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How to Hire a Great Developer

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The wrong hire can cost up to 15x their annual salary, and only 14% of leaders are good at making hiring decisions. Learn why traditional interviewing doesn't work, and Praxent's proven 5-Step Process for Hiring A-Players.

Published in: Technology
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How to Hire a Great Developer

  1. 1. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilton Hiring a Great Developer
  2. 2. Your digital advantage Tim Hamilton Founder & CEO Praxent • Web • Mobile • Desktop • IoT Background: Originally from South Africa Studied Economics & MIS at UT Austin Interviewed ~500 since 2009 Hired 50 Software products & platforms for aggressive growth.
  3. 3. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Why talk about hiring? • 50% - 75% of hiring decisions are mistakes according to Brad Smart and Peter Drucker • Only 14% of leaders are good at making hiring decisions • The wrong hire can cost upwards of 15X their annual salary
  4. 4. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon “According to 4,000 studies [and over 15,000 data points] we’ve examined, traditional interviewing is not predictive of job performance.” – Geoff Smart & Randy Street Traditional Interviewing Doesn’t Work
  5. 5. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon SCORECARD (1-2+ hours)1 2 3 5 4 PHONE SCREENING INTERVIEW (30 min) BIOGRAPHICAL INTERVIEW (1-2 hours) FOCUSED INTERVIEW (1-2 hours) REFERENCE CHECK INTERVIEW (10 min per) Five Steps to Hiring A-Players
  6. 6. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilton Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Scorecard • Mission Statement • 3-8 Outcomes (in order) • Competencies • Required Skills • Strengths & Risks Hire the specialist, not the generalist.
  7. 7. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilton Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check “Learning beats knowing in the new world of work.” – Liz Wiseman Scorecard • Cultural fit > skill fit • Learning > knowing
  8. 8. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilton Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Clients First Always Deliver Never Settle Do It Together Own the Outcome Scorecard Built around your culture: core values and brand promise
  9. 9. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilton Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Intellectual • Intelligence • Analysis Skills • Judgment / Decision Making • Conceptual Ability • Creativity • Strategic Skills • Pragmatism • Risk Taking • Leading Edge • Education • Experience Personal • Integrity • Resourcefulness • Organization / Planning • Excellence • Independence • Stress Management • Self-Awareness • Adaptability • First Impression • Self Confidence Interpersonal • Likability • Persuasion • Assertiveness • Communications – Oral • Communication – Written • Political Savvy • Team Player • Interpersonal Awareness Behavioral Competencies Motivational • Energy • Passion • Ambition • Compatibility of Needs • Balance in Life • Tenacity Management • Selecting A Players • Training / Development • Goal Setting • Empowerment • Accountability • Redeploying B/C Players • Team Building • Diversity • Running Meetings
  10. 10. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilton Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Envision: What would a resounding success look like after 12 months? Sample scorecard
  11. 11. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Phone screening interview • Filter out non-fit candidates • 20 min for your questions, 10 min for theirs • 15-30-minutes total • Trust your gut
  12. 12. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check What are your career goals? • Candidate goes first so you don’t influence their response • Look for authenticity, not a regurgitation of content from your site • Do their passions and energy align with your company • Are you looking for a manager or individual contributor? What are they looking for?
  13. 13. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check What are you really good at? • Look for at least 5 to start but • Push for 8-12 so you can build a complete picture of their aptitude • Technical strengths or personal strengths? • Get examples to put strengths into context • Look for strengths that match your scorecard
  14. 14. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check What are you not good at or not interested in? • Push for real weaknesses • Say “that sounds like a strength to me” if you get cookie-cutter responses • Look for 5-8 weaknesses • How much self-awareness do you need in the ideal candidate?
  15. 15. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Who were your last five bosses and how they rate your performance? • Threat of Reference Check (TORC) ask “when” not “if” • Ask for the spelling; this unlocks the truth • Ask for details. “Why a 7?” • 8’s, 9’s, 10’s positive, • 7’s neutral • 6 and below are bad • What about the current boss?
  16. 16. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check What are your salary expectations? • Are we in the same ballpark? • Remember: this step is all about saving time by selecting the candidates you’ll move to the next step
  17. 17. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Do you have any questions for me? • Look out for me-centered questions first. • What would the ideal candidate ask about the company? About the role? • The questions they ask are as telling as their answers.
  18. 18. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Kicking off the phone screen • 20 min for me, 10 min for you • Permission to be candid? • Don’t overshare before you ask the first question
  19. 19. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Getting curious with dig deeper questions • What, How and Tell me more • What did you do? • How did you feel? • What happened next?
  20. 20. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Biographical interview • 1-2 hours long • Face to face or video • Uncover patterns of the candidate’s career history • 15 years worth • Look for facts and stories not hypotheses • Old habits die hard • Curiosity > judgment
  21. 21. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check What accomplishments are you most proud of? • Outcomes > activities or learnings • Do they line up with what they were hired to do? • Alignment with your scorecard?
  22. 22. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Real Example: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  23. 23. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check What were some low points? • Could their frustrations from the past recur in the future? • Do they externalize blame? • Do they talk negatively about others?
  24. 24. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Who were the people you worked with? What was it like working together? • Do they talk negatively about others? • What kind of leadership do they thrive under? • What kind of leadership do they struggle under? • Do they give credit or take credit?
  25. 25. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check What will you boss tell me were your strengths & areas for improvement? • Do the strengths map to your outcomes and competencies? • Are the weaknesses create significant risks?
  26. 26. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Why did you leave that job? Caution: if they are thinking of leaving their current job because of money (or other hygiene factor) and they are an “A- player” they will likely stay when their current manager gives them a counter-offer.
  27. 27. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Focused interview • Competency- based questions • Focused on the scorecard • Still focused on the past http://bit.ly/2a2eopd
  28. 28. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Scorecard: Strengths & Risks
  29. 29. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Scorecard Phone Screen Bio Interview Focused Interview Reference Check Reference checking interview • 10-minutes per reference • Listen for what they are not saying
  30. 30. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Demo
  31. 31. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Q&A • How to work with recruiters to source candidates? • How to stay engaged with A-players in a hectic market like Austin? • Thoughts on benefits and retention?
  32. 32. Your digital advantage tim@praxent.com | @TimMarkHamilon Thank you! Slides available at: http://bit.ly/2azSlHo

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