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This article is more than 1 year old.

Dockabl co-founder Samarth Masson explains how SaaS HR can change appraisal, performance evaluation process

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Founded in 2017 by two human resources management professionals, Samarth Masson and Sanjeev Grover, Dockabl is a Saas-based HR tech platform. The startup today launched their new product B2C product ‘Clink’ – a feedback sharing app. Palak Agarwal in an interview with Samarth Masson, co-founder & CEO of the company, decodes the new platform and talk about the future of HR tech.

Dockabl co-founder Samarth Masson explains how SaaS HR can change appraisal, performance evaluation process
The outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns have led to introduction of work-from-home culture in offices. Large companies like Amazon, Apple, and Facebook have adjusted their work-from-home policy and extended it until January 2021. As it becomes the ‘new normal’, organisations are resorting to new ways and taking aid of technology for a smooth transition from the traditional style of working. And this is an area HR SaaS startups like Dockabl are trying to conquer.
Founded in 2017 by two human resources management professionals, Samarth Masson and Sanjeev Grover, Dockabl is a Saas-based HR tech platform. The startup today launched their new product B2C product ‘Clink’ – a feedback sharing app.
Palak Agarwal in an interview with Samarth Masson, co-founder of the company, decodes the new platform and talk about the future of HR tech.
Q1. What is Dockabl and what is the problem you are trying to solve?
Samarth Masson: We came up with the idea of building Dockabl & Clink to solve the problem of performance and feedback being biased, expensive, not objective, and sometimes unfair to employees.
As appraisals continue to be a once-in-a-year activity, Dockabl is trying to solve problems involved in this process, which is prone to over-dependence on manager's feedback, recency biases, long and complicated form filling, dated frameworks such as the bell curve and lack of multi-stakeholder perspective on the employee's feedback and ratings.
With most organisations transitioning to remote working, employees will need a communication channel dedicated to feedback. This channel plays a key role in employees staying engaged, motivated, and connected. Business heads, CEOs and HR will need software, which can help them get relevant data on employee performance and feedback across various clusters of project teams.
Feedback at work generally is scattered across various platforms such as emails and chat messages and generally there is barely any action on it. Dockabl helps users curate feedback in once place that can be used for performance and development conversations and give them meaningful insights and key takeaways that can be actioned upon for their benefit.
Q2. Your new product Clink is touted as a ‘remote manager’. What is Clink?
Samarth Masson: Clink is a feedback sharing app. keeping the current scenario in mind, where work-from-home is prevalent, Clink helps users share, organise and analyse feedback. Its ‘Cheer’ & “Boost’ framework will help streamline constructive feedback and recognition and is super easy to use.
Having plugins with platforms like Gmail and Slack, users will not have to leave their workspace every time they want to share or save feedback. The app will be best suited when one needs it for 1:1 conversations and appraisals and is also integrated with tools like Google Calendar and Jira for timely feedback.
The use of NLP and AI will give accurate and actionable, which will help users act on feedback, learn a new skill and sharpen old ones. It will even give each user, projects, and organisation a work-life score, which will help determine the health of their performance.
Q3. Who are Dockabl consumers and how are they different from the Clink consumers?
Samarth Masson: The target audience for Dockabl is organisations, teams in the organisations, HR and department. Some of the clients on board are Becton Dickinson, Bajaj Capital, SIDBI, AirBnB India, Holidayme, Rentomojo, and Tata Realty.
Clink caters to new age organisations, internet-based startups, teams in organisations, and gig workers. Clink has already executed pilots with organisations such as Rentomojo, Bajaj Finserv, TSMG, KPMG, Think Talent, Vahura, Razorpay to name a few. Through word-of-mouth, Clink has also secured confirmations to go live with teams in organisations such as Chqbook, BluSmart, Ivy Mobility, and Career Partners International (North America)
Q4. A large number of organisations have moved their workforce into the ‘work-from-home’ model due to the COVID19 crisis. How will Clink work to ensure a seamless working experience?
Samarth Masson: Work-from-home (WFH) has taken away a very important ingredient of an employee's work life. The ability to share recognition, constructive feedback, and developmental feedback with each other, which happened as an outcome of proximity and familiarity with your colleagues.
WFH has also deconstructed organisational structures, hierarchy, and line of control. This means that any software that was based on workflows in the organisation is now staring at redundancy.
Clink enables teams to continue the practice of sharing feedback in real time, in the context of their work, and to and fro all stakeholders, using tech and integrations with other work tech tools which have all come alive due to WFH.
Clink is designed to work across cross-functional teams, gig workers, and any permutation and combination of teams and projects. It does not stick to any particular workflow. Its fluid. This makes Clink very easy to adopt.
Q4. What role will smart analytics and AI play in future of performance appraisals?
Samarth Masson: Smart analytics and AI will play crucial role in performance appraisals:
1. Suggesting high performers to the organisation
2. Suggesting value champions to the organisation
3. Identifying learning and development needs for employees
4. Mapping critical roles and projects to people
5. Performance trending for teams, projects, and organisation as a whole
Q5. What is the revenue model at Dockabl and Clink?
Samarth Masson: Dockabl is a B2B SAAS product, where we charge $5 per user per month.
Clink is a B2C SAAS product where we charge $8 per user a month for North America, SE Asia, and India.
Q6. Where did the initial capital for the innovation come from? Any plans to raise funds in future?
Samarth Masson: We have raised $1.3 million across three rounds from angel investors over the past three years. A few key investors are Aditya Berlia, Sanjay Kapoor, Rajat Gupta, Ritesh Malik, Angad Singh Malhotra, Ganesh Mohan, and Arun Kapur.
We are currently raising a round of $1 million seed and we have already raised $250,000 as part of this round.
Q7. How is the demand for tech in HR faring during this pandemic?
Samarth Masson: HR tech tools will be required now more than ever to enable performance and productivity, culture building, engagement, and wellness. During the pandemic demand for technology in HR saw 30 percent hike. The HR Tech space got pretty hot and exciting this year.
Josh Bersin, who is the President and Founder of Bersin & Associates, a leading industry research and advisory firm in enterprise learning and talent management terms HR software as white-hot.
The HR software is white hot today, and in today’s talent-constrained environment, companies are pouring money into tools to better recruit, develop, empower, and support their people. The core HR software market alone is more than $50 billion in size and when you add up all the tools for learning, recruiting, and other forms of employee management, the market is more than $300 billion.
Q8. How is human resources evolving with tech?
Samarth Masson: HR will need to start solving new problems and change significantly in the process. For example:
1. Enabling team management for remote teams
2. Overhaul recruitment to enable the existence of diverse teams, gig workers
3. Move from the traditional organisational structure to project-based teams, cross-functional processes, fluid management frameworks enabled with tech
4. The performance will now need to be more team and individual-focused, which won't work with the traditional workflows and processes
5. Creating new ways of managing employee career progression, engagement, and learning
6. Understand and embrace technology to enable the new ways of working where it would be meaningful integrations across various tech tools and Softwares
Q9. COVID-19 is here to stay and we all need to adopt the new normal. What is the future of HR tech in a post-COVID world?
Samarth Masson: Yes, COVID-19 is here to stay and we all need to adopt the new normal. Some of the trends we will see in post COVID19 world: Enabling team management for remote teams, Overhaul recruitment to enable the existence of diverse teams, gig workers.
We will also see a shift from the traditional organisational structure to project-based teams, cross functional processes, fluid management frameworks enabled with tech.
Performance will now need to be more team and individual focused, which won't work with the traditional workflows and processes. There will be a need to create new ways for managing employee career progression, engagement and learning. And most importantly understand and embrace technology to enable the new ways of working where it would be meaningful integrations across various tech tools and softwares.
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