Flipkart Partners with Udacity to Find Well-Qualified Employees


Online education provider Udacity is partnering with Flipkart, India's largest online shop, to help the company find quality employees among the graduates of Udacity's Nanodegree programs.

Flipkart has rejected the tradition of hiring based on interviews and referrals, and instead is looking to find their new employees based on the quality of their Nanodegree projects and Udacity profiles. Flipkart has already given this mode of recruiting a shot. Leaving out interviews and group activities has shortened the hiring process significantly and ensured that the company can maintain a competitive edge when it comes to acquiring new talent.

It also helps employees; with this approach they are judged for the long-term quality of their work and receive an accurate assessment of their knowledge, rather than going through the pressure of a single interview that may fall on a bad day. The day-to-day performance of students is a more accurate measurement of their behavior and skills on the job than a traditional interview.

The three Udacity hires are now working in Flipkart's mobile development sector after moving from Delhi from Bangalore.

Peeyush Ranjan, chief technology officer of Flipkart, said:

The kind of disruptive work that we do at Flipkart demands a world-class talent pool and we are constantly on the lookout for experts who can solve the problems of Indian consumers. The conventional hiring process often comes down to the performance of the candidate on that specific day, which may not be a true reflection of their skills and temperament. This is where a partner like Udacity comes into the picture.

We met them a few months ago with our case and wanted to try out this new space. The shortlisted profiles provided by them and the in-depth data we received were very helpful and allowed us to assess the candidate's competencies in a much better way.

Sebastian Thrun created Udacity in 2012 with David Stavens and Michael Sokolsky, reports Binu Paul of Tech Circle, though the latter two are no longer with the company. They offered one course online for free, and Udacity grew from there.

Udacity offers MOOCs (massive open online courses) in mainly technological subjects like Data Science, Web Development, Software Engineering, Android, and iOS development. It also has a catalog of non-tech subjects like Entrepreneurship, Design, Math, Physics, and Genomics.

According to Inc42, Udacity is one of the most popular MOOC providers with more than 4 million students in 168 countries.

Its Nanodegree programs include programs to prepare students for the careers of Data Analyst, IOS Developer, Tech Entrepreneur, Machine Learning Engineer, and Android Developer, as well as a BETA degree in Beginning Ruby. These Nanodegrees have been built by leading technology companies like Google, Facebook, Cloudera, and Amazon, reports Brinda Dasgupta of the Economic Times of India. The service also offers a Masters in Computer Science through a partnership with AT&T and Georgia Tech.

Other graduates of the Nanodegree programs have found careers with companies like Google, AT&T, Intuit, Goldman Sachs, and Nest.

Software developers are highly in-demand and traditional universities aren't supplying enough qualified graduates, especially in India. Right now, the nation has around 50,000-70,000 developers, but by the year 2020 it will need 20 million, writes Christopher Watkins on the Udacity blog.

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