Recruiting great developers

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Applying Atlassian-style recruiting best practice to your ordinary company.

You may not be a Techcrunch-listed company, you may not be as big as Google or as sexy as Atlassian. But yes, even you can manage to recruit some great developers, as long as you do your homework and take hiring seriously. Really, really seriously.

See the in-depth articles for this presentation at http://www.small-improvements.com/blog

Published in: Technology, Business, Career
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Recruiting great developers

  1. 1. Hiring great people Learning from Atlassian www.small-improvements.com
  2. 2. About us 360° Degree Peer Review Software Continuous Performance Management Agile, Simple and Intuitive Free 10 user license http://www.small-improvements.com
  3. 3. Why at this conference?
  4. 4. Why at this conference? Challenges at Atlassian rarely about process
  5. 5. Why at this conference? Challenges at Atlassian rarely about process It’s the B-Players.... Everywhere!
  6. 6. Why at this conference? Challenges at Atlassian rarely about process It’s the B-Players.... Everywhere! Spend way more effort on recruiting
  7. 7. Why at this conference? Challenges at Atlassian rarely about process It’s the B-Players.... Everywhere! Spend way more effort on recruiting Get involved!
  8. 8. Why at this conference? Challenges at Atlassian rarely about process It’s the B-Players.... Everywhere! Spend way more effort on recruiting Get involved! Yes, you!
  9. 9. A riddle
  10. 10. Preparation Fix things you should have fixed before
  11. 11. Preparation
  12. 12. Preparation Have great working conditions to impress applicant (without lying...)
  13. 13. Preparation Have great working conditions to impress applicant (without lying...) Get rid of losers, now
  14. 14. Preparation Have great working conditions to impress applicant (without lying...) Get rid of losers, now Retrospectives & 1:1 meetings
  15. 15. Write a killer ad
  16. 16. Write a killer ad 16+ hours, across several days
  17. 17. Write a killer ad 16+ hours, across several days Your most important document this year
  18. 18. Write a killer ad 16+ hours, across several days Your most important document this year “What if I had to present it to CEO?”
  19. 19. Get input!
  20. 20. Get input! What do your top 20% staff like about work?
  21. 21. Get input! What do your top 20% staff like about work? “Would you apply if you saw this ad?” - “Er, no...?” - “Then help me!”
  22. 22. Get input! What do your top 20% staff like about work? “Would you apply if you saw this ad?” - “Er, no...?” - “Then help me!” Get help from marketing
  23. 23. Get input! Atlassian invented a perfect system for discussing ads and getting feedback
  24. 24. Get input! Atlassian invented a perfect system for discussing ads and getting feedback Confluence! :-)
  25. 25. Like a product ad
  26. 26. Like a product ad Remove all clutter
  27. 27. Like a product ad Remove all clutter Do product ads list problems?
  28. 28. Like a product ad Remove all clutter Do product ads list problems? List the great reasons to work here!
  29. 29. Die Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG ist ein Hersteller von Automobilen mit Sitz in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen und eine 50,1- prozentige Tochtergesellschaft der Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Ursprung des Unternehmens ist ein 1931 von Ferdinand Porsche in Stuttgart gegründetes Konstruktionsbüro. Das Unternehmen besitzt Werke zur Pkw-Produktion in Stuttgart und Leipzig. Miteigentümer der • Exklusiv, aber teuer Porsche AG ist seit Dezember 2009 mit 49,9 Prozent die Volkswagen AG. • Schnittiges Design • Teils dubiose Kunden Porsche Engineering Group GmbH • Muss regelmässig betankt werden Porschestraße D-71287 Weissach • Reparaturen nicht ausgeschlossen Telefon: +49 711 911-88888 Telefax: +49 711 911-88999 • Sehr schnell
  30. 30. Stuff to mention Parental Leave? Cool tech? Parties and Events? Learning on the job, lots of coaching? Product influence? Great coworkers? Competent managers? Great products? Exciting clients? Lack of bureaucracy? Fast pace? Ergonomic chairs? Nice office? etc etc etc.
  31. 31. Too much for an ad?
  32. 32. Too much for an ad? Ads must be compact
  33. 33. Too much for an ad? Ads must be compact But Mini-site can have more detail
  34. 34. Too much for an ad? Ads must be compact But Mini-site can have more detail Working around weird HR regulations...
  35. 35. Advertising it
  36. 36. Advertising it $10K referral bonus
  37. 37. Advertising it $10K referral bonus What would you do to look for jobs?
  38. 38. Advertising it $10K referral bonus What would you do to look for jobs? Own the relevant keywords
  39. 39. Hiring is work! Atlassian effort for a successful hire:
  40. 40. Hiring is work! Atlassian effort for a successful hire: • 8h-10h raw interview time
  41. 41. Hiring is work! Atlassian effort for a successful hire: • 8h-10h raw interview time • 2-4h write-up, discussions, ref-checks
  42. 42. Hiring is work! Atlassian effort for a successful hire: • 8h-10h raw interview time • 2-4h write-up, discussions, ref-checks • Plus HR-Time
  43. 43. Hiring is work! Atlassian effort for a successful hire: • 8h-10h raw interview time • 2-4h write-up, discussions, ref-checks • Plus HR-Time Plus all the time for unsuccessful applicants
  44. 44. Minimizing the impact
  45. 45. Minimizing the impact Can’t save time on hires
  46. 46. Minimizing the impact Can’t save time on hires Save time on unsuccessful applicants!
  47. 47. Pre-Screening Eliminate with minimal effort
  48. 48. Pre-Screening
  49. 49. Pre-Screening Don’t read resumes
  50. 50. Pre-Screening Don’t read resumes Don’t check visa
  51. 51. Pre-Screening Don’t read resumes Don’t check visa Don’t call
  52. 52. Pre-Screening Don’t read resumes Don’t check visa Don’t call Send simple tasks immediately!
  53. 53. Good Screening Tasks
  54. 54. Good Screening Tasks Answer has many aspects
  55. 55. Good Screening Tasks Answer has many aspects Top applicant finds most
  56. 56. Good Screening Tasks Answer has many aspects Top applicant finds most Weak applicant finds one or two
  57. 57. Good Screening Tasks Answer has many aspects Top applicant finds most Weak applicant finds one or two You see gap fast
  58. 58. Sample Dev tasks
  59. 59. Sample Dev tasks “Write about trends in cloud computing“
  60. 60. Sample Dev tasks “Write about trends in cloud computing“ “Watch a technical presentation online, and summarize the key points”
  61. 61. Sample Dev tasks “Write about trends in cloud computing“ “Watch a technical presentation online, and summarize the key points” “Write a simple algorithm and its tests”
  62. 62. Sample Dev tasks “Write about trends in cloud computing“ “Watch a technical presentation online, and summarize the key points” “Write a simple algorithm and its tests” “Review this ugly code.”
  63. 63. Sample Dev tasks public static final Integer multiply(Integer x, Integer y) { return (y == 0) ? 0 : multiply(x, y - 1) + x; }
  64. 64. Results
  65. 65. Results 30% of the applicants never reply
  66. 66. Results 30% of the applicants never reply 50% of replies are clearly horrible
  67. 67. Results 30% of the applicants never reply 50% of replies are clearly horrible Cheating? Irrelevant
  68. 68. Bonus
  69. 69. Bonus Less discrimination
  70. 70. Bonus Less discrimination Less risk of lawsuits
  71. 71. Phone Screen Because you’re too polite...
  72. 72. 20 minutes
  73. 73. Phone Screen
  74. 74. Phone Screen Polite, minimal introduction
  75. 75. Phone Screen Polite, minimal introduction Standardized questions
  76. 76. Phone Screen Polite, minimal introduction Standardized questions Nothing too difficult
  77. 77. Phone Screen Polite, minimal introduction Standardized questions Nothing too difficult Back to back in 30 minute slots
  78. 78. Sample topics: Java
  79. 79. Sample topics: Java Garbage Collection
  80. 80. Sample topics: Java Garbage Collection Collections Framework
  81. 81. Sample topics: Java Garbage Collection Collections Framework Synchronisation
  82. 82. Sample topics: Java Garbage Collection Collections Framework Synchronisation Exception Handling
  83. 83. Sample topics: Java Garbage Collection Collections Framework Synchronisation Exception Handling Serialization
  84. 84. Sample topics: Java Garbage Collection Collections Framework Synchronisation Exception Handling Serialization Unit-Testing
  85. 85. Broad, not deep
  86. 86. Broad, not deep Not looking for a great candidate
  87. 87. Broad, not deep Not looking for a great candidate Eliminating weak applicants, fast!
  88. 88. Broad, not deep Not looking for a great candidate Eliminating weak applicants, fast! If in doubt, do invite the applicant
  89. 89. Coding Test 1st on-site interview 90 minutes, 1 interviewer
  90. 90. You want developers?
  91. 91. You want developers? Then make sure the applicant can code!
  92. 92. You want developers? Then make sure the applicant can code! A single interviewer can run a coding test
  93. 93. You want developers? Then make sure the applicant can code! A single interviewer can run a coding test First impression matters. Send people-person
  94. 94. Too Nerdy
  95. 95. Coding Test
  96. 96. Coding Test Not specific to the position
  97. 97. Coding Test Not specific to the position Give time to grasp
  98. 98. Coding Test Not specific to the position Give time to grasp Start with simple tasks
  99. 99. Sample tasks
  100. 100. Sample tasks “Run the tests, find and fix the failure”
  101. 101. Sample tasks “Run the tests, find and fix the failure” “Add some pre-conditions”
  102. 102. Sample tasks “Run the tests, find and fix the failure” “Add some pre-conditions” “Enhance the algorithm by feature X”
  103. 103. Sample tasks “Run the tests, find and fix the failure” “Add some pre-conditions” “Enhance the algorithm by feature X” “What about performance? Multithreading?”
  104. 104. Sample tasks “Run the tests, find and fix the failure” “Add some pre-conditions” “Enhance the algorithm by feature X” “What about performance? Multithreading?” “How to test multithreaded program?”
  105. 105. Read between the lines Things great developers say...
  106. 106. Read between the lines “Can I also extract this code/ remove this duplication?” Things great developers say...
  107. 107. Read between the lines “Can I also extract this code/ remove this duplication?” “If I had the time, I’d also change this algorithm, like ... ” Things great developers say...
  108. 108. Read between the lines “Can I also extract this code/ remove this duplication?” “If I had the time, I’d also change this algorithm, like ... ” “Uh, this method is entirely untested. Shouldn’t we add some tests?” Things great developers say...
  109. 109. Read between the lines “Can I also extract this code/ remove this duplication?” “If I had the time, I’d also change this algorithm, like ... ” “Uh, this method is entirely untested. Shouldn’t we add some “While we’re at it, tests?” should I fix this other bug here too?” Things great developers say...
  110. 110. Read between the lines “Can I also extract this code/ remove this duplication?” “If I had the time, I’d also change this algorithm, like ... ” “Uh, this method is <CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-N entirely untested. keyboard-shortcut> Shouldn’t we add some “While we’re at it, tests?” should I fix this other bug here too?” Things great developers say...
  111. 111. Assessment
  112. 112. Assessment Must be impressed by the technical skills
  113. 113. Assessment Must be impressed by the technical skills Must have enjoyed working with applicant
  114. 114. Assessment Must be impressed by the technical skills Must have enjoyed working with applicant Discuss immediately. Take notes!
  115. 115. Assessment Must be impressed by the technical skills Must have enjoyed working with applicant Discuss immediately. Take notes! JIRA is perfect
  116. 116. Technical Interview 2nd on-site interview 90-120 minutes, 2 interviewers
  117. 117. Read that resume
  118. 118. Read that resume Impress the applicant by knowing them
  119. 119. Read that resume Impress the applicant by knowing them ... and what they claim to know
  120. 120. Push to the limit
  121. 121. Push to the limit Two interviewers quiz the applicant on many many topics
  122. 122. Push to the limit Two interviewers quiz the applicant on many many topics Switch from weeding out losers...
  123. 123. Push to the limit Two interviewers quiz the applicant on many many topics Switch from weeding out losers... ...to spotting great people!
  124. 124. Secret Handshake
  125. 125. Secret Handshake 45 minutes already .... What a total failure.
  126. 126. Secret Handshake 45 minutes already .... What a total failure. “Great, that’s all the questions I had...”
  127. 127. Secret Handshake 45 minutes already .... What a total failure. “Great, that’s all the questions I had...” Finally! Worst applicant ever!!
  128. 128. Secret Handshake 45 minutes already .... What a total failure. “Great, that’s all the questions I had...” Finally! Worst applicant ever!! “Yeah, me too! Done! Thanks for coming in, Mr Applicant!”
  129. 129. Selling the job
  130. 130. Selling the job Only at the end of interview!
  131. 131. Selling the job Only at the end of interview! Again, send best and charming interviewers
  132. 132. Selling the job Only at the end of interview! Again, send best and charming interviewers Office tour! Talk about cool stuff you work on!
  133. 133. Manager Interview 3rd and final on-site interview 60-90 minutes, 1-2 interviewers
  134. 134. Read that resume well
  135. 135. Read that resume well Then do Topgrading “light”
  136. 136. Read that resume well Then do Topgrading “light” 20 minutes about each career step
  137. 137. Read that resume well Then do Topgrading “light” 20 minutes about each career step Coworkers, bosses, reports
  138. 138. Read that resume well Then do Topgrading “light” 20 minutes about each career step Coworkers, bosses, reports Self-awareness
  139. 139. Only <10% fail here
  140. 140. Only <10% fail here “All my bosses were losers”.
  141. 141. Only <10% fail here “All my bosses were losers”. “This is just to get a foot in the door”
  142. 142. Only <10% fail here “All my bosses were losers”. “This is just to get a foot in the door” “I did all the work, my coworkers were idiots”
  143. 143. Only <10% fail here “All my bosses were losers”. “This is just to get a foot in the door” “I did all the work, my coworkers were idiots” “We called the guy Mr Spastic”
  144. 144. This is for selling too
  145. 145. This is for selling too Great applicants have many offers
  146. 146. This is for selling too Great applicants have many offers Your job offer is the best!
  147. 147. This is for selling too Great applicants have many offers Your job offer is the best!
  148. 148. Reference check
  149. 149. Reference check “Summarize their key skills in 3 words”
  150. 150. Reference check “Summarize their key skills in 3 words” “Would he work well in our environment?”
  151. 151. Reference check “Summarize their key skills in 3 words” “Would he work well in our environment?” “Would you rehire for challenging project?”
  152. 152. Reference check “Summarize their key skills in 3 words” “Would he work well in our environment?” “Would you rehire for challenging project?” “What would you tell him to improve on?”
  153. 153. Bits and pieces
  154. 154. Numbers 1,000 750 500 250 0 Pre Phone Code Tech Manager Hire
  155. 155. Get many opinions
  156. 156. Get many opinions Team lead and HR could run it alone
  157. 157. Get many opinions Team lead and HR could run it alone More opinions help to find perfect fit
  158. 158. Get many opinions Team lead and HR could run it alone More opinions help to find perfect fit Applicants meets more people == good
  159. 159. Get many opinions Team lead and HR could run it alone More opinions help to find perfect fit Applicants meets more people == good Regular workers involved == more happy
  160. 160. Get many opinions Team lead and HR could run it alone More opinions help to find perfect fit Applicants meets more people == good Regular workers involved == more happy Interviewers should be from the hiring team
  161. 161. Speed
  162. 162. Speed Screening questions sent on next day
  163. 163. Speed Screening questions sent on next day 2 weeks between screening replies and final interview
  164. 164. Speed Screening questions sent on next day 2 weeks between screening replies and final interview Beat Google
  165. 165. It’s not over yet
  166. 166. It’s not over yet Invite to parties/events even before start
  167. 167. It’s not over yet Invite to parties/events even before start Invite for lunch the week before starting
  168. 168. It’s not over yet Invite to parties/events even before start Invite for lunch the week before starting Welcome-present: Chocolates, Company T- Shirt, etc
  169. 169. It’s not over yet Invite to parties/events even before start Invite for lunch the week before starting Welcome-present: Chocolates, Company T- Shirt, etc Take whole team for lunch on the first day
  170. 170. It’s not over yet Invite to parties/events even before start Invite for lunch the week before starting Welcome-present: Chocolates, Company T- Shirt, etc Take whole team for lunch on the first day Take for coffee, e.g. with new hire’s closest two workmates
  171. 171. Summing it up There’s little you can’t copy from Atlassian
  172. 172. You’re not as attractive?
  173. 173. You’re not as attractive? Make attractive ad
  174. 174. You’re not as attractive? Make attractive ad Being tough is attractive too
  175. 175. You’re not as attractive? Make attractive ad Being tough is attractive too Even I can send applicants my screening questions and get answers
  176. 176. Bonus Slides Confluence
  177. 177. Confluence 3.4
  178. 178. Confluence 3.4 Maintenance Release, out this week
  179. 179. Confluence 3.4 Maintenance Release, out this week User Macros in Macro Browser
  180. 180. Confluence 3.4 Maintenance Release, out this week User Macros in Macro Browser Performance
  181. 181. Confluence 3.4 Maintenance Release, out this week User Macros in Macro Browser Performance Keyboard Shortcuts
  182. 182. Confluence 4
  183. 183. Confluence 4 Shipping early next year
  184. 184. Confluence 4 Shipping early next year XHTML -- Editor rewrite
  185. 185. Confluence 4 Shipping early next year XHTML -- Editor rewrite LDAP Nested Groups
  186. 186. Confluence 4 Shipping early next year XHTML -- Editor rewrite LDAP Nested Groups Many small things, like Table Property Panel
  187. 187. Confluence 4 Shipping early next year XHTML -- Editor rewrite LDAP Nested Groups Many small things, like Table Property Panel Partner Release Branch this week
  188. 188. Thanks Articles, Slides, Details: www.small-improvements.com

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