We all know the importance of having the right people in the projects. We also know that it’s always a challenge to get the right people in the right time.
Tom Demarco, in his famous book Peopleware has given the example of hiring a juggler. It would be ludicrous to think of hiring a juggler without first seeing him perform. That’s just common sense.
Fit this with current trend: Ask the Candidate to solve a problem (write code).
The truth about interviews is that they are only as good as the person conducting them.
As a hiring manager, look for self-sufficiency. People may write code, but also ensure whether they are self-sufficient. If they are not, you may solve the current problem of hiring people, but eventually after 6 months you will have problems raised by your customers. Self-sufficiency is a subjective word. Only you as a hiring manager can decide what the scale against you is are going to evaluate this. Can we generalize this? IMHO NO.
What if I do not look for this? I am sure; we all know what it means by drag factor and how it affects the flow of others. Eventually you will have problems with delivery. Delivery directly relates to Customer Satisfaction. Customer Satisfaction directly relates to the Business Growth (Most of the times, if they have money).
When you have people who are not only good at what they do, but like it, productivity soars.Carefully filling a position with the right person also improves employee retention.
Every Organization wants to be a High Performing Organization. You need High Performing Teams to become a High Performing Organization. To build High Performing Teams, you need High Performing Individuals
- Are very clear on where they want to be and the measures of success
- Know where they have come from and respect their past
- Understand where they are now and where they stand against their competitors
- Have clear and realistic objectives
- Share a sense of purpose
- Create an open atmosphere
- Regularly and objectively review progress
- Build on their experiences
- Work through difficult times together
- Feel valued and respected
- Know what is required of them at work
- Have the tools and resources to do their jobs well
- Know how what they do helps the organization to be successful
- Are nurtured and developed
Reference: Achieving High Performance (Essential Managers Series)
Now, if you look at the root of everything, you need good people. IT REQUIRES A VERY HIGH LEVEL OF ENERGY AND DETERMINATION TO DO THIS.
Some suggestions on building the right hiring process
- Assess the vacancy/Position what you are looking for
- Translate the information and get the right Job Description.
- Be realistic about the skills and attributes you seek
- Interview at least 3 times and include at least 3-5 people for interviews
- Focus on the future.
- Implement a follow-up success measurement
- Evaluate the process once in 6 months
Reference: Best HR Practices in 2008
Now lets us look at the scalability part.
We all know that how difficult it is to get good/right people in the right time (War for Talent). We may agree to all this, but in reality we also need business. If we do not have people to fill our billable positions, we are losing the business. It’s a very competitive environment and an organization cannot scale.
How to bridge this? Some of my thoughts
- Look for the good resources continuously whether you have open positions or not. IMHO, Just in time hiring may work for IT Giants, not for everyone.
- Hire the good people whenever you find them. They may have to be non-billable for some time, but with good people you will always find the projects and eventually give you the results. Work to get your management’s support.
- Do not panic. if you do not have projects for 3 months, do not start sending them home. It’s going to have a direct impact on the organization’s reputation. We Indians are not used to the word FIRING. Even today, I get the question about Job Security in most of the interviews.
- Face the tough times and Prepare for the better future. There could be a drought period. Use this as an opportunity to train people with the skill sets you want to focus in the next 6 months to 1 year. Redo a project which you have done few years back with the latest technology. Eventually you need some kind of work to demonstrate the skill to get a new project.
- Finally, we can build HPO’s only with good people. It’s an investment for tomorrow.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. J