Welcome to the final episode of Season Six of the Room Podcast. Today we sit down with Anvisha Pai, co-founder and CPO of Dover, a platform that helps startups across all stages scale up their recruiting by helping them automate their operations.
Growing up in Mumbai as the daughter of two doctors, Anvisha found herself drawn to STEM and international development. When applying to college she focused on sustainability and chemical engineering, but upon attending MIT Anvisha found her love of computer science, viewing it as her way to make an impact and help people in the first phase of her career.
Anvisha reflects on her path to becoming a product manager as not a straight line; she began with software internships which gave her experience but she felt lacked a bigger picture. She eventually found herself as a product manager at Dropbox where her journey to becoming a founder really began.
Although Anvisha never thought she was going to be a founder, she found parallels in the product , the problem solving aspects of science that had always intrigued her.
In this episode we discuss the journey of a multi-time founder, advice for start-ups on hiring, and the future of work and hiring automation.
Let’s open the door.
Key Theme 1: The journey of a multi-time founder
Anvisha’s path that ultimately ended with her becoming a multi-time founder began with her two year position as PM at Dropbox. Deciding she wanted to further develop her software engineering skills, Anvisha then transitioned to work as a founding engineer at a startup called Rep.AI. Through her role, she was able to write the first lines of code across the product, help scale the company, and participate in recruiting.
After that, she co-founded Slab, increasing her knowledge of the business side of what it takes to start from scratch and get customers. This experience was vital when Anvisha and her friend began working together again which resulted in the founding of Dover.
Key Theme 2: Advice for start-ups on hiring
Although Anvisha recognizes circumstances in which it makes sense to be incredibly rigorous about what experience potential hires have, she also understands that this can exclude candidates who would actually excel in the position if given proper training. She recalls how even though Dover primarily uses Python, for example, “some of our best people here didn’t even know Python when they came in and took the time to teach them this.” Anvisha advises all companies to not be too biased in their criteria when conducting the hiring process.
Key Theme 3: The future of work and hiring automation
When Dover was in its early stages, it did all of the recruiting manually; Anvisha recalls how she would personally reach out to and interview candidates. The process of automation took about one year, and Anvisha remembers the discipline involved, including how Dover never looked to outsource any of the work.
Now, automated hiring involves asking customers questions about what they want, and making sure to look beyond resumes. At the onset of the pandemic, Anvisha noticed that the transition to remote work also placed emphasis on learning how to conduct hiring remotely.
Looking to the future — and for recruiting in particular — Anvisha sees talent leaders and hiring managers trying to be more data oriented and create a scaffolding in the recruiting world. At Dover, she is focusing on equipping whoever is recruiting with the proper tools to effectively run their strategy and adapt to the ever changing market.