Hire Junior Employees; Think Harder About Contractors

In the comments to Why Hire Junior Contractors?, one of my recruiter colleagues, MN Headhunter, asked a great question:

…if we do not hire junior developers how they gain the experience to be a senior developer?

I was not clear enough in my original post. I believe in hiring a diverse team, especially in diversity of experience, and diversity of personality type. That includes junior developers (and testers and analysts and whatever other kinds of roles you need for your team). I encourage you to make that kind of diversity part of your hiring strategy.

Junior staff have a lot of possibilities to offer your team, which is why it’s worth hiring them: energy, a willingness to tackle any kind of work, maybe some ideas you haven’t considered, and more than I can think of right now.

But they do require training, which is why hiring a junior employee makes sense. To me, hiring a contractor as an extra pair of hands, when those hands need to be trained, doesn’t make much sense. But hiring employees–especially junior staff whom you can grow–that makes a lot of sense.

4 Replies to “Hire Junior Employees; Think Harder About Contractors”

  1. What if you are running a contracting company? I find it challenging to hire and develop junior people for precisely the reasons you outline. Many of my customers do not want to pay for junior staff to be part of the team, as they only want to select the most experienced crew.

  2. An apology for not getting the distinction, I should have recognized it.

    I am quick to snap on this issue as here in Minneapolis the hardest spot to fill is any skill with 3-5 years of experience.

    This coincides with the dot com bubble burst, fewer college kids in the classroom, and when companies cut/eliminated intern programs and they wonder why the lack of candidates.

    I often wonder with the offshoring of work and usually what is “entry level” work if we are repeating history.

  3. Hey,
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