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Grow As We Grow (A): Recruitment Challenges at Jocata

ET Cases, 7 pages
AUTHOR(S) : Syed Abdul Samad and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

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Grow As We Grow (A): Recruitment Challenges at Jocata

It was a pleasant Saturday morning in mid-June 2012, and Sundari Vedula (Sundari) was seated in her office alone, as it was a weekend. She was the Chief  Technology Officer (CTO) at Jocata Financial Advisory and Technology (Jocata). Jocata is a product-based financial intelligence firm, which started its operations in January 2011 in India. While she was busy reviewing her teams’ work, she was also waiting for candidates whose recruitment test and interview were scheduled on June 14th 2012.  Jocata was planning to recruit few fresh employees for the entry-level positions in the technical team. Around 10.30 am few of the staff members and the candidates entered the office and arrangements were being made for conducting the recruitment test. Sundari was of opinion that these just-out-of-college graduates should not just be tested for their technical knowledge but also for their analytical skills and other behavioral attitudes and select the ones suited for the start-up company. Sundari believed that, “While these candidates might be very good at technical knowledge, most of them would be aspirants of jobs at multinational companies and show  reluctance to join a start-up firm”, which posed a challenge for her nd the company to find the right entry-level talent.....................


Jocata Financial Advisory and Technology (Jocata), a niche advisory consulting and technology services firm, was founded in 2009 by Prashant Muddu (Prashant) and Andrea Weist (Andrea). While Prashant is the CEO and Managing Director at Jocata and specializes in Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti- Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) technology strategy as well as systems design and implementation...........

Attracting Fresh Talent

Jocata was conducting the screening test for the prospective software engineers for the entry-level positions and around 20 candidates had come for the test. As they were busy answering the questions, Sundari was wondering as to how many of them would be the suitable ones for her company. Sundari was of opinion that while the candidate has to be good at technical knowledge (coding/programming), it was not the only criteria for the selection.............

Finding the Middle-Level Management

Jocata’s organization structure consists of mainly two teams – the technical team and the business development team. The HR/Admin team forms the supporting team within the organization. The hierarchy at Jocata starts with the Founders followed by the top management, the middle-level management and the software engineers or business analysts at the entry-level (Exhibit II).

Jocata has seven employees at middle-level management. The responsibility of these middle-level management personnel is to translate the vision of the company from the top-level management to the entry-level employees and embed/implement the same into the product/service of the company and lead them to achieve the company goals............

Planning a Career Path for Employees

Every employee of any organization – big or small or a start-up – would like to grow professionally (and therefore personally). Before opting to join a particular company or take up a specific role in the company, all employees analyze the pros and cons of the decision they take and make sure that the decision would help them achieve their personal goals of growth and achievement. Companies, on the other hand, would want the employees’ goals to be in sync with the company goals such that it could grow and in turn help their employees grow along. However, in many cases, the employees’ goals would be personal and would not contribute to the company’s growth............

The Challenges

The confirmation review, the mid-year review and the year-end review are also done at Jocata to check the individual performance of the employees and conduct their performance appraisals. The confirmation review is done 6 months after the employee joins Jocata, to confirm the completion of the probation period. This is also used to analyse the employee skills and planning a career path for the employee............

Assignment Questions

I. What do you think are the skills required for a candidate to be selected at Jocata? What challenges does Jocata face in finding the right talent for the entry- and middle-level positions? How do you think Jocata can overcome these challenges?



Exhibit I: Services Offered by Jocata

Exhibit II: Organization Structure at Jocata


Annexure I: Jocata’s Products

Teaching Note Preview

Grow As We Grow (A): Recruitment Challenges at Jocata



This Teaching Note presents the analysis of the series of two caselets – ‘Grow As We Grow (A): Recruitment Challenges at Jocata’ and ‘Grow As We Grow (B): Performance Appraisal at Jocata’.

These caselets primarily highlight how Jocata has faced problems in its recruitment and performance appraisal processes. The management at Jocata had been continuously facing problems in recruiting the entry-level talent and the middle-level management. In addition to assessing the technical knowledge, the management had to assess the analytical abilities of the candidate, the passion required for the kind of product developed and for working at a start-up. Apart from this, the management also had to face challenges in aligning the goals of the individual employees to that of the company goals and provide a satisfying career path to the employees. In addition to these, the company also faces some challenges in its performance appraisal process...................

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding (PCU)/Before the Classroom Discussion

Gary Dessler and Biju Varkkey, “Human Resource Planning and Recruitment”, Human Resource Management, 12th Edition (Indian Adaptation), Pearson Education, Inc., 2011 – To understand the need for effective recruiting, the recruitment process, techniques used in employment planning and forecasting and the sourcing of candidates..............

Case Positioning and Setting

This caselet can be used in either MBA or Executive MBA or Executive Development Programs, for the following modules/topics in the Human Resource Management course:

  • • HR Planning and Recruitment – To understand the recruitment process and the various techniques used in employment planning and forecasting and the sourcing of candidates
  • • Performance Management and Appraisal – The process of identifying, measuring and developing the performance of individuals to align their performance with organizational goals and to understand the need for effective performance appraisal process, standards, tools to evaluate employee performance and administer the appraisal



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Product code: HRM-2-0037(a), HRM-2-0037(a)A


This caselet, first in a series of two caselets, can be used to discuss the need for effective planning, sourcing and recruiting techniques in the selection of the right candidates for an organization, especially for a start-up. Sundari Vedula (Sundari) was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Jocata Financial Advisory and Technology (Jocata), a start-up commenced in 2011 in India. While she was responsible for the technical team, she was also looking over the recruitments. However, it was not an easy task for Sundari. Apart from testing the technical skills of the candidates, she also had to look for the analytical skills and other behavioral attitudes of the candidates to blend-in with the working environment of a start-up firm. It became a challenge for Sundari to find the right entry-level talent, as most of them would be aspirants of jobs at multi-national companies. Finding the middle-management and synchronizing the employees' personal goals with that of the company was even tougher. How can Sundari overcome these challenges?

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the entire process of planning, sourcing, selection and recruitment of candidates for any position and the techniques used in the process
  • To understand the basic building blocks of performance management that helps in aligning individual or team performances with the organizational goals and building a career path for the employee
  • To discuss and debate on the recruitment challenges at Jocata and arrive at a probable solution

Case Positioning and Setting

This caselet can be used in either MBA or Executive MBA or Executive Development Programs, for the following modules/topics in the Human Resource Management course:

  • Human Resource Planning and Recruiting – The need for effective recruiting techniques, the process of employment planning, sourcing, recruitment and selection of candidates

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- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)

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