I recently came across a discussion on how broken the traditional hiring process is. Personally, I have always thought that companies pay a lot of attention to the technical ability of the candidate, and ignored the softer skills, which, in my opinion are equally important. In the discussion, there were also some points which really resonated with me, which I thought were worth sharing.

It's a Two-Way Street

When companies are looking for someone to join the team, most of the time the conversation that plays out goes along the lines of how the candidate can help the company achieve its goals. However, we forget that this is a two-way street and we need to understand how we can help the candidate achieve their goals. After all, if they aren't feeling fulfilled, then they are bound to leave the company.

Find out the candidate's passions and how you can help them grow

A simple question that you can ask to find out more about this is as follows:

"What do you expect to learn here in the first three months?"

Retrospecting The Hiring Process

Most developers are familiar with the concept of agile. In my opinion, one of the most important parts of the entire process is the retrospective. It helps you improve and become better. So why not use this on the hiring process?

By doing a retro of the process with the candidate, as well as the team that they joined, can reveal some small, but important things to improve on. After time, these "issues" will get ironed out and make the hiring process much smoother.

Oh, and don't forget the team lunch ;) It helps take away some of the anxiety that the person may be feeling.

Building Relationships

Typically, interviews are purely transactional. A person is trading their time for a potential position in the company. If they don't get it, that's where road ends for the both of them.

However, if we see this as an opportunity to create a relationship with people, this can be much better in the long run. For instance, something that my current company, Readify, does really well is that if you don't get selected they give you honest and useful feedback on areas to improve and what materials will help you get there. The candidate can then go improve and try again at a later point. In doing this, they will then be able to see that the company has a vested interest in helping them improve and become better.

The same goes for the reverse scenario, if they don't take the job offer, follow up with them and find out why? It could be something completely unrelated to the position, such as the offices look bland and uninspiring. All the feedback should then be taken and seen what can be done to improve it. After all, if one person notices something, other will do so as well.

People > Skills

One of my strong beliefs is that a person with the potential to learn and is a great people fit, is far better hire than an expert in the field, but not a team player.

A better approach, that aligns with the sections above, is to find out the persons mission and to identify if it aligns with the companies. If there isn't a match, then let the person know, as the last thing you want is them to leave a few months after hiring them.

Skills can be learnt

Don't ignore the softer side of things, you need to find a balance for both and remember that you can always train away the weaknesses.

Until next time...keep learning!