Shortlister Spotlight: Meet Sayak Ray, Data Scientist

Sayak Ray Data Scientist at Shortlist

Shortlister Spotlight: Meet Sayak Ray, Data Scientist

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In this instalment of Shortlister Spotlights (a Q&A series to get to know some of our team members) meet Sayak Ray, Data Scientist from our Hyderabad office! 

At Shortlist, we love building our team almost as much as we love building yours! 

We have some pretty amazing people across our three offices who have a real passion for what they do and for the Shortlist mission.

A budding digital artist, an aspiring traveller Sayak embodies the Shortlist value of “find the adventure” as he explores different functions (Recruitment, Business Development & Data Science) during his duration working here. 

Read on to know more about Sayak’s Shortlist journey!

Tell us about your life at Shortlist.

I started working in Shortlist, in Mumbai office as a Recruitment Consultant, then I moved to Business Development & Strategy and now I work in the Data Science team at our Hyderabad office. I am working to build an AI-driven recommendation engine which helps in matching candidates with employment opportunities. 

I work in a pretty cool office, which feels more like a home than a professional space. 😊

The team I work with challenges me every day to come up with new ideas and initiatives. There’s rarely a dull day at work!

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up, I always wanted to be an artist and traveller. I love putting my thoughts on a blank canvas. The excitement & satisfaction of creating visually attractive artwork is unparalleled. Even though I don’t get to travel as much as I want to, I explore new places through literature and novels.

So what led you to a career in technology and what were you looking for in your next career step when you found Shortlist?

While I was pursuing my Master’s degree in HR, I became conscious of the bias-driven processes in recruitment. I wanted to be a part of building HR processes driven by data insights and analytics. Shortlist provided me with the opportunity to do exactly that. We have come a long way as a company to have the right amount of technology inspiring & supporting humans making decisions that are data-driven… 

For me, this was the most exciting part as I interviewed at Shortlist.

How has your current role impacted you?

My work leads me to study the behaviour of candidates on our recruitment platform, understand what employers want and find out new ways to automate parts of the hiring process. This helps me to build a strong theory around best practices in recruitment. We are working on building something entirely new, so the exploratory side of me is delighted, day in day out at work.

What’s your professional superpower?

I bring a blend of functional expertise in HR along with a strong understanding of data science to the team, merging the gap between data & business. It is incredibly gratifying to get the chance to be an enabler and an innovator in the same role.

What’s your favourite Shortlist memory?

It’s tough to single out one instance as I have so many great memories here. Something that I hold close to my heart is my business development stint, where I would talk to potential clients all the time. It was an eye-opening experience learning about how they perceive our product.

I have to mention this incident – one time we wrote this embarrassing song for Paul, our CEO after he completed our second round of fundraising and the entire office sang along, making him sit through it while he turned red-faced. Super fun! 😂

What are three words or phrases you would use to describe Team Shortlist?

Achievement-oriented. Empathetic. Adventurous.

We are a group of people working towards a strong goal in mind, which gives us greater purpose. At the same time, we believe in each other’s capabilities and strengths, which creates an atmosphere of respect and trust.

All-winning, adventurous Shortlist team

What’s your favourite Shortlist value? (Learn more about our values here!)

My favourite Shortlist value would be “finding the adventure”. The environment at Shortlist supports me to explore my professional interests and passion, given that I can prove my capability in the function. 

As a result, I am always motivated to explore different avenues within Shortlist, making sure I never have the ‘Monday morning blues’ as I walk into the office after the weekend.

Why is the Shortlist mission important to you?

When I was pursuing Master’s, we would always talk about how HR needs to evolve from a support function to a strategic one. Everyone would have ideas to bring about this evolution. 

However, as I started working in corporates, I was bothered seeing that most of those ideas were very difficult to implement, thanks to the age-old mindsets & the inherent comfort that lies in not making the change.

In recruitment, the time to evaluate a candidate judiciously is very limited, and the hiring managers tend to rely on personal biases while making these decisions. 

What Shortlist brings to the table is a reliable way to support quick decision making, and that is something I believe in whole-heartedly!

So Sayak, tell us about your life outside of Shortlist.

I actively try to indulge in a couple of things outside work. I’m trying to read more, write more and paint more these days. I recently discovered the world of digital art. And I feel like I am getting the hang of it. As I have recently moved to Hyderabad, I plan to explore the city through a photographer’s lens next year! 

Recently, I spent significant time reading about the political environment in India during the times of rampant misinformation and try to spark conversations on this with people around me.

What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?

“Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” is one book I read recently that fascinated me. Yuval Noah Harari, the author, talks about how humanity is speculated to achieve happiness, immortality and so on through the lens of a realist.

I can’t function without good music in my life, and a recent favourite has been Manchester Orchestra. I would recommend everyone to listen to them!

We like to give high fives to recognise when our team members do something awesome. Now is your chance to make a public high five to a fellow Shortlister:

I am thankful to both Sudheer, our CTO and Mridvika, our Managing Director for India for enabling me to move to a role in Data Science! It was ridiculous how smooth this was, given that I had only expressed my interest in passing to them. And they actually paved the way for me to do more and do better. Mridvika made sure she was transparent enough before I moved to this role and Sudheer is committed to bringing the best out of me. I can’t be thankful enough.

Shortlist team

Any final words?

I’m so excited to see the future of HR through a company who is invested in bringing a certain disruption to the market. Can’t wait to be a part of vision 2020!

Thank you, Sayak! We’re so glad to hear your experiences on Team Shortlist.

Did reading about Sayak’s experiences make you want to join our squad? Check out the rest of our crew here.

We’re hiring…Follow this link and stay up to date on job openings! We have more openings at Shortlist.

Apply today –  we’re excited to hear from you.