Tag Archives: hiring

Hiring the Right Person

Malcolm Gladwell presented at the New Yorker conference on the Challenge of Hiring in the Modern World. As usually, he provides some great thoughts. I wrote on Hiring the Right Workers

The job market is an inefficient market. There are many reasons for this including relying on specification (this job requires a BS in Computer Science – no Bill Gates you don’t meet the spec) instead of understanding the system. Insisting on managing by the numbers even when the most important figures are unknown and maybe unknowable. Using HR to find the right person to work in a process they don’t understand (which reinforces the desire to focus on specifications instead of a more nuanced approach). The inflexibility of companies: so if a great person wants to work 32 hours a week – too bad we can’t hire them. And on and on.

Malcolm Gladwell doesn’t use the same language but I think he says many of the same ideas: “Insisting on managing by the numbers even when the most important figures are unknown and maybe unknowable.” etc. This idea he frames as a mismatch problem.

Related: Hiring: Silicon Valley StylePeople are Our Most Important AssetMalcolm Gladwell SynchronicityHiring, Does College Matter?Interviewing and Hiring ProgrammersGladwell (and Drucker) on Pensions

IT Talent Shortage, or Management Failure?

IT talent shortage, or management failure? [the broken link was removed]

Is there a talent shortage? Only because employers have created it. The real shortage is in good management. Without proper seeding, feeding and cultivating, the IT community withers like any other garden. Companies are madly trying to hire skills, not talent. They want to harvest fruit overnight. Give a smart IT worker some manuals, a workstation, an objective, and a little time, and they’ll come up to speed every time. That requires strong leadership.

But if you leave it to some personnel jockey who relies on buzzwords and resumes, you’ll never hire real talent — and it will always seem there is a talent shortage. What’s difficult to understand about that?

Great post. I agree: the main problem is poor management. Dr. Deming kept increasing the percentage of problems due to systemic issues (which are management responsibility to address), he was saying 97% of issues were commons cause problems (from the system) at the end of his life.

So what should managers do? Read the Curious Cat Management Blog and follow the advise in our previous posts, including: Stop Demotivating Employees (IT employees are especially disdainful of pointy haired boss actions that others tolerate more easily) – Signs You Have a Great Job … or NotJoy in Work for IThiring silicon valley styleBad Management Results in Layoffs

Hiring: Silicon Valley Style

Interviews on how to hire in Silicon Valley. I especially like Guy Kawasaki’s comment – “the key to getting great people to work for you is to have a great product. That is why Google does so well. That is why Apple does so well.” I agree with the concept that a huge part of hiring good people is offering them a place where they feel proud of what they are working on. This is even more true when you talk about great software developers that have more choice than most in how they choose to earn a living.

via: How Are Companies in Silicon Valley Hiring?

Related: Interviewing and Hiring ProgrammersGoogle’s Answer to Filling Jobs Is an AlgorithmGoogle Exceeded Planned Spending on Personnel

Google’s Answer to Filling Jobs Is an Algorithm

Google Answer to Filling Jobs Is an Algorithm. First, from a “what should I do,” view, I believe, Kevin Meyer’s advice is more appropriate: The False God of the Almighty Algorithm. But Google can do some things well that are unwise for others to try.

Desperate to hire more engineers and sales representatives to staff its rapidly growing search and advertising business, Google — in typical eccentric fashion — has created an automated way to search for talent among the more than 100,000 job applications it receives each month. It is starting to ask job applicants to fill out an elaborate online survey that explores their attitudes, behavior, personality and biographical details going back to high school.

They are comparing this to answers provided by Google employees (who were asked to fill out 300 question surveys). I can’t see this as an effective strategy for most companies. And even for Google, I don’t see it as a great idea, but trying ideas that might seem crazy can be an effective innovation strategy. Google experimenting in this way, seems fine to me – though I think it will fail. Better: Google’s brain teasers – but that effort probably will not scale to meet Google’s needs.

Interested in management improvement jobs. Try out Curious Cat Management Improvement Jobs. Those looking to hire can post announcements for jobs in lean manufacturing, six sigma, quality engineering, customer focus, process improvement… for free.
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Hiring the Right People

The job market is an inefficient market. There are many reasons for this including relying on specification (this job requires a BS in Computer Science – no Bill Gates you don’t meet the spec) instead of understanding the system. Insisting on managing by the numbers even when the most important figures are unknown and maybe unknowable. Using HR to find the right person to work in a process they don’t understand (which reinforces the desire to focus on specifications instead of a more nuanced approach). The inflexibility of companies: so if a great person wants to work 32 hours a week – too bad we can’t hire them. And on and on.

At first I titled this post the Hiring Process but that creates a analytic view of the hiring process separated from the important part which is workers actually working. The hiring process just provides resources that are needed. But in many places it is the reverse, the hiring process provides resources and then the rest of the process deals with that output as best it can.

Seth Godin had a very good post recently, The end of the job interview:

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