Hiring Technical People

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Do You Hire for Confidence, Comfort or Capability?

Hiring Technical People

In the software industry, we toss around terms such as “Holacracy,” “meritocracy,” and “collaborative environment.” ” We claim to hire for skills. That’s not what I see. I see hiring managers hiring people just like them (mini-me’s), people who went to their schools, make similar life choices, and are roughly the same age. That’s because these people talk the same way. Too many people call this “cultural fit.”

2017 65

Why You Want to Hire Older People

Hiring Technical People

This morning, I read For Economy, Aging Population Poses Double Whammy (registration required). If you don’t read the WSJ, here are some interesting takeaways: On average, every 10% increase in the share of state’s population over the age of 60 reduced per capita growth in gross domestic product by 5.5%. … The authors note: “An older worker’s experience increases not only his own productivity but also the productivity of those who work with him.”

2016 82

Many More Than Five Tips to Combating Ageism in Hiring, Summary

Hiring Technical People

Let me summarize what you can do if you are a person of a certain age—maybe just over 30—and you want to find a job. Prepare for your search in these ways: Look relevant to hiring managers. That means you will do whatever you need to do your resume: Keep the resume to 2 pages or less.

2016 76

Certifications in Hiring, Part 1: A Certificate’s Value

Hiring Technical People

There are a ton of certifications these days. Many demand only that you sit through a 2-day or even 1-week class and then take an exam. Some certifications demand that you prove you have worked in the field for some number of weeks/hours the previous year or so. Most certifications do not demand that you show proof of your successful expertise in action. Let me tell you a story about the last certification exam I attempted.

Differences Between Hiring a Contractor or Consultant

Hiring Technical People

In my session at Agile 2015, ( Agile Hiring: It’s a Team Sport ) one participant asked me if I hire contractors the same way I hire employees. I do. I use the same approaches for reviewing resumes, phone screens, interviews and decisions.

Terrific Question for Assessing Culture in a Job Search

Hiring Technical People

In The One Question You Should Ask About Every New Job , Grant says, Ask people to tell you a story about something that happened at their organization but wouldn’t elsewhere. There are four categories of stories: The human-ness of senior management (or not). Promotion opportunities for anyone. How the organization fires/lays off. The consequences for mistakes. A terrific question for cultural fit. Does this organization make decisions the way you want a potential employer to make decisions?

Five Tips to Combating Ageism in Hiring, Part 2

Hiring Technical People

In Part 1 , I suggested five tips for the “older” job-seeker. In this part, I’ll talk about what you can do to craft your resume. The problem is this: you don’t have to be too old to have ageism happen to you. The older people perceive you to be, the more ageism you will encounter. Those of us over 30 hear all kinds of things: dye your hair, leave dates off your resume, trim your beard, etc. You do need to look put together and relevant.

2016 56

4 Tips for Preparing for a Project or Program Manager Interview

Hiring Technical People

I have a post on this site, Interview Questions for Program Managers. There are a number of comments. Some ask how to answer the questions. Some want more information. Maybe you also read Six Tips for Answering Project and Program Manager Interview Questions or I nterview Questions for Project Managers and want more detail. This is the detail. If you are a project or program manager and you want to know how to answer these questions, do this: Think about your most recent project or program.

2015 69

Five Tips to Combating Ageism in Hiring, Part 3

Hiring Technical People

In Part 1 , I described your job search planning. In Part 2 , I discussed what you can do to help your resume. In this part, I’ll talk about the interview. Any candidate needs to prepare for the interview. If you are worried about ageism, consider these tips for these challenges: Specify your value , first to yourself, and craft interview answers. Your first sale is always to yourself.) Why are you valuable to this organization? Be ready to answer questions about salary and promotions.

2016 55

Negotiating for an Increase in Starting Salary

Hiring Technical People

You have an offer. It’s lower than what you expected. You know that the higher your starting salary in a job, the more money you make over your lifetime. If you get “behind” in your salary, it’s difficult to catch up. How do you know what to ask for and how can you do it? Understand your value. Read Four Tips for Defining Your Value. Now you are prepared to explain it.

An Agile Approach From Job Offer to Start to Success

Hiring Technical People

If you’re a hiring manager, you might think that once you’ve made the offer you’re home free. Not quite. Maybe you think that once your new hire starts, you’re home free.

Offer 75

Five Tips to Hiring a Generalizing Specialist

Hiring Technical People

We talk a lot in agile about generalizing specialists. Scott Ambler has a terrific essay on what a generalizing specialist is: Has one or more technical specialties… Has at least a general knowledge of software development. Has at least a general knowledge of the business domain in which they work. Actively seeks to gain new skills in both their existing specialties as well as in other areas, including both technical and domain areas. From Scott Ambler’s essay, [link] ).

2014 72

Six Tips for Interviewing Scrum Masters, Part 1

Hiring Technical People

People want to know the “secret sauce” for hiring Scrum Masters and agile coaches. I wish it was easy to provide a standard set of questions. Because your agile team is unique, your questions should be different. However, there are some common qualities, preferences, and non-technical skills among Scrum Masters. First, do a job analysis for your Scrum Master. I have met teams who needed an agile project manager because no one was in the same place.

2014 73

Certifications in Hiring, Part 2: Hiring Traps

Hiring Technical People

In Part 1 , I discussed the issue of certification vs. experience. One of the problems in using certifications to discriminate for or against people is that some people might have the experience you want, and might not have the certification paper that represents that experience to you. Here’s an example. I coached a project manager as she was looking for a job several years ago.

Creating a Succession Plan for Your Technical Team

Hiring Technical People

We often think about a succession plan for managers. But, if you’re not thinking about a succession plan for your technical team, you’re falling prey to local shortages , and hiring the same old kinds of people. You’re not getting diverse people. That means you may not be able to create innovative, great products. It also means your people might be stuck. As soon as they can, they might leave.

2014 72

Three Tips for Answering “Tell Me About Yourself”

Hiring Technical People

I’ve said I don’t like the “Tell me About Yourself” question long ago and more recently. It’s not a useful question. But that’s not going to stop interviewers from asking it. Here are my three tips for answer this question. Remember that you are not your degrees or certifications. Remember that you are not your role (project manager, developer, tester, whatever). Remember that you need to articulate your value.

2014 76

Hiring Trap: Don’t Hire Anyone Older Than…

Hiring Technical People

When I was a young developer, my employers were hungry for talent. They hired women, as well as men. Of course, my first employer wanted to know what birth control I used, which was an illegal question at the time. I told them so. Fast forward to the 80′s, when I became a hiring manager. I could not understand why I only received resumes of people younger than I was. (I I was a young manager, in my 30′s.) I told the recruiter, I was open to engineers of all ages.

2014 76

How You Answer Irrelevant Questions in an Interview, Part 3

Hiring Technical People

Back in More Interview Questions Not to Ask, Part 1 , I said that hiring managers and teams should not ask irrelevant questions. Some of you here, and on LinkedIn and Facebook asked, “How do we answer these questions?” ” Here’s how you do it. If someone asks you “Who do you most admire and why?” ” use someone at work. Ground your answer in a work-related answer. You have turned this irrelevant question into a behavior-description answer.

2014 77

When is “Hiring for Culture” Discrimination?

Hiring Technical People

There’s a great post, Please: Stop “Hiring to Cultural Fit” Laura Bergells explains the problems of what she sees when people supposedly hire for cultural fit: They consider for personality first. They consider tech and business skills second. If you read this blog on a regular basis, you are shaking your head in disbelief. That’s not hiring for cultural fit. That’s nuts.

4 More Tips to Answering Project Management Interview Questions About Metrics

Hiring Technical People

Some of you would like to know how to answer questions about the metrics you can gather and discuss when you look for a job as a project or program manager. Here are some tips: Tip 1: Separate the quantitative questions from the qualitative questions. I bet you have qualitative “measures” that you use either by design or by intuition. Here is one of mine. On a non-agile project, I ask the project team when the think the project will be done, each week or two.

2015 59

Hiring for Cultural Fit Slides Posted

Hiring Technical People

I’ve given webinars and talks about hiring for cultural fit for years. A couple of weeks ago, I was in Waterloo/Kitchener, Ontario. When I spoke for Communitech , I updated my talk, Hiring for Cultural Fit. It’s easy to get cultural fit wrong. It’s more difficult to get it right. I hope you enjoy the slides. BTW, if you want the details on how to hire for cultural fit, read Hiring Geeks That Fit. cultural fit HTP culture Hiring Geeks That Fit interview

How to Ask for an Introduction or a Recommendation for a Job on LinkedIn

Hiring Technical People

I have a large LinkedIn network. I have worked hard to build that network. I bet some of you reading this are part of that network! So it’s not surprising that I receive requests from people for introductions or recommendations for a job.

Great Review of Manage Your Job Search

Hiring Technical People

I spoke about hiring for cultural fit at Communitech in Waterloo, CA earlier this year. While I was there, I met another author, Yvonne Chypchar. She wrote a terrific book about knowing your value, Be the Smart Girl: Money and Your Value: Navigating the world of part-time and summer jobs for girls 12 to 17.). Yvonne enjoyed my talk and we emailed each other about our books. She wrote a review of Manage Your Job Search at How to ease the pain of your job search and thrive.

CA 54

What Culture Do You Want in a New Job? Part 1

Hiring Technical People

One of the things I suggest in Manage Your Job Search is to think about your culture when or before you start interviewing. How do you do that? An organization’s culture is made of these three things: What’s okay to talk about? How do you treat people? What do you reward? You can’t just ask these things of yourself. But you can start setting boundaries about what you do want. Set Boundaries About Discussions. Start with your most recent job.

7 Tips to Starting a Job Search

Hiring Technical People

Do you have a resolution to find a new job this year? Check out these tips for a better, streamlined job search. Develop your LinkedIn Profile along with your resume. You need both. You might want to read 7 LinkedIn Profile Tips and Tricks in 2014 That Make a Difference. You cannot afford to ignore LinkedIn. It is just as important as your resume. And, you don’t need the same information in each. You don’t have the room on a resume. You do have the room on LinkedIn.

2015 59

What Does Your Interviewing Reveal About You?

Hiring Technical People

Did you read When Did You Last “Shop” Your Candidate Experience? See the common complaints from candidates: Distracted interviewers. Late or no-show interviewers. Non-job relevant questions. You don’t have to vie for a “Best Place to Work” award or a candidate experience award, or any award at all. You need to be authentic. That’s all. I don’t buy their solutions. (No No surprise there, eh?) In fact, I think their standard interview questions stink.

2014 66

Three Tips to Streamline Your Phone Screens, Part 3

Hiring Technical People

I talked about streamlining your problem statement and your job analysis in Part 1. In Part 2, I talked about streamlining your recruiting. This part is about is about phone screens. Love them or hate them, you have to do them. But how? My client first spent about 10 minutes talking about the company and the position before he asked any questions. I asked him why. “I want to sell people on the company.” ” “That’s very nice of you.

2014 63

We Have Created Our Own Shortage Of People

Hiring Technical People

John Sumser is writing a series of articles about the hiring paradox on HR Examiner. Read the first one, The Hiring Paradox (Skills Gap 1). The gist is this: It takes more time to hire when you have more alternatives. And, boy oh boy, do employers have more alternatives right now.

2012 79

Ask Questions of the Hiring Manager and the Interview Team

Hiring Technical People

In an interview, you have an opportunity to ask questions. Good interviewers will ask What Questions Do You Have For Me? What questions do you ask? It depends where you are in the interview process. First, ask about culture. As a candidate, these are ideal questions to ask in a first-round interview. You may not be able to come right out and ask, “What’s okay to talk about? How do you treat people? What do you reward?”

2012 84

Hire for Cultural Fit: It’s Time to Add Other People, Pt 2

Hiring Technical People

In Hire for Cultural Fit: It’s Time to Add Women, Pt 1 , I wrote about the need to add women to your team, and what you could do. But just hiring women isn’t enough. You need race and age diversity, along with personality diversity to get the best products out of your teams. Back when I was a hiring manager inside organizations in the ’80s and ’90s, I hired developers and testers. I took a hard look at my teams. I saw lots of younger white people.

Hiring Trap: I’ll Wait for the Best Person

Hiring Technical People

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.

2014 59

Certifications in Hiring, Part 3: Hiring Tips

Hiring Technical People

How can you use certifications in your hiring? In Part 1 and Part 2 , I discussed the value of certifications and hiring traps. Let’s see how to be positive about certifications and use them during the hiring process. I’ve already said that a certification might be a sign of perseverance and interest in the field. I think of those as positive qualities for a candidate. I’ve also said that certifications might be shorthand for what you want in a candidate.

Three Ways to Answer “Tell Me Something No One Knows About You”

Hiring Technical People

Hiring managers who haven’t read Hiring Geeks That Fit are now asking another irrelevant question : Tell me something no one else knows about you. Now, in case you aren’t sure, this is an irrelevant question. It doesn’t directly help an interviewer learn how the candidate can perform the work or fit with the team. It doesn’t help the candidate learn about the job. That means it’s irrelevant. However, if you are looking for a job, you can use this question.

2015 53

An Alternative Hiring Candidate Funnel

Hiring Technical People

Here is an alternative funnel, with what I hope is a better sense of proportion and scale. Your comments helped me a lot. Here’s the idea behind the funnel. You have ads that help your candidates screen themselves in or out.

Five Tips to Hiring a Generalizing Specialist

Hiring Technical People

We talk a lot in agile about generalizing specialists. Scott Ambler has a terrific essay on what a generalizing specialist is: Has one or more technical specialties… Has at least a general knowledge of software development. Has at least a general knowledge of the business domain in which they work. Actively seeks to gain new skills in both their existing specialties as well as in other areas, including both technical and domain areas. From Scott Ambler’s essay, [link] ).

2014 54

Do Your Ads Reflect Your Job and Culture?

Hiring Technical People

If you are like many hiring managers I know, you don’t like to write job ads. You find them boring to write. When they are boring to write, many candidates find them boring to read. You don’t have to make your ads boring. Have you read Pradeep Soundararajan’s ad for his VP? Here is his blog post about it, Beating the industry average and hiring smarter people. Go read the ad and return. I’ll wait a minute or two. Watch his video.

Project Culture Reflects Management Culture

Hiring Technical People

I have a post, What’s the Culture on Your Project? that discusses the project issues of the Romney campaign. But there is a deeper issue. If you read the comments in The Romney Campaign was a Consultant Con Job , there is an insightful comment from someone named redcal: who you hire to do the job DEFINES how well you do your job as a manager, especially in an organization as large/complex as a campaign. Now, Romney himself may not have hired the project manager. I suspect not.

Four Tips for Defining Your Value

Hiring Technical People

I say in Manage Your Job Search and Six Tips for Editing Your Resume that you have to fill in the details of your resume. It’s the details that count. Here are three tips that might help: For every line on your resume, what action did you take that added value to the project or organization? Think about it. If you didn’t add value to the project or organization, should that line be there? What are the details that make that line on your resume come alive?

2014 60

Are Your Interview Questions Selling People on Your Organization?

Hiring Technical People

Your interview questions and your auditions should sell people on working for you. It’s that simple. You don’t need to sell people on working for your company. When I teach interviewing , that’s what I teach. And, every single time, my workshop participants roll their eyes and don’t believe me until we start crafting their interview questions. So, what happens when you ask people questions like these: How many golf balls can you fit on a school bus?

2013 71

Networking Traps and Tips Slides Posted

Hiring Technical People

I gave a webinar this past week to the BU Career Connection. We had a great turnout. I have posted my slides: Eight Traps (and Tips) of Networking When Job Searching. The slides are based on Manage Your Job Search. Since I published the book and have given talks about it, I have discovered more traps. I hope you enjoy the slides. HTP job search trap job search job search tip Manage Your Job Search network

2015 48