Ask anyone about hiring developers and the advice is always the same ‘only hire the best’. The principle reasons being that
- Developer productivity can vary by an order of magnitude between apprarently similarly qualified candidates.
- The best people only want to work with the best people. A graders hire A graders, B graders hire C graders.
On the face the face of it this seems like great advice, who wouldn’t want to hire the best? It turns out pretty much everybody.
For instance, how long are you willing to wait to fill the position? What if you are really really stretched? What if you’re so stretched that you worry for existing staff? What if hiring a specific individual will mean huge disparities in pay between equally productive staff? What if not making the hire is difference between keeping a key client or losing them? At some point every company has to draw a line and elect to hire ‘the best we’ve seen so far’.
The difference between the great companies and the rest is how to deal with this problem. Great organisations place recruitment at the centre of what they do. If hiring is genuinely everyone’s number one priority then hiring the best becomes more achievable. For starters you might even have half a chance of getting ‘the best’ into your interview room in the first place.