How to Hire Great People
Hiring great people
is a team effort. Get your team involved. Effective hiring requires
- Determine a need
exists and then consider the best way to fill the need:
- contract individual
- contract through an agency
- part time hire
- full time hire
There are many factors that go into this decision. Short-term,
high risk projects indicate contract work. If the expertise
needs to stay in house, then a full time employee makes more
- Define the need in a job description. Take a look at the job
description I enclosed for a quality assurance analyst.
- I started off with what I thought a quality assurance analyst
- Then went to my current quality assurance analysits and
asked them to fill in other duties they did which I didn't
- Then I went to the quality assurance analysts customers
(programmers, field support, help desk_ to find out what they
expected from a qulaity assurance analysts..
- Determine what skills, education and experience are required
for the job. After getting a good job description, think about
what's needed to fill it.
- Write the advertisement. A good ad will save you from going
through a lot of resumes that don't fit.
- Give a reasonable
- Define the skills
needed for the job
- Separate the
essential from the desired
- Don't delegate
this task to HR. They probably don't know what you really
- Do run the ad
- They most
likely have the recruiting budget, and know how to get
- They can add
the verbiage that will keep you out of legal troubles
- You should
also coordinate with them when they need the copy to make
the Sunday paper.
Set a cut-off date
for receiving resumes. The cut-off date depends on how difficult
it is to recruit for the position and how quickly you need the
position filled. For the average position (if there is such
a thing), I like to use two weeks after the ad is posted.
Review the resumes.
- Don't delegate
this task to HR without training them. I sit down with the
recruiter and evaluate a batch resumes with her. I tell her
what I like and don't like about the candidates. Then I can
trust her to screen the rest.
- My staff already
helped me draft the job description and requirements so, I
circulate the resumes (usually about a dozen "finalists")
with a cover sheet to have them put comments on the cover
- Typically we will
interview about half of these
Schedule the interviews.
See my article on attending interviews for various ways of doing
- I give my staff
verbal and written instructions as shown in the attachments.
- Use Outlook or
some other scheduling software to coordinate available times
for the interview.
Conduct the interviews.
- Know what you
need to do to get the information you want out of the candidate.
- I use a script
to make sure I cover all the key areas.
- The first things
on the script are the "rules" and logistics for
the interview. (Who the candidate will see, some orientation
on what we are looking for and what the position is).
- I also have
an outline of the questions I'd like to ask the candidate.
I don't script every question, but I do have a couple to
keep me focused. I will pursue different lines of questioning
based on what the candidate says.
- The last thing
on the script is what is left to do: most importantly, what
happens next, and when the candidate will hear from me.
I specifically invite the candidate to call me directly
if I miss my deadline. (I haven't yet).
Review the candidates.
After all candidates are interviewed, the staff meets and we
usually argue over which two candidates we like best. Then I
make the hiring decision.