Where to start when hiring staff for the first time

I am a team leader in a small development team. In the winter of 2018, one of our strong developers went on maternity leave. And I was faced with the problem of staff recruitment. Previously, I did not have experience in conducting interviews and finding a suitable candidate. All the knowledge that I had at that time was obtained at conferences, meetings, from discussions with colleagues or training courses, which were mainly focused on staff development.

As in any company, we have an HR department that searches for candidates. But unfortunately, in the first months of the search, they did not give us a single candidate for an in-person meeting. At that moment, I got the book “Solve your Problem Number 1. Who” by Jeff Smart, Ridley Street . As they say, having read smart books, I began to write to all my friends with the question:“Do you have a friend whom you could recommend to our team?” I will say right away that I was a little scared / not comfortable when I sent the first messages. But having received adequate answers and even a few recommendations, I realized that this is an effective way and a very good tool.

The book reveals the tools for searching and selecting personnel by the A-method . A-method is to find the person who will strengthen your team. I advise you to definitely read it, including because it contains effective tools. I will highlight only a few key points that I fully share and used to find an employee and work with the team.
“What is your strategy, the product you produce, the services you provide. ... who are the people you trust to do what. ” D.Smart, R. Street
This thesis that made me look at an existing team in a different way:

  • who are these people: as professionals, and as individuals
  • how they interact as a team
  • what and why do I trust them

The team has already experienced stress due to the departure of one person, and now she will have to survive another when we introduce a new person into our work processes. The team will again go through the individual stages of the development cycle. New communications will be formed, new communications will be built. The mentor will have less time to develop for some time. A good report on CodeFest by Roman Kvartalnikov “The problem of scaling a team. About building horizontal connections in a team when adding a new employee” How to grow and not kill the team ":

As a team leader, I really wanted this process to go with less damage and as quickly as possible. Therefore, I looked at each candidate through a prism: how he can strengthen the team and how to fit into it .

To strengthen the team, it is necessary to define and formulate: what tasks the new employee will face and what results are expected from him, what competencies he should possess. In determining competencies, proper instructions / profile and competency matrix will help.

If you are just getting started with this tool, see the report of the c Saint TeamLeadConf 2018 from Iponweb «Competence Matrix as a tool for team lead" .

The matrix of competencies and job description just forms the basis of the list of goals of the employee we are looking for. The following points must be indicated in it:

  1. The main task
  2. Description of Expected Result
  3. Professional quality

This tool can be used not only in the selection of personnel, but also in its development. For example, by connecting an employee to a new project on which he can increase his expertise, you say what the result is and in what time frame you expect from him. What qualities he needs to develop to successfully solve the problem.

At that moment, we could not find an employee with suitable competencies for our vacancy and began to search for June. Finding a junior is like a lottery. I want to believe that after training you will get an effective employee. Therefore, the main criterion for me was the style of thinking and the ability to learn, including self-learning. We watched how he solved test tasks, why he chose this particular method of decision, whether he performed the initial testing, and on what data. What difficulties did you encounter while solving test tasks and how to overcome them. Given the resources that are invested in training a new employee, I do not want to lose a person in a year and a half. To assess this probability, you need to connect HR, and find out how often, and why a person changed previous jobs.

The authors of the book offer a wide range of instrements that can be used in the interview. Together with the HR manager, we found the right person for our team. How successful this experience is will be shown by the end of the trial period, but now you can already see the active position of the new employee and good learning ability, and has already joined the team. A few tips from practice (by the A-method) that helped me cope with the task of selecting an employee for the first time:

  1. Ask your friends, maybe they will help you find exactly that person.
  2. Make a list of goals. Describe what tasks your new employee will have to solve and what result you expect from him. Prepare several options for the list if you will consider future colleagues with different levels of expertise.
  3. Be prepared to let the candidate go, maybe you are not suitable for him. Do not rush to close the vacancy, look for a specialist who can strengthen your team.
  4. Feel free to ask questions about fakapy. Use principle 5 why? Rephrase questions, get to the true reason. You are recruiting a person, not an ideal resume.
  5. Create a checklist with theses / timeline of the conversation that will help you discuss all the issues in the allotted time.
  6. Prepare a brief presentation of your team / department. What you do, what tasks you solve, how the processes work, and what kind of relationships you have in your team.
  7. Keep a confidential atmosphere in the conversation.

Seek and hire people, not resumes. Good luck.

Also popular now: