Potknox Blog

How to stay productive when you aren’t in office

We know how terribly hard it can be to focus on your work when you aren’t in office. When you’re away from office, your boss and your colleagues, it’s harder than ever to concentrate and keep the faith that what you do, matters. Productivity hacks are one things, but the freedom of being in the comfort of your own home, wearing, eating and doing whatever you want whenever you want to, offers pure, unadulterated distractions which are a whole other ballgame, one that can throw you off yours.

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Not only are freelancing and working-from-home becoming commonplace practices, there are also a number of transitional phases in a company’s life cycle (a startup, say) when a few days of work from home are imposed on you, for instance when your founders are off meeting potential investors or looking for a new office or when your work WiFi isn’t working. There are also a number of startups that function entirely out of office. In such situations, it’s absolutely crucial you don’t let your productivity drop. But how do you keep it up and running with no one to monitor you?

Here are 5 small things to keep in mind the next time you’re on call on your sofa:Slide1

Think back to the first time you saw your job description, or even any busy day in the recent past; think of how much of a challenge it seemed for you to be able to complete the tasks laid out for you. How is possible that you’ve completely run out of things to do? You and your tasks and responsibility still fit into a big picture, and for everything you don’t do- every hot lead you let freeze, every supplier you don’t send a Christmas card to, every blog post you forget to post-  there are a number of consequences that were supposed to occur, that now will not. Your lack of action just nipped an entire chain of reactions in the bud, and that chain was the daily and and evergreen success of your company, your department, and you.

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Posted in Business Development, Startups, Work Life

Why is hiring programmers so difficult?

This was a question asked on Quora that we just couldn’t help but answer because it essentially questioned our existence as a whole. Our Marketing Major gave an insightful, well thought out reply, that we’d love to share with you:Hiring engineers is a piece of cake

So, why is hiring engineers so G$% D#$% difficult?

1. Everybody wants them

As JP Rastrullo, forner staffing agency Sourcer and Recruiter. Current Talent Acquisition Specialist in the Software/Advertising industries, said on Quora, “Engineers are in high-demand. Across the board (software, hardware, mechanical, electrical etc), there are fewer good engineers than there are open positions. As a result, most talented engineers are gainfully employed and not interested in switching roles.”  From startups to MNCs, everybody is looking for the best talent, and everybody is willing to pay a high price for it. Whether they have the right methods for doing that, however, is still in question, because really, What Good Is A Coder Who Can’t Code?

2. Hiring biases:

Recruiters sometimes look at the pedigree or background of the engineer to ascertain how good an engineer he is- oh Google, Microsoft, oh Harvard, Yale, he must be good! The fact is, until and unless skills are tested, there’s truly no way to be sure. Plus, admission into great institutions sometimes is linked to their socio-economic background as well- there may be fantastic talent lurking in not-so-great colleges, and not-so-established companies as well. After all, it is the startup generation!Y U No Hire for SKill

There are a couple of reasons these biases- which are just basic human nature, affect hiring:

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Posted in Business Development, Campus Recruitment, Candidate Screening, HR Tech, Online Assessment, Recruitment, Resumes, Use Cases, Work Life

Psychometric Tests in Hiring: What, Why and How

To say that the importance and relevance of psychometric data is a matter of debate would be a gross understatement- parties on both sides of the issue have diametrically opposite viewpoints, but there’s no denying that there is something to talk about.

Source: Clearlife UK

 What Psychometric?

The word psychometric essentially means “the measurement of the mind”; what Psychometric Assessments attempt to do is remove some of the ambiguity in screening processes by making it less dependent on variable factors, and more on easily quantifiable factors. Psychometric testing can measure a number of attributes including intelligence, critical reasoning, attitude, aptitude, motivation, comprehension and personality profile.

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Posted in Campus Recruitment, Candidate Screening, Employee Training, HR Tech, Online Assessment, Recruitment, Resumes, Use Cases

4 Most Exciting Things About Working at a Startup

Being startup enthusiasts ourselves, and having more than a few serial entrepreneurs in the house, we have had our fair share of the excitement and thrill of adventure that comes only with working in a startup- you gotta live it to believe it.  Here are 4 super exhilarating things about working in a startup, that make us want to get out of bed every morning:

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When you’re sitting at the same table or in the same room for hours at a stretch, you’re bound to find out things about each other that you wouldn’t in a regular office with cubicles and distance, like the amount of hours a co-worker can stare at emotionally demanding Buzzfeed posts without allowing a change in their facial expressions, or the ease with which they type grammatically perfect emails that others might spend hours over. You gain a friend in almost every colleague, and in case you don’t, you get a grudging friendship with someone who doesn’t really like you but would be there for you, if you really needed it, nonetheless. A camaraderie forms between the bunch of you, and you become a family bonded by anything from shared lunches to shared dreams.

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Posted in Recruitment, Startups, Work Life

You Can Do It! Real World Advice on Getting Your Startup Published

Right after we got published on YourStory and Product Hunt, we had a flood of questions from our peers which fell somewhere between “How much did you pay?” and “Who did you know?” We understood where they were coming from; just a couple of weeks back, we were spending a number of nights wondering what it would take for us to get our big break and be published on a traffic hungry site like YourStory, where one simple article can send your back links through the roof. Next we’re targeting Mashable, Tech Crunch, Next Big What, CNET and the like, because let’s face it, who isn’t? We had read a number of guiding articles about how to get published on sites like these, and by reading between the lines and telling it like it is, we managed to get it through. Not once, but twice.hey-you-can-do-it

Here are the steps to how we, a startup just like yours, with a few mortals and some serial entrepreneurs, got featured on YourStory and Product Hunt within a couple of months of becoming digitally active:

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Posted in Business Development, HR Tech, Online Assessment, Startups

Remote Campus Recruitment for Startups: How to Make it Work

In our post 7 Problems Startups Face With Campus Recruitment, we explored the major issues that hold startups back from conducting this exercise. In addition to it being a relentless use of time, money and effort, for small to medium sized companies, going anywhere further than Tier I or Tier II cities is near impossible, given the amount of resources they would have to dispatch. Through our own experience, however, we have discovered that it’s not only possible for startups to delve into this large pool of talent, it’s easy, no matter how funded or unfunded you may be.

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Posted in Business Development, Campus Recruitment, Candidate Screening, HR Tech, Online Assessment, Recruitment, Resumes, Startups, Use Cases

Why SaaS Providers Need To Focus on Customer Service

Customers are staring at their computer screen, trusting that they can navigate your carefully set up website- sifting through the various messages you are trying to convey- till they finally reach what they are looking for. They cannot touch or feel anything, and are just hoping that when you say you have “the best product in the market”, you really do. They trust testimonials, the list of clients you have displayed, and the first five links they find when they type your name in Google. But what if they hit a stumbling block?

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Posted in Business Development, Case Study, HR Tech, Online Assessment, Startups, Work Life

The Key Factor to Consider When Choosing An IT Solutions Provider

Choosing an IT Solutions Provider is no joke, whether you’re a big company (and your every move is being watched), or a small company (where every seemingly invisible move can cost a fortune).

There is no dearth of literature on the factors to consider when choosing an IT solutions provider, but most of these focus on the company as whole. Hidden under the reputation and performance history however, is a team of developers who are currently employed to satisfy every individual client’s needs. You may know everything you need to about the company itself- but how much do you know about the team of talent working on your project? How can you predict how effective a solution will be provided, if you don’t know the quality of developers providing it?news-media Read more ›

Posted in Business Development, HR Tech, Online Assessment, Use Cases

Are Your In House Screening Tools Failing You?

Using Skill Tests- either online or offline- to screen coders and programmers and shortlist them for interviews is hardly a new practice. Technical recruiters all over the globe use them in some form or the other, never relying entirely on resumes and interviews for such a skill-based role. A large number of them- especially in startups, as we’ve discovered- still depend on in-house tools, which begs the question, is that really the right move?

Related: What Good Is A Coder Who Can’t Code?

Hiring

As recruiters, we use Screening Tests to test the coding and programming skills of a potential employee, to save us the immense cost of a bad hire. It seems smarter to test a candidate’s competencies before you invest time and money training them.

Related: Employee Training with Online Skill Assessment Tools

If you are creating such a tool in house, it usually suffers from one, few or all of the 10 shortcomings listed below. Our Online Skill Assessment Tool, that is smartly priced to suit the needs of any and all organisations, thus has the following 10 solutions to offer:

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Posted in Business Development, Campus Recruitment, Candidate Screening, HR Tech, Online Assessment, Recruitment, Startups

The Latest, Smartest Anti-Cheating Mechanisms

Jack is going through the Java test scores of the 100 or so job applicants who took the online screening test he created with Potknox. 30 candidates scored above 80%, 12 above 90, and 2, a whopping 100%. He is tempted to call in those two- Drake and Josh- for interviews, immediately. But then he sees something strange. At the 33rd minute of the test, a generated screenshot shows Jack that Drake was looking at Wikipedia to answer an MCQ question. At the 47th minute, he notices Drake is having a telephone conversation with someone and noting down what he is being told. At the 56th minute, Drake opens Skype on his computer and pastes the 2nd full length coding question into the window. He notices similar patterns in Josh’s behavior. Jack feels smarter than before, and his eyesight is clearer- it was probably the wool being wrenched off. He just saved himself a very very misguided screening decision, and a whole lot of resources spent on getting Josh and Drake achieve that fictitious 100% again. 

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Without these anti-cheating mechanisms built in, Jack would have had no idea what Travis was up to during the test on which he apparently scored 100%.

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Posted in Campus Recruitment, Candidate Screening, HR Tech, Online Assessment, Recruitment, Use Cases

About Potknox

Potknox is a cloud based skill assessment tool that provides efficient and innovative pre-interviewing screening solutions for recruitment in the IT industry.

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