Building Teams and Culture Through Internships

Recruiting in Mayiladuthurai

Tamil Nadu, India

Finding the right team is essential for any business. At FULL, we hire in three countries (so far!) for a wide variety of roles, from virtual receptionist to business analyst to software developer, and more.

For many of the roles in our Chennai office, we hire interns and then give them the opportunity to grow into full-time, permanent employees. This allows us to find the right fit for our business needs while also giving people just starting their careers a chance to learn our culture and company values as they level up their skills.

The intern program has been a great success for us. Over the past five years, we have added more than 200 team members who started out as interns and are now essential parts of our company.

 

The road to Mayiladuthurai

Gayathri with college professors

We work hard to recruit the best intern candidates, but it isn’t always easy. Back in May, when we needed some more help on our Operations team, Gayathri went to her alma mater, A.V.C. College of Engineering, in the village of Mayiladuthurai, about 250 km (155 miles) from our office in Chennai.

As our first remote employee in India, Gayathri lives and works in her home office in Bangalore. She made the six hour road trip back to her hometown college, while some other team members started out from Chennai. They met in Mayiladuthurai and headed to A.V.C.

When they arrived, all the soon-to-graduate students were ready to meet Gayathri and hear about opportunities at FULL. A total of eighteen of them succeeded in our all-day recruiting process and are now full-time employees in Chennai! Three of them—Ramya, Ragul, and Hemalaxmi—work in our Ops and People Operations teams, and the others are software developers.

 

You can go home again

It had been ten years since Gayathri graduated from A.V.C., but she received a warm welcome. The professors and students were eager to hear from a graduate who had gone on to have a successful career in a bigger city. And they even showed her where her name was still displayed as the top student from her group, who attended the school from 2002-2006.

AVC College class ranks

Even though Gayathri had been delayed on the long trip to Mayiladuthurai, the students were all waiting for her to speak to them when she arrived with her husband and daughter and met the rest of our team, who had come from Chennai.

Gayathri spoke about FULL’s company culture and the duties of the Ops team. “The first thing we look for,” she told them, “is someone ready to learn new things. People should not feel bored with learning, or okay with what they know. That’s not the mentality we’re looking for. If you’re ready to learn new things day by day,” FULL could be a good place for you.

 

The interns’ journey

The A.V.C. students went through a multi-part application process to become FULL interns. First was an aptitude assessment. Then came a group discussion. Then, the students had a communications skills test. And finally, each had an interview with Gayathri to talk about the position and the company. By 6 pm, Ramya, Ragul, and Hemalaxmi received offer letters from FULL, along with the fifteen other students who were selected.

For Ramya, the group discussion about working with both male and female managers was a highlight of the process. She says the term “operations” was new to her. She quickly learned how the Ops team is responsible for supporting our virtual receptionists with scheduling and making sure we have enough coverage to maintain excellent service levels 24/7/365.

Ragul says he and his fellow students had some anxiety about the process. After all, it was the first job interview for many of them. “Gayathri really explained everything to me in a detailed manner,” he says, putting him at ease.

Hemalaxmi recalls how Gayathri explained that FULL is a place where learning is encouraged. “She said we don’t have to stick to one department. We can move around and learn lots of things.” Knowing that Gayathri had graduated from her college, Hemalaxmi says, created a “safe zone and comfortable feeling” for the interview process. “She inspired us to believe that we have to step into this company.”

Gayathri talks to students

 

Why not us?

For Gayathri, going back to her alma mater as a recruiter was a moving experience. Bringing her husband and young daughter along made it even more special. “There are no words to express that feeling,” she says. “My daughter was asking, is this the college where you studied? It brought up a lot of emotions for me.”

She enjoyed the opportunity to help younger graduates from A.V.C. succeed, Gayathri says. “When we graduated in 2006,” she says, “there were not many job openings. We were on our own. I thought, whatever pain I felt, my juniors should not feel. It’s a win-win situation—FULL needs people, and they need a job.”

Having been at FULL for almost ten years, Gayathri wanted to be a good example for the students coming out of her college today. “I wanted them to feel they’re in secure hands and think, if you’re able to shine, why not us?”

Gayathri with classmates and family

 

Top photo by Bharathi Raja on Unsplash. Others courtesy of Gayathri.

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