Hire for Cultural Fit: It’s Time to Add Women, Pt 1

In the blogosphere and in the press, there is an increasing notice about the lack of women in technical fields and management positions. Here is some data: Why women leave tech: what the research says by Sue Gardner. Read Visualizing Silicon Valley’s Lack of Diversity. Notice that tech is overwhelmingly white and male. It does not reflect the society in which we live. It doesn’t have to be this way. Our field got this way because we let our unconscious prejudices decide for us. Did you see this? In Hiring Geeks That Fit, I talk about how you learn about your prejudices and how you account for them. We know that diverse teams create better products. We know—and if you have been on a multi-gender, multi-cultural team, people-with-diverse-backgrounds you have this experience—creating products is more fun, faster, and easier. Why? Because you don’t get into group-think. You have more opportunities for ideas. You have people who, while they fit the corporate culture enough, have diverse experience creating products. You discover and create your way to a better outcome. Can you get a great product with—excuse me—all white males under the age of 30? Of course. Can you get it with a diverse team of all kinds of people of all ages? Yes. In my experience, it’s faster and easier. What can you do, if you want to keep or build the great culture you already have? You are sure you can’t find any women? First, don’t be so sure. You might want to watch How Etsy Increased Diversity in Its Engineering Department: An Interview with Marc Hedlund. It’s a...

Hiring Trap: I’ll Wait for the Best Person

A senior product manager had a great interview the other day. “I know the industry. I worked on the first generation of their product. I know their customers. I could do this job. I understand their problems. I showed them how I’d solved their problems in the past. I can do this again. “It’s a little junior for me, but I don’t want a go-get-’em job. I’m at the point in my life where I want to take a little time for me. The kids area done with college. I want to take a little extra vacation time so I can spend more time on my hobbies and travel. That makes my salary competitive. I’m not ready to retire. I still want to challenge myself. But I don’t need to work like crazy either. This would be a great job. “The people there said, ‘You’re like family.’ I’m the best candidate for the job. Why are they even interviewing the third candidate?” Good question. When the economy is down or improving, hiring managers think they have a glut of candidates. They think they can take their time and hire slowly. They think they can wait for the best person. This is a hiring trap. What they do is postpone their pain, and allow terrific candidates, the best people to slip through their fingers. Do they think this product manager is going to wait for them to make up their minds? No. This guy is going to have offers, and fast. He’s capable. He’s competitive. He knows how to solve the problems this and other companies need solved. And, just...

Three Tips to Streamline Your Recruiting, Part 2

My client in Part 1, where we talked about streamlining your analysis, was also having trouble finding people. He needed to hire two developers. He just “knew” there was a boom in Boston, and could not hire more people. Well, considering I had just been at a SPIN meeting the night before and met people who had been looking for work for months, I knew there were people looking for work. The question always is this: How does the hiring manager find the people who are looking? How do the people who are looking find the hiring managers? The people who are looking have to target networking. (See Manage Your Job Search.) But the hiring managers have to vary their recruiting mechanisms. If you rely on the same old mechanisms, you will not get new and different candidates. My client was not seeing a variety of candidates. He was using recruiters, but a small number. Those recruiters had not proved themselves to him. And, he had not left his office to personally recruit for the positions. He had not used Twitter. He had not used LinkedIn. I made these suggestions: If a recruiter does not prove him/herself in the first month by providing quality candidates worthy of hiring, move on. Do not saddle yourself with a recruiter who throws candidates at you who are not worth interviewing, never mind hiring. You have to use multiple sourcing mechanisms. You must. You cannot rely on two recruiters to find people. You must go to meetings or job fairs yourself. Candidates who have been unemployed for a while are not going to...

Three Tips to Streamline Your Hiring, Part 1

I spent the day consulting with a client who might sound just like you. He’s a senior manager in a small company. He’s overworked, trying to perform too many roles by himself. He’s the CTO, Scrum Master for as many as three teams (yes, I gave him the evil eye), the tool master, managing about 20 people directly (he has three leads, but he writes all the reviews), and he’s doing all the recruiting. He’s drowning in work. You’re not surprised, are you? When I talk to people like this client, they share the same frustrations. They can’t find people who can come in Day 1, and start to work. They can’t find enough people fast. They see a ton of people, most of whom are wrong. Their hiring is stuck. If that is your problem, here are tips that might help you: Talk through all of your problems in the organization with a trusted adviser, confidant, or consultant. We spent about 45 minutes first discussing what my client’s problems were. When I realized how many roles he was taking on himself, and what his hiring process was, I could make immediate suggestions for improvement. If you don’t know the problems, you can’t see the forest for the trees. You need to go meta in order to know what to suggest on the ground. We did decide he had at least one of the right jobs open, and that he needed four more open positions. Make sure you do a thorough job analysis of the open jobs. We timeboxed the analysis of a “senior engineer” position to 30 minutes....

Looking for Jobs in the Wrong Places?

I just saw this factoid on Twitter: “Did you know that 62% of jobs are posted to niche job sites? Are you missing out on these job top boards?” from SmartRecruiters. (Thanks, SmartRecruiters!) I had no idea it was that high. They link to Best 50 Niche Job Boards. In addition, look at the comments. There are more places in the comments. If you are a hiring manager, a recruiter, or are having trouble finding a candidate, you need to review these job boards and see if you are posting to the right boards. If you are a candidate, are you looking in the right place? Sure, in a year or two or three, this post will be outdated. That is the way things are on the net. But for now, this is terrific information. Go forth!...