Written by Helené van Tonder
For Neha Arora, leap.club has become the proverbial Swiss army knife — an essential tool for getting all kinds of things done: hiring for her team, getting speakers for the courses she builds, establishing business partnerships, growing her network, and participating in various community initiatives (inside and outside of leap.club).
Neha has a background in media & entertainment and, among other things, spent three years at Disney+ Hotstar. She is currently with Upgrad where she leads the consumer acquisitions division.
While talking to Neha, I had that feeling that has become so familiar to me when interacting with fellow leap.club members — I want to talk to her for hours!
Below are some transcribed snippets from the great conversation we had.
Let’s start with hiring. How are you using leap.club for that?
“I’m currently hiring across roles, and leap has been a great platform to get that done. The kind of CVs we get via leap is amazing. Even the HR representative and recruiter I’m working with have been commenting on it. They’re screening the CVs and have asked me, ‘What is this club?!’ (side note — recruiters, we’re coming for ya soon! 😉)
There are a lot of things I like about leap when it comes to hiring. The quality of the candidates is a big one — it makes my life so easy. But I also like the fact that the interaction is less transactional. No one writes to me ‘hey, here’s my CV.’ There’s a certain ethos and I find that very appealing.
I’ve met people who are not a fit for any of our roles right now, but I’m so impressed by them that I want to create a space for them in my team. They’re forward-thinking, people with a global mindset — that’s the kind of talent I like to hire.
So far, I’ve posted 4 roles, and the first position has already been filled. I literally just made a post on the feed and got in touch with 6 or 7 people who were all really good candidates. The two finalists were both leap members. I was so sad that I had to make a choice — I would’ve hired both of them if I could!”
How’s the rest of your leap.club experience been?
“It’s been great from the start, even if I was a little sceptical at first. I remember asking Aanchal who onboarded me, ‘How is leap different from LinkedIn? I’m already getting a lot of people who want to connect with me, so why do I need this?’ She said, ‘Just try it out, you’ll see.’ And she was so right!
Shortly after I joined, I made my first post on the feed (by the way, I’ve never made a single post on LinkedIn in my life!), and I had 20 people reach out to me.
It was crazy! I remember feeling overwhelmed in a really good way. I’ve met great people and many good things have come out of it.
I get so much value from leap. I initially thought of it as something ‘extra-curricular’, but now it’s part of how I get my job done.
The other day, I was briefing my new team member (from leap!) about a project we’re doing, and I said, ‘Let’s put a post on leap and see who is interested!’ That’s how I use leap now — it’s become integrated with my professional life.
Sure, you need to spend time on it, but it saves me so much time in other areas that I’ve come to prioritise it.
Once I started speaking to people, I saw what a valuable network this is, and realised how many other avenues it opens up.”
Can you share more about the value you get from leap.club?
“Sure. There a 5 ways that leap is really helpful to me:
- Hiring for my team — We’ve spoken about that already.
- Business partnership — When I’m looking for partnerships, I don’t have to go out and pitch. I throw out an idea on the app, and I know it will land in a good audience. The people who get back to me are the people who are interested, and we’ll have fruitful conversations. Just last Saturday I met someone from Dubai who has introduced me to her boss, and we’re planning a partnership now. It was such a great interaction! She asked what I did; I asked what she did; and then we were both just like this: well, why don’t we do this?! We’re chatting again in two days to take this forward.
- Getting speakers for courses — Given the kind of work I do, I reach out to a lot of people because we’re always looking for speakers for courses. Several people on leap have shown an interest in this, and three have said, ‘hey, if you need speakers, I’d love to get on board.’ This kind of things saves me so much time!
- Getting involved in councils and other community initiatives — I’ve started my own clubhouse on leap (it’s called ‘content & culture’), and we already had our first get-together. I’m really excited about it! Over and above that, I’ve also been looped into councils and discussions outside of leap. I’ve joined WICCI’s social media council, for example, after Sreyoshi Maitra posted about it on the app. I love the fact that I’m getting access to these initiatives.
- Meeting new people — For me, this is the greatest part! I found a space where I enjoy connecting with people — more than I thought I would. It’s worked out so well! Sometimes I would get caught up and cancel leap chats that I have scheduled. But then eventually, when I do connect with them, I wish I had done so earlier. So over time, I’ve learned to make leap something I prioritise. The interactions are valuable to me in all kinds of ways. At some point, I was quite ill with Covid so I couldn’t participate beyond scrolling through the feed. Even then I followed two conversations that resonated with me so much. I couldn’t join the huddle, but I got what I needed from that. I felt: ‘Oh, there are people who are going through similar stuff. This is a thing.’
Another member — someone I had just met on the app—was following up with me while I was ill. She even offered help with groceries. It was something so unexpected and I greatly appreciated it.”