Friday, August 25, 2017

The Way I Hire Software Engineers and System Administrators

Worked in corporate environments, worked in startup grounds, worked in freelance settings ...

These are the fields I've been to and each experience brings me learning - may it be in a hard rewarding way or the easy boring way.

You seldom read articles about hiring people, especially if you have been working in shadows throughout your entire career. But this might help everyone see things in a different perspective. I claim no experience in hiring, but I have something that might come handy in this situation. And that is, talking and interviewing  potential applicants -- as they try to grab the opportunity offered in the table.

Not so long time ago, I led a group of System Administrators in a web hosting company. This was my first big shot. I had tons of bloopers and failures, many shortcomings and many lessons learned.

As the company tried to home grow a sysadmin team in PH, I was asked by the CEO, ; "Should we hire someone from outside? should we give people their break?"
My response was "Let's first get those who shows potential, if we need more, we hire external people". Gratitude is paid forward. And this might be my personal bias.

I can still recall the time I was given a break by the CEO. An opportunity that changed my life, my views and myself. If not because of the chance given to me that day, I will still live my life as is -- a first level technical support agent in the lower pipeline of the company. That is why in return, I want to give the same opportunity to deserving people with best practices  and who are serving the company in all their best, line with good culture and work ethics.

Years passed, I see the same people I used to worked with -- happy, improved and empowered. Who would have thought, they too, will be nurtured in the same grounds I started my journey.

I seek nothing in return, seeing them live a better life is already rewarding. Who would have thought that I'll be able to help people to that extent, and the rest is all because of their hardships and relentlessness.

Hiring: Internally and externally

Scouting talent internally is easier. As metrics and performance reviews are already in-place. And it's only a matter of talking to them about what  awaits next. The main takeaway in hiring internally, is the fact that -- these people already shared the values and vision composed within the organization. So it's just a matter of learning those technical stuff and start supporting higher level concerns.

The advantage of hiring external talents is that, you'll have more expectation in terms of experience and skills. Though fitting into the culture is something that should not be compromised.

Depends on what the company can afford and set aside, the answer of whether hiring internally or externally is, it depends.

Payout: High for senior, less for junior

In a the typical interview process, the interviewer would normally ask for the salary you're looking for and negotiate what the company can offer. However, from a technical standpoint, I don't care much of how you rate and see yourself as an employee. If you're worth your numbers, so be it. Money is a motivating factor, so in return for this generosity, the company shall expect the deliverables to be completed.

People with more experience tend to know their numbers, while less experience ones, honestly say the value. It's important to identify who's trying to look experienced from the one who really has the skills.

Attitude: Not a one-size-fits-all house

Talents come from different background and culture. So you should prepare a nurturing ground for everyone's uniqueness and differences.

Regardless of the differences, people work for the common goal and for the common good. Respect is a thing you all value -- without it, chaos is everywhere.

Passion, lots of people say it, but only a few truly understands what it's for. Having great and passionate individuals on the team, scores the goal and wins the game.

These are the common things I keep track when hiring people. My personal guidelines in bringing people in the team, to be a part of a big organization and standing individually (with pride) as someone who have worked on particular projects/task.

Everyone has a standard and so do I.