Hiring Smart

It’s because it is much, much better to reject a good candidate than to accept a bad candidate. A bad candidate will cost a lot of money and effort and waste other people’s time fixing all their bugs. Firing someone you hired by mistake can take months and be nightmarishly difficult, especially if they decide to be litigious about it. In some situations it may be completely impossible to fire anyone. Bad employees demoralize the good employees. And they might be bad programmers but really nice people or maybe they really need this job, so you can’t bear to fire them, or you can’t fire them without pissing everybody off, or whatever. It’s just a bad scene.

quoted from: The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing V 3.0 by Joel Spolsky

Whew
I completely agree with Joel and personally encountered some experiences with it.

Suppose it only apply for a team that already has several senior programmers in it. When you have zero programmer at the team, it's better to temporarily hire someone right-away rather than to have no-one at all.

I always believe that some people are born with the nature ability to understand math and basic computer concept, and some of these people have the right personality and enthusiasm to do everything to write the best code that runs and is scalable. Those are the people we should be hiring.

Experience can be learnt in a period of time, but you can't replace someone's brain. Neither can you make someone take a course to modify his personality.


1 comments: (+add yours?)

Tim Brennan and Jan van der Hoop said...

Smart comment. One thing that we have found helps is assessing a candidates thinking style - how they learn, not just how smart they are. What makes the fit for a programmer in any organization? It comes down to the four critical aspects of Fit - fit with the job, fit with the manager, fit with the team and fit with the organization.
The challenge starts with the traditional hiring system that does not have this focus. Checkout some videos that we put up at www.YouTube.com/Hiringsmart to give you some ideas.