The Shape of Work

#56: Nitin Agrawal on the secret sauce to hiring Indian tech talent and setting up engineering teams for success

August 06, 2021 Springworks Season 1 Episode 56
The Shape of Work
#56: Nitin Agrawal on the secret sauce to hiring Indian tech talent and setting up engineering teams for success
Show Notes

Wonder what tech hiring looks like in 2021?

On this episode of The Shape of Work podcast, we welcome Nitin Agrawal, Associate Director at to talk about the rise in demand for tech roles and the difference between tech hiring before vs after the pandemic.

Having increased his frontend team size at Housing by 30% during the pandemic, Nitin shares the cultural tenets to set before interviewing for the culture fitment.

Bottom of the hiring funnel, active tech recruiters—this episode is also for you. Nitin discusses:

  • The right approach to hiring tech talent
  • Traits of employees with an ownership mentality
  • The role of effective communication as a tech leader
  • How to align Individual, team, and organizational goals for success

Skills to look for while hiring people:

Nitin’s company recently ramped up their teams and increased their team strength by 30%. Apart from finding how skilled the candidate is, the major thing they look for is whether the person is culturally fit or not. A passion to learn new things and add more values to the system is required.They look for minimal technical skills.

Workplace culture at

Engagement is a top priority for People need to engage with each other. They should be interested in what their peers talk about. It is not only the manager’s responsibility to listen to him/her. This sense of ownership is very significant. Moreover, the employees should know the impact that they are making through their work. They should know the importance each task holds. These are the two values that the company tends to create and maintain within their engineering team. Nitin adds that these values are not limited to They should be inculcated in every company and team.

Nitin explains how people having the right sense of ownership will ask questions and try to understand the value their work holds. They would have a long term approach towards it and see how it will or will not benefit the company. Nitin has three people who have this sense of ownership and are ready to contribute.

Good communication in an engineering team:

The pandemic has made people rely on tools. Earlier, the absence of tools led to more informal communication and unawareness. They have a common channel where any employee can come and drop their queries. It will allow other people to be ready with the solution as well. In multiple departments, roles of leaders come into the picture.

What are some of the other roles you play while leading other people?

Nitin feels that leaders now need to be all-rounders. They need to have technical knowledge, a good core understanding of the industry, and be partially hands on as well. The role demands good communication to make it a more democratic process. Communication plays a big role in creating synergy within teams. The biggest part of a leader’s role is trying to groom the next leader.

Tech tools used in possesses an in-house performance management tool. In order to focus on community collaborations, they use JIRA and Confluence. For communication, Nitin feels that Slack has been the best possible tool to use. They use other tools like Google and 10x for video calls and tracking purposes respectively. They are looking to align things with these software such that everyone has access to common updates and views.

Follow Nitin on LinkedIn

Produced by: Priya Bhatt
Podcast host: Abhash Kumar