Recruitment as a Window onto a Company's Soul

As I twittered this morning I've been suffering with blog writers block. I have plenty of things I could be blogging but I'm having trouble extending those ideas into decent posts. I recently moved house and I have a new (shorter) commute so I'm going to try and use those half hours to blog something, assisted by the offline features of the Wordpress iPhone application. So maybe there won't be many links. That's a source of discomfort for me because I started blogging back in 1999 when a weblog was a journal and commentary on great links the author had found. As a result I tend to judge blog posts by the number of new links they give me, and the opportunities for further discovery.

Tonight’s post is inspired by a conversation I had today with Michael, one of our senior Platform developers. Michael joined in response to my post a few months ago (we still have openings available hint hint) and we were talking about the recruitment process. He said a good way to judge a company is by how they interview and hire people. I thought back a bit to some of the interviews I’ve experienced on the past and found myself enthusiastically agreeing.

If you’re going for an interview I think you can tell an awful lot about a company’s attitude towards its staff. Sloppy, disorganised interviews invariably mean the company is a complete mess. Conversely regimented interviews often result in a dose of severe timeboxing.

Companies that use only a single interview clearly aren’t looking to hire a person with any character. Mediocrity is the order of the day. Similarly I suspect that those who insist on grading candidates with 30 question quizzes would be most satisfied with an automaton who never makes mistakes but can mechanise the development process as well as they’ve mechanised the recruitment process.

In short if you have a bad interview experience then you’re probably going to be very unhappy there. And companies that interview poorly end up with the employees they deserve.

(btw my plan failed - I couldn’t complete this post in the 30 minute commute and had to finish it at home!)


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