajith Kumar from Clarivate talks about building a pool of programming talent in Bangalore, a city described as the Silicon Valley of India

Ajith Kumar joined Clarivate in June 2019 as Director for Platform Services, based in the Bangalore office in India where he heads up a 22-strong team of developers. Since his arrival, Ajith has supported Clarivate by strengthening its software support resources in the city. He is highly enthused about his mission to reinforce the Bangalore team with a recruitment drive that will continue over 2020. As part of this mission, Ajith was recently involved in trying out a new recruiting technique for Clarivate in India – a 24-hour hackathon which invited programmers to solve a coding-based challenge in order to land a role in the company.

The role of platform services

I lead an exciting and rapidly growing team dedicated to building platforms and services such as identity and access management for Clarivate products. A key part of my role is building the core services team here in Bangalore, with a goal to triple the team’s size to ensure we can continue building and maintaining Clarivate services to the highest standard.

The essence of what we do in Bangalore is provide development, testing and support for all Clarivate brands. A lot of effort goes into supporting the company’s move to a continuous delivery model, enabling us to deliver features to customers quicker.

A key focus when building a new team is hiring the right talent at the right level, by working with recruitment agencies and our talent acquisition team to scout for the best. By trying some new approaches such as the hackathon, we’ve already made great progress on this, with a number of new colleagues joining over the coming months.

Enjoying the freedom to innovate

One of the main benefits of working at Clarivate is the freedom and support you’re given to try out new innovative ideas, like the hackathon. The company actively encourages evaluating and using new and different technologies, which as a technologist, is very exciting to me in terms of the freedom in technology choice.

The company is highly supportive of trying out new things – of course, staying true to driving business value – which is why I like working at Clarivate.

Our first hiring hackathon

We are always looking for ways to improve our recruitment process to find and attract the best talent. One such idea we recently tried was a ‘hiring hackathon’ – where we provided candidates with a real-life development task, with a prize of a job offer to the top entrants. The hackathon was open to anyone with programming knowledge who wanted to put their skills to the test.

The hackathon concept aligned with our intention of attracting the best talent! It sat squarely with our vision of advancing innovation and offered the potential to hire several front-end developers in one sweep. It promised to save the business the time, resources and expenses of interviewing numerous candidates.

We presented participants with a case study of a real-life problem and gave them an assignment to build a small portal website that would be a realistic activity in our environment.

Attracting a high volume of applications and securing a number of new colleagues, the exercise has provided a fantastic learning experience. The competitive hackathon is an approach we are likely to replicate again in the future.

To find out more about working with Clarivate and our current opportunities visit: https://careers.clarivate.com/.

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