The Obvious Fellowship

A 12 week fellowship program for new hires.

The What

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.

The Why

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.

The Journey

While the fellowship journey looks different for each individual, the larger structure remains the same.

Week 1: Onboard

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.

Milestone 1 At the end of week 1, the candidate does a short presentation introducing themself, their life journey and their first week at Obvious.

Week 2: Discover

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.

Milestone 2 At the end of week 2, the candidate presents their work from the discovery exercise, followed up by a detailed written feedback by the team.

Weeks 3-4: Investigate

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.

Milestone 3 At the end of week 4, the candidate presents their work from the investigation exercise, followed up by a detailed written feedback by the team. At this stage the candidate is also assessed and placed on the Growth Framework, and this assessment is shared and discussed with the candidate to enable further improvements.

Weeks 5-8: Solve

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.

Milestone 4 At the end of week 8, the candidate presents their solution, followed up by a detailed written feedback by the team. At this stage the candidate is re-assessed and placed on the Growth Framework. This assessment is shared and discussed with the candidate, which further leads to one of three possible outcomes - Offer not extended Obvious does not find the candidate to be the right fit and does not extend an offer. At this stage, the candidate can chose to drop out or complete the remaining 4 weeks of the fellowship. Offer extended, candidate rejects Obvious finds the candidate to be the right fit and offers a role based on the evaluation on the Growth Framework. The candidate rejects the offer due to disagreement with the evaluation, or does not find Obvious to be a good fit for some reason. At this stage, the candidate can chose to drop out or complete the remaining 4 weeks of the fellowship. Offer extended, candidate accepts Obvious finds the candidate to be the right fit and offers a role based on the evaluation on the Growth Framework. The candidate agrees with the evaluation and finds Obvious to be a good fit and accepts the offer. At this stage, the candidate continues and completes the remaining 4 weeks of the fellowship before joining the team as a permanent member.

Week 9-12: Improve

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.

Milestone 5 At the end of week 12, the candidate presents their final refined solution along with some key learnings from the fellowship, followed up by a detailed written feedback by the team. Depending on the outcomes from the previous milestone, the candidate either graduates and joins the Obvious community as a proud Obvious Fellow, or transitions into a full time role as a proud member of the Obvious Family.