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Re: How to hire without technical knowledge

by cjf (Parson)
on Jul 05, 2002 at 15:47 UTC ( #179665=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Bootstrapping Techies (or how to hire without technical knowledge)

find your staff in conjunction with the consultant "expert" who can make recommendations, review resumes, and sit-in on interviews.

This is very good advice. I know of many businesses and non-profit groups that have used it quite successfully. There are a couple things to look out for though:

  • Is the consultant competent? The risk of hiring an incompetent consultant can be minimized by asking around as you suggested. Just make sure you don't assume too much about their skills (well $associate said he's great at Perl, so he must be capable of evaluating applicants for a Java programming position).
  • Is the consultant biased? If he's evaluating your applicants you don't want him selecting a candidate based on anything other than how good they'd do the job. This is hard to detect and mostly just comes back to the consultant's reputation.

You could also consider hiring the employee on a contract basis at first, seeing how they perform, and then choose whether or not to hire them full-time afterwards.

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Re: Re: How to hire without technical knowledge
by sedhed (Scribe) on Jul 06, 2002 at 00:26 UTC

    I have personal experience with the consultant-bias concept. In my case, the company was a small one with no real computer staff, and was looking for their first full-time SA. They had been working with a local consultant for some time, and naturally decided he should head up the hiring process. I, a very green SA, applied for the job, and after an interview with the constultant and the non-technical management, soon found myself at an "unofficial" off-premise meeting with the consultant, an informal dinner to discuss expectations before the official offer was made. It became clear at that point that the constultant's expectations did not involve me taking over any of his responsibilities or having any autonomy, instead I was to be a glorified live-in gopher, and would I be able to work with that? The guy was trying to cement his salary as firmly as possible by hiring "some kid" who'd jump when he said to and bought whatever he was selling. Smooth!

    I went right along, nodded my head and smiled, until the job was mine and I had gotten the "lay of the land" at the company. It was with deep satisfaction that I was soon able to fire the weasel outright.

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