Monday, November 19, 2007


While doing some research this morning I found a nice article today about recruiting A candidates and the dangers of B candidates. I always am seeking the A candidates, but this really summarizes why I stay away from B Candidates:

B players, on the other hand, are the bad hires. They are good enough that they often get things passably done. They may be sloppy or incomplete, but they always seem to have an external excuse. They are usually likeable enough (you hired them!) but there's something about them. They are the people who won't admit when they don't know something, and won't ask questions for fear of appearing dumb. And they are the people who start politics in the office. Because they can't keep up, because they're not an A player and know it, because they think economics is a "zero sum game", they start breeding discontent and negativity.
He's got another good article on retaining employees as well.


dustpuppy said...

How to retain developers:
- don't give developers repetitive tasks, because they will assume what is expected of them is to computerize those tasks and not do the actual work
- if a developer wants to improve something on their own time, and they are turned down because of political issues, you're setting the example that personal initiative is not welcome
- explain why projects are important, if you can't do that then the project is probably not important
- don't say we lack the budget to put in place new tools when all the required technologies for development teams are available as free software
- people who resist change don't belong in technology
- delegate decisions that affect your programmers the most. As a manager you're not in a position to understand everything that goes on under the hood. Your job is to allocate resources and make sure productivity is optimal.

dustpuppy said...

one more thing:
- recognize that an employee training another is one of the most valuable things that can happen inside your company and encourage that practice
- lower the bar for developers to contribute documentation. Follow the wikipedia model and let anyone contribute docs instead of asking people to justify the existence of this or that piece of documentation

Ok I think I just described everything that I'd like to see at an IT company.. I know some of it is a little unrealistic but I can still dream. said...

I've finally posted a rant about interviewing and hiring processes:

In The Most Important Thing I discussed why employees are a company's most valuable asset. I touched upon the need to hire "A" players, and discussed the need to avoid hiring mistakes. This message has resonated with a lot of people. However, how do you know when you're interviewing an "A" player? Just being selective is no guarantee. Great practices in both recruiting and interviewing are imperative.

Check it out:
Recruitment Culture