Is a very high bar for hiring always right?

There’s conventional wisdom I am seeing in the developer community that some rather odd/frustrating hiring behaviors are the result of avoiding false positives as much as possible. The story goes, that bad hires are really bad and take a lot to recover from, so it’s just much easier to have very high barriers to entry to engineering candidates and instead basically just not hire/be super picky and just go longer periods not hiring. Can anybody here personally validate this viewpoint? Does anyone believe that this is really not the case at all? Thanks for your insights.


The only way to know for sure is to actually work together. Sadly, that’s often not an option as candidates are looking to commit to making a longer-term move and will have other offers. Hiring is notoriously difficult because we have a hard time assessing other humans. I’ve seen it go both ways: lowering your comfort bar and having it go poorly, and other times hiring someone truly fantastic that you would have otherwise passed on due to some discomfort with how they performed in the interview process. The right solution involves 2 things that are not easy but absolutely worth the investment:

  1. Developing extreme clarity on the specific things you’re assessing and how you’ll know if a candidate satisfies that criteria during an interview.
  2. Develop extreme clarity on what performance at work means, so that you and the candidate are fully aligned when they start, and if they don’t perform, it’s not a surprise that they are let go.

Beyond that, I have 1 very helpful tactic from my days interviewing tons of people: Always do an interview with 2 interviewers from your company, and never let anyone talk about the interviews until ALL interviews with the candidate are done. Each interviewer has to submit feedback in your tool of choice without knowing what other interviewers said. This helps prevent significant amounts of bias and allows you to get an honest opinion of the candidate from every interviewer. After interviews are done, everyone can read each other’s feedback and debrief, then the hiring manager can make the call on the hire.


Companies that attract applicants aplenty can operate this way. Less celebrated organizations somewhat cannot. I’ve seen promising hires create a mountain of crap, getting fired too late. I’ve seen lackluster hires turn out amazing—my No was overruled. I’ve seen absolute lunatics getting hired and turning out exactly as I predicted—again, my No overruled. (Maybe I should reflect on that.)


The secret to the Zappos strategy is that everyone is offered the buyout. As humans, once we spend 3 months with someone we like them and want to be “nice” to them. Making the buyout automatic means you’ve eliminated the cognitive load of making an emotionally painful decision. If you really like someone (and if they really like working at your company) everyone will work hard for them to stay. If that’s not the case, the employee looks forward to a generous payout, and everyone’s ego is maintained.


I think this is correct and matches much of what I see in the industry. This hiring paralysis is bad and also keeps good junior developers out of firms because there is limited track record to go on.
I am small, so I have the luxury at the moment, but I only do contract-to-hire. Working with someone is the only way to gauge at this point. I look at experience and check references but interviews are not that important to me at this moment.


My interpretation of this, in the wake of conversing with devs and designing administrators, is that this interaction is making a class of exceptionally underestimated work resources who aren’t enduring this very danger opposed recruiting measure


One answer for this issue is offering a ~3 month time for testing, with an extremely liberal (don’t hold back here) severance bundle if the organization chooses the worker and friends are not a decent match. You can take this significantly further and permit the representative to likewise choose the match isn’t right, and furthermore offer a bundle. The advantage is that it allows you to cut lure rapidly, and save everybody time, cash, and stress.


Of course, most organizations are terrible at employing yet they’re much more dreadful at terminating. I contemplate the Zappos technique constantly: let your new workers follow 3 months on the off chance that you or they believe it’s anything but a match and pay them a reward when they do leave. Get great at sorting out who’s a fit.


I’m truly inquisitive to hear more about the “Mountain of crap” that can be made in any case, for example, a genuinely commonplace designing group where someone controls unions and surveys PRs could attempt to see that incident and right it.

1 Like

What I portray can happen when a group develops quickly and maybe assumptions from the administration don’t oblige for that. Experienced donors are extended in the event that they don’t dial back. I’ve additionally had senior patrons work “in obscurity” to arise with huge terrible PRs. Less experienced companions can be scared, re-thinking in the event that they ought to request a revise. A portion of the past remarks can resolve these issues. Much is dependent upon authority to explore troublesome characters, tackle struggle, and have genuine discussions

This topic was automatically closed 180 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.