Her name is Dolly Singh and she is with Oculus VR since the first days of its foundation. Her official position is Director of Talent. Dolly is 35 and she is a technology industry recruiter. Dolly is University of California, Los Angeles graduate. It is her, who created a brilliant team of developers at Oculus VR, the company, which is now considered to be among the most promising startups. Her success is undeniable: it is confirmed by a $2 billion deal by Facebook.
After Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR Dolly remained doing what she previously did and was continuing to search for more and more talented developers in the field of virtual reality. As we have reported earlier, among Oculus’ employees are former representatives of Google, Valve, idSoftware and many-many other successful companies.
Dolly’s previous employment history includes job at SpaceX, which is the first private company that works in the field of spacecraft. There she was also responsible for hiring staff.
Singh believes that social networking and media replaced old means of hiring, allowing hirers identifying better the most appropriate employees for them. Although basic things remain unchanged. “It’s having a good ability to read people,” says Singh in one of her interviews. “There’s a period of time when you’re selling and trying to do the convincing, and that inevitably shifts, and people come to you,” she adds.
Singh recalls that at the time when Oculus only started operating many people wanted to work for it, as even then it all seemed very promising and interesting. “If the company is doing something amazing, you’ll always have people who want to work there”, says Dolly.
Although such state of affairs is very comfortable for the company, it’s still difficult to manage. This especially concerns top positions. “When you’re dealing with the best of the best, they always have options. So even if they come to you, getting to that close (of a hiring deal) is a remarkably challenging thing to do,” Singh explains.
Generally, the prospect to get a job in the technology industry nowadays is very bright, even if the person is not the best of the best. “The demand for recruiters is higher than I’ve ever seen it, and that’s usually a good leading indicator,” Singh comments.
Dolly thinks that the question of employment is to a great extent the question of values. People choose their jobs out of expectations they have. Some of them long for a permanent, stable job, while others prefer changing the job frequently, often joining startups and quitting with their money soon afterwards. “I try to coach candidates on making choices based on their values, because at the end of the day, that’s what gets you out of bed,” she describes.
Recent commercial events in the tech industry ($2 billion Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR and Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics) showed that the focus has now shifted to the hardware rather than the software. Dolly believes that Los Angeles is perfectly capable of meeting the demand. “We have the aerospace business, a backbone of manufacturing know-how and expertise in terms of really smart electrical engineers, and mechanical (engineering) guys,” she explains.
Dolly sees Oculus’ future very optimistically. Her suggestions are confirmed by the fact that the company has already received 45,000 orders and started deliveries of Development Kit 2. Mass consumer version of the headset will be available already in 2015. “Once you experience the product, you see how many markets it could impact,” Dolly says. “It’s the like the reinvention of the World Wide Web. That’s pretty bad ass.”
Oculus is still in constant search of new talented employees. Its website contains nearly 50 vacancies still open. They include software developers, programmers, 3D designers, engineers, etc.
Dolly is very satisfied with her job at Oculus: it “was very fortunate for me, and I did some good work for them. I feel like I’ve built some amazing companies,” she comments.
Singh’s contract with Oculus will end at the end of the current year. She expects she will leave the company and focus on her own startup, development of high-tech high heels. She was planning it for quite a long time, but the realization was postponed, as she started working for Oculus VR. Her unusual choice of the startup is explained by the great love of fashion and shoes especially. She herself wears heeled shoes constantly, so it would be really good to have some ideas for their improvement.
Job at Oculus VR has taught her that the key to success is innovations, which is the only way to become really successful and fight the fierce competition in the industry. Her innovation is to change the way of creating and designing shoes, while other manufacturers concentrate on colors and models. “My friend Amanda, who’s my chief technology officer, made a joke that if men in New York City had to wear high heels, you’d have seen a whole lot of innovation,” Singh says. “We think we can and should do better. You’ll never make a high heel that feels like a sneaker, but can you do better than what’s on the market today.”
The first steps are already made. Singh gathered several people from NASA and SpaceX and hired an orthopedician. “It’s the most remarkable group of people thinking about high heels in the history of ever,” she describes.