October 2010
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Hiring Tips That HR Wouldn’t Like

When all of your advisers heave their plastic
At your feet to convince you of your pain
Trying to prove that your conclusions should be more drastic
Won’t you come see me, Queen Jane?
- QUEEN JANE APPROXIMATELY

So I’ve been doing a fair bit of hiring in this year. Turns out that everyone has wildly different ideas about who is a good hire, and who sucks the big one. Let’s get straight to it – here are ten questions. Leave your thoughts in the comments. I’ll share my views (with reasons) once all the important folk have commented. Discussions on the #iwouldhire hashtag please.

Each persona has a nice short name, so you can leave comments in the form of (assuming you went for the first option in every case):
PUSSY,PISSANT,BADGES,EDU,SUIT,PLANNER,LATE,PERFECT,WINNER,FAD

And that’s only 62 characters. So you can tweet it with the hashtag and the link back and everything to give me some lovely, sweet, linky love juice.

1. PUSSY OR LEAPFROG
A solid worker than executes the strategy laid out by upper management
OR
Someone with a critical eye and scientific mind that questions everything, clearing escalating their concerns. If their boss doesn’t listen, they escalate even higher.

2. PISSANT vs PLODDER
The developer that whines about everything, even though they’re less experienced than you, and they’re wrong most of the time
OR
The developer that quietly goes about their business and doesn’t rock the boat

3. BADGES vs SCARS
A solid developer that is certified in every product in your stack
OR
A seasoned developer with excellent track record who has never been certified in anything and has never touched the products in your stack

4. EDU vs EXP
The kid fresh out of college with her three year university degree
OR
The kid that didn’t bother with college and has three years experience

5. SUIT vs SLOB
The well dressed, articulate MBA grad that doesn’t open their mouth in a meeting
OR
The guy that security tries to escort out of the building twice a week that rants and raves in every meeting

6. PLANNER vs REBEL
The dude that submits a well thought out business case for new ideas in the company and requests time and budget to develop them
OR
The dude that doesn’t ask, builds something off-piste without approval, and presents it when it has some substance

7. LATE vs LIE
The guy who was late for the interview
OR
The guy that made some shit up on his CV

8. PERFECT vs POTTYMOUTH
Someone that has a perfectly constructed LinkedIn profile
OR
Someone that has a pretty filthy, off-topic blog

9. WINNER vs LOSER
Talks about many succesful projects in the interview
vs
Talks about numerous disasters in the interview

10. FAD vs SAD
Wants to try the new tech that the kids love on every project, even though they’ve never used it in production
vs
Happy to stick to the tried and tested old stuff, even though it isn’t exactly leading edge

So answers below in the format suggested. A beer if anyone matches 9 out of 10 on my list, and a job if anyone matched all of them (you’ve got a 1 in 1024 chance of guessing that).

Note: While the tips outlined in this post are invaluable, they are in no way endorsed by the HR department of any company I have ever worked for.

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