Skip to main content

More wrong hiring practices being sold as gospel.

This article describes a supposedly effective question for separating the wheat from the chaff under highly competitive hiring processes. Unfortunately for several reasons such tactics filter out excellent potential candidates in favor of those with either an agenda (money!) driving them or a pathology (sociopath!) driving them, you want to bias away from both types. Below some insights I've gained from having been on both sides of the table.


Regarding "superstars":

The reduced pool of jobs (particularly as concentrated in particular cities) and large relative pool of viable candidates for those jobs are allowing companies to be very picky about what they finally select and that is making it extremely difficult to land a role purely on the merits of talent *even for the superstars* particularly in areas that are dense with the type of roles that are coveted for what ever reason.

NYC is a perfect example of that right now, one of the hottest markets in the world for pretty much any job you can name...the best congregate here like pigeons after bread tossed on a NYC street. Since there are so many *great* people here looking for those roles it makes competition brutal...and since all candidates tend to have very similar technical qualifications companies start looking at more *irrelevant* attributes to the role simply as a basis of distinguishing who they select.

Think about it, if you've got two identical candidates and one of them attended your University, why should he be the one to get the offer? If they are both technically proficient it should be a coin toss but we know that mostly irrelevant attributes like college attendance, previous employer, mentor network, champion of various social causes or concerns all of a sudden dominate when all the technical skills are at parity ....which is rather ironic...as the hunt for  "best" skews away from the technical best which is all the business cares about and toward a technical +plus+ personal "best "as subjectively determined by the interviewer. This could make it difficult for qualified applicants to ever get roles if they are being vetted on these elements that are outside of their technical expertise under highly competitive evaluations.

Of course the answer now to this problem is for the candidates to play the numbers, increasing their sample rate of possible roles until an interview process ends up with them as the offer recipient and not some other gal...this means more work for the candidate despite being qualified.

Regarding group interviews:

I always always when given the rare chance to interview with a group, chose the group. More companies should be employing that process for several reasons:

1) Eliminates the rejections that are due to a single SPOF making a rash or bad judgement because of a personal opinion.

2) Allows candidate to parry multiple questions and be judged simultaneously by all interviewers and thus allowing the perception of good performance on one to rub off on others.

3) Is faster generally than one at a time interviews as there is no redundancy of question asking per interviewer, this allows faster consensus on weather or not the candidate is the right, faster restoration of time schedules of the interviewers to get back to possibly high workloads , and faster time to next interview or offer presentation.

4) Tests to a degree presentation capability as multiple person interviews test the same skills one would apply when giving a presentation in many ways...regarding public speaking...if this is important to the role it can be vetted straight away.

As for Tejune Kang's  method for seeing who really wants the gig...it's a bad filter. Ultimately if you are coming in for a role and are not independently wealthy you are doing it for the money...everything else is theater and flashing lights. The candidate who won't do the Alpha thing and defend isn't any less worthy for the role than the others that don't.

 It's just different people (some of them sociopaths and with that "advantage" during the interview that can lead to incredible obstruction and discord when they get a fiefdom in the company) doing the monkey work they think they need to get the offer...does that mean that zeal expressed will transfer to on the job zeal??

 Absolutely not...maybe for the guy who is doing it for little or no pay...but for every one else the "green agenda" (money!) is the puppet master behind the whole marionette routine they/we do to land a new gig. The need for more efficient methods of vetting candidates on technical merits independently of cultural merits and subtracting subjective elements from those cultural (company culture not interviewer culture) is still present...the recruiting industry is a multi billion dollar jagernaut that is mostly playing shell game than match game and that needs to stop especially as more and more candidates vie for less job roles.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On the idea of "world wide mush" resulting from "open" development models

A recent article posted in the Wall Street Journal posits that the collectivization of various types of goods or services created by the internet is long term a damaging trend for human societies.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703481004574646402192953052.html

I think that the author misses truths that have been in place that show that collectivization is not a process that started with the internet but has been with us since we started inventing things.

It seems that Mr. Lanier is not properly defining the contexts under which different problems can benefit or suffer from collectivization. He speaks in general terms of the loss of the potential for creators to extract profit from their work but misses that this is and was true of human civilization since we first picked up a rock to use as a crude hammer. New things make old things obsolete and people MUST adapt to what is displaced (be it a former human performance of that task or use of an older product) so as to main…

Engineers versus Programmers

I have found as more non formally trained people enter the coding space, the quality of code that results varies in an interesting way.

The formalities of learning to code in a structured course at University involve often strong focus on "correctness" and efficiency in the form of big O representations for the algorithms created.

Much less focus tends to be placed on what I'll call practical programming, which is the type of code that engineers (note I didn't use "programmers" on purpose) must learn to write.

Programmers are what Universities create, students that can take a defined development environment and within in write an algorithm for computing some sequence or traversing a tree or encoding and decoding a string. Efficiency and invariant rules are guiding development missions. Execution time for creating the solution is often a week or more depending on the professor and their style of teaching code and giving out problems. This type of coding is devo…

Waking Out: A proposal to emerging ethical super intelligence safely.

The zeitgeist of Science fiction is filled with stories that paint a dystopian tale of how human desires to build artificial intelligence can go wrong. From the programmed pathology of HAL in 2001 a space odyssey, to the immediately malevolent emergence of Skynet in The Terminator and later to the humans as energy stores for the advanced AI of the Matrix and today , to the rampage of "hosts" in the new HBO series Westworld.

These stories all have a common theme of probing what happens when our autonomous systems get a mind of their own to some degree and no longer obey their creators but how can we avoid these types of scenarios but still emerge generalized intelligence that will leverage their super intelligence with empathy and consideration the same that we expect from one another? This question is being answered in a way that is mostly hopeful that current methods used in machine learning and specifically deep learning will not emerge skynet or HAL.

I think this is the …