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BW Businessworld

Referrals Help To Minimize The Possibility Of Any Kind Of Recruitment Discrepancies: Vikram Chopra, CEO, CARS24

Vikram Chopra, CEO of CARS24, a company in the business of buying used cars through an inspection process and live online auction using technology, talks to BW Businessworld about the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employees, background checking and work culture in the company. Edited Excerpts:

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Vikram Chopra, CEO of CARS24, ‘a company in the business of buying used cars through an inspection process and live online auction using technology, talks to BW Businessworld about the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employees, background checking and work culture in the company. Edited Excerpts:

Tell us few anecdotes about the work culture in CARS24? How do you help employees to utilise their full potential?

We believe in seven core values without which we cannot succeed in the business model that we have.  One of such values is ownership. With 600 employees, spread across 10+ cities there is not any other way we can grow the business fast if not everyone is an ‘owner’. Similarly another of our values is ‘high standards, high results’ – we have shortened the typical car selling process that takes weeks to an hour. Such disruptive business model requires such a value, for us to succeed.

Right from the hiring, we place huge emphasis on the most important aspect of values fitment. Once we have selected right folks in our ‘tribe’, their inherent motivation to succeed is high given alignment with our culture and values. Sharing a few anecdotes highlighting the same, we have a flat hierarchy that cuts red tape thereby promoting employees to interact with one another irrespective of their grade/position. Supporting the principle, there are no cabins/desks for senior management and similarly no fixed seats for the employees. The company runs a ‘Star Mentor’ initiative that promotes informal training among employees to sharpen their skills.

How to keep employee morale high when the hiring is really low?

Keeping the employee morale at a high level is a constant challenge for companies. It is a proven fact that the feelings of job satisfaction and well-being have a direct effect on employee productivity. We hire for conviction – we ask the candidates to live the life of a car seller and undergo the gruesome process of selling the car.

We ensure constant and transparent communication with all our employees. We truly believe that team effort works best for solving any type of problem. We organize regular town-halls to promote engagement on open forums with senior management. This goes a long way in keeping the energy levels up amongst the entire workforce. We also have anonymous platforms for employees to express their concerns and issues as and when required. Team-building activities and regular training sessions are a great way to drive engagement and boost the morale of the employees.

What do the leaders need to drive the business forward?

At CARS24, we believe in leading by example. We also believe that leaders need to ensure maximum performance of their teams. To ensure this, we have weekly reviews to evaluate progress and improvement areas. These sessions also provide a definite structure for the employees to raise any concerns or roadblocks being faced.

At CARS24, leaders are involved in induction trainings and ensure all communication is open and transparent. The leaders also need to provide sufficient opportunities to the team members for their own personal career growth thereby establishing a deep connect with them. We have well defined career path for everyone based on performance and existing level. This ensures every employee has full clarity on their career growth and has a sense of purpose in the company.

How to make technology more relevant to bridge the skill gap in different professionals?

We have over 10 percent of our team working in the technology space. We invest heavily in technology because it helps in improving efficiency, reducing errors, gap identification and solution building.

For instance, we use technology to determine the price being offered to our customer for their respective car. No individual can process the amount of data that our proprietary technology does. We also use an application at our branches to explain the entire process of car resale to our customers. It helps in saving precious staff time and enables us to attend to more customers in a given timeframe. We believe that implementation of technology at the right places translates into smoother and faster operations thereby aiding overall employee and company growth.

What policies have been adopted to provide a safe and good working environment to the employees?

We emphasize on providing a safe and good working environment to all employees irrespective of their role and designation. Our HR team ensures well-defined policies are in place and are followed for maximum effect. To ensure a productive work environment, we have strong policies for official conduct and disciplinary action, prevention of sexual harassment at workplace & staff welfare. We also have a policy on whistle blower that helps employees feel confident and responsible towards the welfare of the entire organization. To help our employees tackle stress and anxiety, we have launched an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides access to professional counselors to discuss personal and professional issues with full confidentiality and anonymity.

One out of six employees lie in their CV’s, according to AuthBridge. How do you check for discrepancies?

Hiring the right talent for the right job is one of our core focus areas. In addition to a well-defined and robust hiring process, our human resources and talent acquisition teams pay close attention to every application received by CARS24. Our subject matter experts interview the candidates to check knowledge and experience levels. We have strict background verification (pre and post-hiring) to confirm the work experience mentioned by the candidates. We also welcome referrals to minimize the possibilities of any kind of recruitment discrepancies.