Mercari India’s Inaugural Corporate to Campus Triumph at IGDTUW
Hi, I am @SmriTea from India HR team.
In the dynamic realm of technology, the transition from corporate to campus is a pivotal experience that sets the stage for mutual growth and opportunity. Mercari India, recently embarked on its first Corporate to Campus journey, selecting Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women (IGDTUW) as the canvas for its recruitment masterpiece. The two-day event, held on the 25th and 26th of October 2023, was a resounding success, resulting in the hiring of six talented women engineers across various roles.
Selecting IGDTUW for Mercari India’s maiden on-campus hiring drive was a strategic decision driven by the university’s reputation for academic excellence, particularly in producing women engineers of high caliber. Mercari India, committed to fostering diversity and inclusion, recognized IGDTUW as a hotspot for potential talent that aligned with the company’s values and aspirations.
Participation and Team Composition
With an open invitation to B.Tech, M.Tech, and MCA students who scored 75% and above, Mercari India witnessed an enthusiastic response from approximately 200 students. The Mercari India team, comprising 2 members from the HR team and 6 seasoned engineers, spearheaded the recruitment process. Four engineers were dedicated to conducting technical interviews, while the remaining two conducted hiring manager interviews.
The Rigorous Selection Process
Mercari India’s commitment to excellence was evident in the meticulously planned selection process. Recognizing the importance of precision in the hiring process, Mercari India opted to conduct the HackerRank online test two weeks before the scheduled drive dates. The foresight in conducting the online test in advance allowed Mercari India to gauge the scale of interest and participation. With approximately 200 students stepping up to the challenge, it became evident that the drive was set to be a dynamic and competitive event.This allowed the team to tailor the number of interviewers based on the pool of candidates. The subsequent stages included technical rounds and hiring manager rounds, with each round serving as an elimination stage.
1. HackerRank Online Test
The choice of initiating the selection process with a HackerRank online test serves multiple strategic purposes. This online test is carefully designed to assess the fundamental technical skills, problem-solving capabilities, and coding proficiency of the candidates. By administering this test two weeks before the on-site interviews, Mercari India achieves several objectives like Scalability, Quality Screening etc
The HackerRank online test acted as the first sieve, separating the exceptional from the rest. Out of the 200 participants, a notable 18 individuals emerged victorious, clearing the test with distinction. These 18 candidates, now recognized as potential future members of the Mercari team, marked the beginning of a meticulous journey through the subsequent stages of the hiring process.
2. Technical Interviews
The technical interview rounds are the heart of Mercari India’s selection process, serving as a comprehensive evaluation of a candidate’s technical acumen and domain-specific expertise. These interviews are not only about assessing the candidate’s ability to solve complex problems but also understanding their approach, clarity of thought, and adaptability. This round helps us with problem solving skills and in-depth technical assessment.
3. Hiring Manager Round
The hiring manager round represents the final stage of the interview process at Mercari India. This round is not just a formality; it plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the candidate is not only technically proficient but also a cultural fit for the organization. This round helps us to assess their cultural compatibility and career aspirations.
The combination of the HackerRank online test, technical interviews, and the hiring manager round ensures that Mercari India’s hiring process is not just about filling positions but about securing individuals who will contribute significantly to the company’s growth and innovation. This rigorous selection process aligns with Mercari’s pursuit of excellence, ensuring that every candidate who joins the organization is not just an employee but a valued member of the Mercari family.
Embarking on a Journey: Preparing for the Capital’s Encounter
Armed with a selected cohort of candidates, Mercari India embarked on a physical journey to the vibrant city of Delhi. The team, fueled by determination and ambition, set forth on the 24th of October, eager to turn the potential identified through the online test into tangible talent for their organization. On arriving in Delhi, the Mercari India team spent the night in strategic preparation. The focus of the evening was dedicated to refining the details of a pre-placement talk that would not only inform but captivate the audience. This meticulous preparation laid the groundwork for the team’s upcoming interaction with the students at Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women.
The First Day: A Rollercoaster of Emotions
The 25th of October dawned, marking the day of Mercari India’s campus hiring drive. The agenda for the day was extensive, beginning with a scheduled pre-placement talk from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm IST, followed by a series of interviews designed to unearth the hidden gems among the participating students.
The pre-placement talk wasn’t merely a routine affair. Mercari India recognized it as a golden opportunity to not only disseminate information about the company but also to forge connections with potential future talents. The content of the talk was not only informative but designed to engage and resonate with the audience. Conducted by the HR/TA head and seasoned engineers, the talk aimed to paint a vivid picture of Mercari’s culture, achievements, and the intricacies of the upcoming interview process. It wasn’t just a presentation; it was an invitation for students to step into the Mercari experience
Despite the initial plan of tailoring the pre-placement talk for the selected students, Mercari India opted for inclusivity. The decision to keep doors open to everyone resulted in a fully packed auditorium. Beyond the selected candidates, students from the 2nd and 3rd years flooded the venue, creating an electric atmosphere of anticipation and curiosity.
The Importance of Pre-placement Talks: Pre-placement talks serve as a crucial bridge between companies and potential candidates. It allows companies to present their mission, vision, values, culture, and products or services, providing students with a glimpse into the company’s ethos. It’s an opportunity for companies to showcase what sets them apart and why students should choose to work for them, emphasizing USPs and competitive advantages. Engaging presentations leave a positive impression on students, contributing to relationship-building and a favorable company image.
As the last slide of the presentation faded away, the room buzzed with curiosity. Students, eager to delve deeper into the Mercari world, approached the team with a myriad of questions, ranging from the company’s ethos to intricate technical details. This post-talk interaction revealed the genuine interest and engagement sparked by the presentation. After this engaging session, we took a lunch break. The College’s hospitality took center stage during the lunch break. A sumptuous North Indian feast awaited the Mercari India team, filling both stomachs and spirits. This interlude wasn’t merely about replenishing energy; it was an opportunity for informal interactions and relationship-building, a crucial aspect of any campus hiring endeavor.Engaging in conversations beyond the realm of interviews allowed Mercari India to build bridges not just with potential hires but with the academic pillars supporting them. This connection could potentially pave the way for future collaborations and a positive institutional relationship.
With energy restored and connections forged, the team transitioned into the technical interview phase, a critical component of the hiring process. At 2:00 pm we started our Technical interviews. Equipped with four interviewers, Mercari India ambitiously conducted four technical interviews simultaneously, aiming for efficiency and thorough evaluations. However, as the sun cast long shadows, a challenge emerged. Out of the 11 technical interviews conducted on the first day, only five candidates successfully navigated the rigorous assessments. The team, initially riding the wave of anticipation, found themselves in the grip of surprise and disappointment. The shock was palpable as only one out of the four candidates progressing to the hiring manager round secured a spot. The weight of disappointment and the realization of a missed opportunity to secure a more strategic “Day 0” for interviews cast a somber mood over the team. Reflections on what could have been and the regret of an unexpected turn colored the atmosphere.
As the clock struck 6 pm, signaling the end of the interview day, the Mercari India team returned to their hotel with a heavy heart. The initial excitement that characterized the day had transformed into a night of disquiet and introspection. The nervousness reached its zenith, leaving the team grappling with the unexpected turn of events.
The Second Day: A Turnaround
The challenges of the previous day cast a shadow, but the team braced themselves for what lay ahead. Seven technical interviews were on the agenda, creating a mix of nervous anticipation and determination.The day began at 10:30 am with four technical interviews and a continuation of the previous day’s hiring manager interview. The initial interviews, conducted simultaneously, yielded an unexpected surprise – Miraculously, the first set of technical interviews yielded three successful candidates, breathing new life into the process.The atmosphere shifted dramatically, and laughter and confidence returned, painting a picture of renewed hope. Buoyed by the unexpected successes, the team took a well-deserved break, enjoying tea and coffee brought by the dedicated student coordinators. Lunch became a celebration of both gastronomic delights and the small victories that breathed new life into the hiring process. Not to forget the debrief sessions we had during tea breaks turned out to be one of the most important factors in selection/rejection of students.
The positive momentum continued as the team proceeded with the second round of technical interviews for the remaining three students. One more candidate emerged successfully from this round, solidifying the sense of accomplishment. Moving forward with high hopes, the team embarked on the remaining rounds of interviews. In a turn of fate, every student who went for the hiring manager round that day emerged successfully, clearing the interview process. The culmination of this effort resulted in one offer on the first day and an impressive five grand offers on the second day. The team, which initially aimed for 5-7 hires, achieved remarkable success by welcoming six talented women engineers into the Mercari India family.
The clock struck 4 pm, marking the conclusion of a day filled with interviews, conversations, and the promise of a shared future. In a move that resonates with Mercari India’s efficiency and commitment, offer letters were presented on the spot. This wasn’t just paperwork; it was a symbolic act of embracing the selected candidates into the Mercari family, blocking all six brilliant minds for the journey ahead. Celebration took tangible form with goodie kits handed out to the selected students. These weren’t mere tokens; they were symbols of the shared excitement and the beginning of a promising journey together. Smiles, laughter, and the click of cameras captured the euphoria as Mercari India and the newly recruited interns created memories to cherish.
With success in their pockets and a sense of accomplishment in their hearts, the Mercari India team bid a fond farewell to the college. However, the celebration was far from over. The team, driven by the spirit of triumph, set out to explore the vibrant street food of Delhi. In a tiny restaurant, they stumbled upon a culinary gem – “soya chaap and momo” that surpassed the standards of fine dining. This impromptu feast became a metaphor for the unexpected joys found in the pursuit of excellence.
The joy reverberated beyond the campus as, by the next day, all six candidates gleefully accepted the offered internships. The swiftness of their responses mirrored the enthusiasm and anticipation that this opportunity brought into their lives. Mercari India found itself on the receiving end of a resounding affirmation, validating their choices and the appeal of the organization.
Acknowledging Support: A Dedicated Campus Coordinator
The success of this hiring endeavor was undoubtedly facilitated by the presence of a dedicated campus coordinator. Their support played a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth and positive experience throughout the process. This collaborative effort underscored the importance of having a liaison between the company and the educational institution.
The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion
For Mercari India, diversity and inclusion (D&I) are not just buzzwords; they are integral components of the company’s culture. The success of this Corporate to Campus drive exemplifies the significance of embracing diversity. In a world where unique perspectives and experiences drive innovation, Mercari India recognizes that a diverse workforce is a key asset. The inclusion of women engineers from IGDTUW not only adds to the company’s talent pool but also contributes to a more vibrant and creative work environment.
Mercari India’s inaugural Corporate to Campus journey at IGDTUW stands as a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the pursuit of excellence. The challenges faced on the first day only fueled the determination to succeed on the second day, resulting in a remarkable hiring achievement. The success of this venture is not just about filling positions; it’s about forging meaningful relationships, building bridges with educational institutions, and fostering an environment where talent thrives.
As Mercari India continues on its journey of growth and innovation, the lessons learned from this Corporate to Campus experience will undoubtedly shape future endeavors. The company’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the pursuit of top-tier talent remains unwavering, setting the stage for continued success in the ever-evolving landscape of the tech industry. This triumph at IGDTUW is not just a chapter in Mercari India’s story; it’s a milestone that will be celebrated and remembered for years to come.