Hiring Developers: Slow Down to Speed Up
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Hiring unqualified talent creates two problems. Without proper guidance most individuals tend to hire others who are similar to them. In other words, 7s don't hire 10s. They hire 5s and 7s. This can spiral into a vicious cycle of mediocrity. Mediocrity is a common enemy of every business. No one wants to have an average product/service or acceptable staff. They want to be the market leader with highly exceptional talent. The second problem: 5s drive away 10s. High caliber talent appreciates working with similar talent. These individuals collectively increase their abilities through challenging one another. This is where "iron sharpens iron." They can also effect potential 10s through osmosis.
Identifying great talent starts with slowing down. Finding the right talent and finding Mr. Right should be viewed in the same vain. It's a marriage and from that union should flow a prosperous outcome. The following is a list of recommendations for hiring 10s:
- Don't interview in a vacuum. Engage all potential team members in the evaluation process. Other relevant employees might also provide interesting insight.
- Encourage the natural instincts of those involved. If something doesn't feel right, dig deeper to reveal the underlying reason. Everyone should be encouraged to speak openly and freely.
- Seek unanimous agreement by all members. If there are any reservations, they should be discussed. It should be a no-brainer.
- Maintain a mindset of finding the "right fit" and not the "right now fit." Don't be afraid to keep looking.
- Look for 10s and potential 10s. This can be accomplished in a plethora of ways including personal/phone interviews, multiple visits, personality evaluation, tech screening, programming tests, etc.
- Identify individuals who adapt well to change. This is a common trait of highly effective people.
- Seek out candidates who can have well versed dialog about topics. They should display enough knowledge to show exceptional proficiency.
- Don't hire "yes" men. Look for people who can articulate opinions but are open to constructive dialog.