Shortlister spotlight

Shortlister Spotlight: Meet Mehndi Shivdasani, Talent Advisor, Executive Search

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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.

The Mehndi Project

The next chapter of our Shortlister Spotlights features Mehndi Shivdasani, a talent advisor for our executive search team based out of Mumbai. Besides channeling her inner Sherlock to hire high-potential talent for senior positions, Mehndi runs a blog on sustainable living called Conscious Chokri. Our environmentally-aware Shortlister shared some quirky anecdotes about her journey through life and more!

Tell us about your life at Shortlist

I am a Talent Advisor in the executive search team. We help our clients (social enterprises, non-profit, SMEs and start-ups amongst others) recruit leading talent for senior-level leadership positions within their organisations. Last year we helped 14 different organisations across India and Kenya hire some tremendous leadership talent across different jobs ranging from CEOs to VPs of various departments, a feat I’m very proud of 🙂

How has your current role impacted you?

Playing adviser to board members and senior leaders of so many diverse and high-impact organisations is a rare opportunity. It’s given me insight into how different organisations are set up, how they identify priorities and develop strategies, services, and products. Directly interacting with high-achieving entrepreneurs and picking up a thing or two from them on how to operate efficiently and be resilient and focused is helping to shape me into a better working professional.

I’m also slowly building up a strong network within the social impact space that I hope to leverage going forward in my career 😉

Team Shortlist India

I’ve also made some fantastic friends! Interacting and working with an ambitious, efficient and warm team like ours inspires me to strive for better every single day.

What is your professional background and what made you join Shortlist?

I have a few years of experience in recruitment and talent management, and also hold a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship from Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney, Australia.

I started looking out for my next job opportunity towards the end of 2017 and envisioned joining a social enterprise or a non-profit. I heard about Shortlist through my then-acquaintance, now close friend and fellow Shortlister, Pranay Merchant. I was looking to take on a role that would enable me to create some form of social impact, push me to pick up some new skills while building on my existing skills and areas of interest such as building high-value relationships with people.

What’s your professional superpower?

Over-communicating with people! I find that most of us are almost always distracted with so many things — emails, texts, calls etc. — so over-communicating my thoughts and ideas helps to make sure my communication is clear and consistent.

I’m also a master listener so if you need to vent about something, I’m your person!

What’s your favourite Shortlist memory?

I’ll always cherish the time I spent in Kenya with our team and meeting clients there. Also, almost every Pulse Check and team gathering is memorable in its own way.

Mehndi with Team Shortlist Kenya

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

Fun! Supportive! Determined!

What’s your favourite Shortlist value and why?

I LOVE all of our values as they all hit home. If I have to pick one, I’d say that One Team is my favourite value. I admire how everyone on the team is always rooting for each other across offices and countries. We love sharing the credit for all of our wins, big and small, and don’t shy away from giving each other feedback. All of these reasons combined make me proud about being a Shortlister.

‘Conscious Chokri’ is one with nature!

Why is the Shortlist mission important to you?

Being able to offer organisations a platform to find the right people to join their teams and scale their work is immense! In a world where we’re trying to automate almost everything in life, our effort to blend the use of technology with a human touch to unlock professional potential is super relevant!

Anything else you want the world to know about you, Shortlist, our team?

Working at Shortlist is rewarding on so many levels! I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with.

So Conscious Chokri, tell us about your life outside of Shortlist

I run a blog on low-waste living called Conscious ChokriUsing this blog, I’m trying to create awareness about the global waste crisis and encourage people to reduce the amount of waste they generate by making long-term yet convenient changes to their lives. I also deliver workshops for school and college students on this topic. I try to spend some of my time volunteering at beach cleanups and urban farms in the city as well.

And then there’s spending time with family and friends while gorging on some yummy food and cocktails 🙂

As you know, we like to give “high-fives” to recognize when our team members do something awesome. Now is your chance to make a public high five to a fellow Shortlister:

A BIG high-five to every single member of the team!

Shortlister Spotlight: Meet Brenda, Applicant Care Associate

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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.

Today’s installment of Shortlister Spotlights (a Q&A series to get to know some of our team members) stars Brenda, an Applicant Care Associate in our Kenya office!

Who is Brenda? When not at work, she’s probably in between classes, catching up with friends and family or on some of her favourite series, trying out a new recipe that involves pasta or getting some much needed shut eye! She also likes to make the most use of her commute time reading articles on Medium or a book on her current reading list. Basically embodying one of our favourite Shortlist values, Be a Whole Person.

A fashionista, party-animal or a foodie? Read on to find more about the face behind #CandidateLove!

Hi Brenda! Tell us about what you do at Shortlist:

My role involves working with candidates. Excellent candidate experience is our top priority and as such my role revolves around getting them through their applications by providing information that pertains to the roles we are recruiting for. In addition to that, I also educate both current and potential applicants on how the Shortlist process works as well as ensure that they get feedback on their applications promptly.

I also create content for our candidate blog series where we discuss different issues affecting job seekers and give guidelines on how candidates can get their dream job! Recently, we kicked off a candidates engagement series where we seek to establish deeper interactions with professionals in different fields through training and networking events.

What is your professional background, and what were you looking for in your next career step when you found Shortlist?

Before Shortlist, I was in Sales which involved customer acquisition and education. I then moved to Customer Service which was more of a support role, offering aftersales services and upselling and cross-selling products to existing customers.

When I found Shortlist, I was looking for an opportunity to take on more a challenging role in terms of the scope of responsibilities and expand my knowledge in customer experience. In addition to that, I wanted to be in a space that offers opportunities for both personal and professional growth and development.

What’s your professional superpower?


What’s your favourite Shortlist value and why? (Check out our values here)

Being a whole person: Ever since I joined Shortlist I feel like I’m well on my way to becoming one! As a part-time student and also working full time, it can be difficult to manage both without feeling like one end is falling off your plate. I am fortunate enough to be at Shortlist where we are constantly encouraged to be more than your job.

Because of this, I’ve tried out a couple of new things — for example, I started writing and learnt new skills in digital marketing through managing our candidate social media engagements. I have also been able to have a bit more time for friends and family thanks to the occasional flexibility that my job gives me — I’m now able to plan on when to get my work done and dedicate time to other activities.

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

Brilliant! Upbeat! Industrious!

Brenda also loves fashion!

What’s your favourite Shortlist memory?

There’s so much that happens on a day to day, and I make memories at Shortlist every day! My favourite so far has to be my first week at Shortlist; Aside from the warm welcome, we were kick-starting a major project, and everyone was nervous about how it was going to turn out. We were about nine team members in Shortlist (Kenya office) at the time and having each one of us embody the team spirit played a part in ensuring that the project was a success. The commitment and collaboration did enhance Shortlist One Team value way before it was even made official.

Why is the Shortlist mission important to you?

Helping candidates unlock their potential is important. Shortlist brings a new way into the recruitment process and especially how we treat candidates as we try and bring dignity back into the recruitment. On a personal level, I went through the process and felt the Shortlist difference so helping others through the same and having them feel comfortable and confident in the process is of utmost importance.

As you know, 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:

Edinah: Willing to help and always happy!! Literally, it’s contagious!

Olivia: I can’t think of a time I have approached her with questions on anything communications and content related or regarding my role with somewhat difficult responses, that she has not graciously come to my rescue!

Alvin: Ever so generous with his knowledge and experience. I think we have all benefited from Alvin’s expertise both at a professional and personal level.

Mercy: Life of the house for sure! A great listener too.

Ceverene: It’s such a pleasure to work with her; she’s very detail oriented and ensures she gets things done down to the last T.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Girl time is always fun time!

Hanging out with family and friends. This is usually my way of getting out of my head (introverts will understand).

I try and workout whenever I can, and I prefer outdoor activities/workouts. I run every weekend and try to squeeze in 15 minutes for an at-home workout. I find YouTube videos helpful for this. I also have a BBG guide which my colleague Olivia shared with me sometime back and a Shawn T guide for more intensive training.

I am trying to make reading a habit, and so I read a lot more lately. I am currently reading, Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn by John C Maxwell. The book gives insight into why we should not focus so much on our loses and always see these as an opportunity to gain some new perspective and make better decisions. It also paints a clear picture of the damage we can do to ourselves when we fail to learn from our failures or if we allow ourselves to remain defeated.

Have some alone time — I am a natural introvert, but I can be an extrovert occasionally. Hence, I do appreciate time to sit down, organise my thoughts and recharge before taking on a new project.

I also love to listen to music, and a Techno/EDM playlist is always my go-to when I feel myself getting sluggish.

Sleep! My job takes a lot of my mental energy and juggling both work, and school really drains me. This helps me to reboot.

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

I’ve never been one of those people who’ve always wanted to be one thing in life. I have had moments where I could switch up… I remember I wanted to be a musician at one point. My Mother freaked out when I told her this and insisted I study Business instead. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a doctor, thanks to my love for Biology. Then I grew up, and I just could never see myself working in bloody environments or practising on dead bodies.

I have also wanted to be an Architect like my Father — not sure what happened to this one. Last and currently on my list is a Psychologist. I love helping people and giving advice, and I believe I will get around to doing this at some point in my life. 😊

Tell us about a candidate that inspired you?

I’m always inspired by candidates, working with them every day. I admire their determination to keep going and try again even after a setback. I have encountered an applicant who has been declined for positions seven times and kept on trying until she was finally hired for the eighth role she applied to. The resilience and the determination to not give up despite many failed attempts really inspired me.

Another example is a candidate who has attended each training since we started candidate engagement events. What was inspiring about this is the effort he made towards his professional development by taking the time to attend training consistently to upskill himself.

What surprised you about working at Shortlist/ how is Shortlist different than other companies?

Shortlist has a dedicated leadership team keen to help each team member achieve their highest potential. It also offers a challenging environment where you get opportunities to try your hand at different things and learn new skills.

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

Reading Sometimes you win; sometimes you learn by John C Maxwell, watching Dynasty, Star and HTGAWM, and listening to… really depends on my mood or vibe.

Meet Brenda’s bestie, Mimi

Do you have a favourite quote or saying?

My inspirational quote is If I use all I’ve got, God will be all that I’m not! — A reminder to always work your potential, put your best foot forward and believe that you will eventually get to where you want to be!

What is that place in the world you’ve not visited yet but would love to?

Italy! The country of amazing fashion, art and of course PASTA!🍝

Which two individuals, living or dead, would you love to sit next to during your flight back from the above destination?

Trevor Noah — who wouldn’t want to laugh all the way back? — and Ayodeji Awosika — he’s an amazing writer.

Final words?

You don’t have to create a masterpiece every day, some days you just need to paint.

Thank you, Brenda! We are so lucky to have you on Team Shortlist.

Shortlister Spotlight: Meet Poonam, UI/ UX Designer

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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.

Meet Poonam!

The next installment of our Shortlister Spotlights (a Q&A series to get to know some of our team members) stars Poonam, a UI/UX Designer in our Mumbai office!

Who is Poonam? Given a chance, she would do anything to be taken to outer space. If you think she is lost, you will probably end up finding her in the deepest parts of the ocean exploring the mysterious marine life in an all-glass submarine. If this isn’t enough, then you should know that mimicking Gollum from Lord Of The Rings is her secret talent.

Read on to learn more about our creative, hardworking Poonam!

Hi Poonam! Tell us about what you do at Shortlist:

Besides making party hats and reinforcing good ergonomics, I help design and build empathy-driven products that empower employers and candidates to find the best job matches. All whilst trying to make them smile!

In this exhausting and tedious world of applying to jobs, I love that I can help build products that are delightful, empathetic and easy to use.

Fun times with the Shortlist family

What is your professional background, and what were you looking for in your next career step when you found Shortlist?

I have a background in fashion design (and so, strangely called P-Fash at work now) and spent close to 8 years working as a magazine stylist, a costume designer, a founder of a clothing label, a curator at a fashion week and a creative director for an innerwear brand. Was that enough? Guess not!

Last year I decided to venture into uncharted waters of digital product design and joined Shortlist as an intern to start my learning curve with strong mentorship and guidance. Little did I know I’d still be here today! Huge thank you to Rachel, Paul and Simon for giving me a shot.

What’s your favorite Shortlist value and why? (If you need a reminder, check out our blog post here!)

Hard to have a favorite- they’re all great values to live up to. I would although, give our newest value “One team” a special mention. A big part of the culture and what I’ve loved about our Shortlisters is the willingness to help and support each other and putting the team first.

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

👉🏼 ⚡️🙌

👉🏼 🚀🌈

👉🏼 🙃👻

#Stimulating #Growth #FUN

What’s your favorite Shortlist memory?

My first day at Shortlist. I was scheduled for meetings and was spoken to in two foreign languages- tech and recruitment. Do I remember anything from that day? NO. Where was I? From hemlines and buttonholes to handmade everything to fashion shows to designer boutiques and now to assessments and competencies to hiring to coding to bots!! Hello world!

My greatest reminder, day one.

What surprised you about working at Shortlist?

Shortlist is like being a part of a vibrant family. A family you work with, play with, you struggle with, prosper with. You share responsibilities with. You feel supported with. You do better with, think different with, think human with.

And amidst all, who always has your back.

Shortlist gives you the space to be who you are and contribute to your individual, unique ways. Every Shortlister contributes significantly to making this a more shared space, space more like home.

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

Reading Cyber Sexy and listening to KISS. Yikes, not sure how that sounds. And, playing LOTS of table tennis. Wait, you didn’t ask that.

What is your spirit animal?

Nudibranchs. Might be too slow to be my spirit animal, but boy, aren’t they fascinatingly beautiful?

Spot the odd one out

Anything else you want the world to know about you, Shortlist, our team? Your favorite playlist to work to? Inspirational quote? Favorite restaurant in Mumbai?

Mowgli days with some simple bare necessities 🎵

I like pineapple on my pizza,

But recently lost my dairy visa,

Sorbets and smoothies are the way to go,

Vegan, Gluten-free, Boring, and Ket-o

I love being in nature, Chlorophyll is my drug,

It’s like being given, a warm fuzzy hug

Dr. Seuss shows me all the places I’ll go,

And I continue my journey with a little disc-o,

Now give this a read as if you’re rapping,

And make it a song with some tapping!

Silly I know, but I like to rhyme,

If it lightens up your day, maybe it’s worth my time!

Thank you, Poonam! We’re so lucky to have you on Team Shortlist.

Did reading about Poonam’s experiences make you want to join our squad?

We’re hiring a Data Scientist (Mumbai or Hyderabad), Head of Product (Mumbai, Hyderabad, or Nairobi) and Recruitment Associate (Nairobi).

Apply today — we’re excited to hear from you!

Shortlister Spotlight: Meet Tilak, Software Engineer

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Meet Tilak!

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.

The second installment of Shortlister Spotlights (a Q&A series to get to know some of our team members) stars Tilak, a Software Engineer in our Hyderabad office!

Tell us about what you do at Shortlist:

I’m a Software Engineer on our tech team. We are building an awesome platform for job-seekers to find their dream jobs and employers to help build their dream teams. In my job I do everything from fixing bugs on the website to developing a cool new feature or product.

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

I always wanted to be an F1 racer 🏁🚗 or dancer💃🏾.

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

To be honest, I was taught from childhood be an engineer or a doctor. I knew that medicine is not my cup of coffee, so I went with engineering and did a Bachelors in Technology. I had heard a lot about startups — how you can learn a lot, be a part of great ideas and do a variety of projects instead of the same mundane tasks every day. I was looking for a startup which does its own product for a meaningful purpose and found Shortlist. I joined this family in August 2016.

What’s your favorite Shortlist memory?

I actually have a few favorite memories: One is when we launched the webportal for the first time back in October 2016, it was crazy time, and another is when we all pulled together in early 2017 for our biggest contract yet — hiring for a big four accounting firm.

A few months ago, four members of our team went on an adventure trip, where we did a motorcycle ride, rafting, hilltops, waterfalls and had an awesome time together.

Teams that play together stay together

What would you say is your professional superpower?

I am good with communications, be it professional or personal. I’m a good listener as well, ping me if you want to share something!

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

“Cool,” “Rocks,” and “Explore Yourself.”

Tech team selfie 📷

Why is the Shortlist mission important to you?

When I was a job seeker before joining Shortlist, something that constantly bugged me and my friends is that employers might reject us based on a verbal interview or less, even before testing what abilities we have. We used to think, “Give us a problem and a chance and show if we can solve it or not… “Luckily our mission is to do this, taking employers from traditional resume search to competency based hiring.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I watch a lot of movies and series, play PC games, and hang out with friends and close ones.

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

OWN IT!!! I strongly believe in it personally.

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

I have high-fives for two people: One is our CTO Sudheer, a true leader, always backing us and standing as wall in front of us. Second one is for Niranjan, “ROCKSTAR” for guiding me through every step I take (you could call him my guru).

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

As a Game Of Thrones fan, I’m currently waiting for Season 8, and I’m also listening a lot to Linkin Park’s album “One More LIght.”

How is Shortlist different than other companies?

The tech team is a big surprise compared to other companies, the team here is so innovative and constantly staying ahead of new technologies and using them in our products.

Any final words?


Candidate Spotlight: Meet Samson, Credit Officer at Lendable

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At Shortlist, we’re constantly amazed by the talented, passionate candidates that we meet through our platform.

Today we’re kicking off Candidate Spotlights, a Q&A series to learn a bit more about the professionals who’ve found jobs on Shortlist. Follow the series to learn new job search tips, advice on professional development, and all about the positions and companies we’re hiring for on Shortlist. First up is Samson Wawire, Credit Officer at Lendable, the first debt platform designed specifically for African alternative lenders.

What is your professional background, and what were you looking for when you started to apply for jobs on Shortlist?

I have worked as a financial analyst for four years now. My job is all about understanding a company through numbers — we typically do this to highlight key issues facing a potential investor or financier that would affect performance of their investment in the company.

I was looking for a financial analyst role at a challenging and dynamic company so I could continue my professional growth. Thanks to Shortlist, I was able to attain my current role at Lendable!

Lendable is the first debt platform designed specifically for African alternative lenders.

Tell us about your new job — what is your favorite part?

In my new job, I get to meet exciting alternative lenders that help uplift the lives of ordinary people. Most of the companies we engage with provide loans to people looking to start or grow their business so they can create and improve their livelihoods — from motorbike financing to dairy cows funding.

My favourite part about the job is visiting the branches of these alternative lenders and going to the field where you really see the impact on customers. It’s one thing to read on a company page that they have a certain number of customers and they have provided a given number of loans; it’s another thing entirely when you meet these same people and see how they have benefitted from the work that the alternative lenders do and how their lives have been transformed.

How would you describe your team at Lendable in three words?

Creative, fun and easygoing!

What’s your professional superpower?

I’m amazing at crunching numbers! My job is all about finding the story behind the numbers so this is something I’m particularly good at!

What’s one professional development or networking tip that you’d like to share?

You should always look for traits that you admire in your colleagues and try to nurture this same attribute in yourself. Everyone is typically eager to give advice on how they excel at something, so you can get their own personal feedback on how they excel at that one thing you admire the most. This way, the whole team can be your mentors!

What advice would you give to current jobseekers?

Know your worth and what you’re bringing to the table. Once you’re able to communicate this clearly to your future employer, it becomes easier for them to say yes and hire you. In the words of John F. Kennedy, modified slightly, ask not what your organisation can do for you — ask what you can do for your organisation. This way, your employer will be glad to reciprocate after you demonstrate your value proposition to them.

What’s the most surprising or interesting question you’ve been asked in any job interview?

The most interesting question would have to be one that I was asked four years ago when interviewing for my first job: “What would you do if you were awarded 100 million shillings to spend?” That was an interesting question because it was fun to ponder and at the same time the interviewer got to understand my view on money and whether I would spend it responsibly.

Interestingly, my answer has evolved as I have grown as a professional and I think right now I would spend the money way better than I would have 4 years ago!

Thanks so much to Samson for sharing his insights and tips for our very first Shortlist Candidate Spotlight. Want to find a great job like Samson did? Visit our job seekers page to learn about open jobs at leading companies (like Lendable!).

Check back soon for new posts in the Shortlist Spotlight series!