Irrespective of experience and seniority, every new hire at Obvious goes through a 12 week fellowship program. The fellowship is a mutual fit assessment opportunity for the candidate, as well as for Obvious. Our goal is to fairly identify the value the new hire brings to the table by deeply immersing them in our ways of working, and then evaluating them on each axis of our 12-axis Growth Framework. This evaluation helps us and the candidate understand their value in the org, based on which they are offered a position.
We are small, and very selective about who we bring in. Most organisations hire people based on their previous role and compensation, but not us. Our salaries are fair and equitable, which means everyone delivering the same value gets paid the same. The fellowship not only ensures that we don’t hire someone who looks good on paper but can’t deliver high quality work, it also helps fairly compensate people who do not have the negotiation skills to demand a salary they truly deserve.
While the fellowship journey looks different for each individual, the larger structure remains the same.
New faces, new processes and a new environment can get a bit overwhelming early on. To reduce this anxiety, we've created a simple but structured on-boarding process that helps the candidate settle in with ease.
In the beginning of the second week, the candidate and their manager align and agree on a complex problem with a sharp focus area for one person to be able to solve it in 7 weeks. This problem is selected from an internal crowdsourced pool of ideas at Obvious. The remaining part of the week is spent refining the problem definition and coming up with an initial hypothesis.
The candidate refines the initial hypothesis through a series of investigative exercises.
For Design, these exercises could be primary and secondary research, experience mapping, co-creation with potential users etc.
For Engineering, these exercises could be planning stories/tasks, estimation, architecture, spikes, tracer bullets etc.
The outcome of this stage is a set of well defined problems with an equally strong set of directions.
Using our design/engineering frameworks, along with some guidance from the manager, the candidate translates the direction from the previous stage into a well thought out, 4 week execution plan. For the next 4 weeks, the candidate builds out the solution iteratively, seeking feedback and counsel from their manager and team at a regular cadence.
The candidate continues working on the solution and refines it further till the end of week 11. The final week of the fellowship is spent documenting the project story and timeline in the form of a concise, well articulated, digital thesis.