In conversation with the co-founder of Obvious about their experience with hiring designers from ownpath

Obvious is an award winning product and strategy consultancy that partners with businesses to create digital experiences. They have successfully moved business metrics and delivered high impact work for 120+ startups, unicorns, non-profits, and industry titans, such as Ola, Dunzo, Myntra, Swiggy, Gojek, Flipkart, Simple, TCS, Citrus Pay, IBM, Zomato, Wells Fargo, Wikipedia and more.

In this article we talk to Dhruv Saxena, co-founder at Obvious, about the challenges they face with hiring great talent and their experience with ownpath.

Q. What kind of a company is Obvious?

Obvious is a very practice focused business and amongst the very few consulting firms in Bangalore (and the country) which is operating at the scale of clients that they have.

We often end up working with lot of big product firms, almost as an extension of their internal teams which makes it a slightly different model than what you would mostly encounter with regular consulting firms, which are doing consulting work as projects basically.

Q. What sort of a design team are you building at your company?

As we’re an agency that goes far beyond just “designing” products, we need people who are very deeply interested in design in itself - the “craft of design”, people who are very curious about design and look at their craft as a way to express that curiosity.

Q. What sort of challenges do you face to hire such talent?

Filtering for such people becomes really, really hard. Everybody looks very interesting on paper, but it’s only after working with them for a few weeks or months that you realise if design is their calling or not.

The key challenge here is to assess a person based not on their harder outcomes or what’s exactly in their portfolio, but on a deeper level, in terms of whether this person is going to be a great fit for the organisation and whether design is truly what they want to be doing.

Q. How has it been hiring from ownpath?

Obvious has hired 3 Fellows so far - Mudita Sisodia, Shruti Chaturvedi and Junaid Singh from the Product Design Fellowship

It has been a great experience so far. We’ve only hired people who were at the start of their design careers from the program.

The fact that they went to ownpath, showed that they are actually curious about learning more about design rather than just getting their first or second design jobs - for which there are other ways than investing in learning the craft.

Another aspect that makes things easier is that going through 2-3 months of the Fellowship experience, one can start seeing what they produce during the program and how they apply their learnings to what they are working on.

This makes the interview process a lot simpler because the stuff that they’re doing at ownpath allows us to question them a lot more about their inputs which is a great help in the way we assess candidates.

Q. How have the Fellows been doing at Obvious?

The three of them have been doing really well. Obvious had a few mentors in the Fellowship, so that has also been helpful, because even before coming in, the Fellows had a sense of what it might be like to work with us and that has worked in both our favors.

From what I’ve heard from my team (some of whom were mentors at the program), their experience has matched their expectation.

I also see them being a little further along than where I expected them to be, in the time frame that they have been with us. I think their pace of learning is faster. The fact that they have been primed for learning during the fellowship could have played a significant role in that.

Our Product Design Fellowship is a 4-month intensive cohort-based program that helps designers upskill and grow in their careers.

If you are part of a company that’s looking for great design talent, we can help! Let’s talk here, or sign up on this form.

If you’re a designer, you can join our Product Design Fellowship. Our next cohort begins on Dec 2nd!

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