Hiring blues

Finding good engineers is getting increasingly more complex. It’s clearly an employee’s market. Even in an employer’s market good engineers are tough to find, they all are gainfully employed. Today, finding a job for a good software engineer, is like shooting fish in a barrel, s/he can get multiple offers in a matter of days. And we, the hiring managers, are facing a race against all odds, and, as if competitive pressure was not enough, we have to deal with an incredible pollution of the candidate pool. For every decent candidate, we see dozens of people who are not remotely qualified, or worse than that, frauds or con artists:

  • A Java developer who did exceptionally well on several phone interviews, including deep dive technical discussions, relocates to IL and arrives in the office. Turns out he is not capable of doing any of the tasks he so eloquently explained over the phone. More so he cannot answer the same questions he did just a couple weeks ago… Amnesia? Don’t think so. Lesson learned – use a webcam for the interviews.
  • We hire a contract developer after several rounds of webcam interviews. He asks to do work from home in Seattle since relocation to MN is very difficult for him at the moment. After a few hiccups in onboarding he starts and right from the get-go begins missing one meeting after another. It goes on for a few weeks till one of the team members notices that when we talk with the contractor during morning hours we can hear a great deal of background street noise, and during day time calls the street noise subsides. A little bit of research discovers the reason behind the phenomena – the contractor is connecting from India. Lesson learned – bring them onsite.
  • Ok, we learned our lessons, we interview a great BA, she offers superb skills, personality, and experience. We fly her to Chicago for f2f, she does even better. We put out an offer, moving as fast as we can… We pull all the stops negotiating a great package. And finally, drumroll please, the candidate accepts the offer… from someone else. I guess we covered the tickets for her to interview with a few competitors as well. Lesson learned – you can’t win…

Of course, it’s not all gloom and doom, as a matter of fact we recently bought in some fantastic talent. I am just a bit grouchy after talking a with senior candidate who told me that “AWS is a not-a-sequel database” and a senior QA automation candidate who after “7 years of experience in white, gray and black box testing of web applications” cannot name a single http method.

Well, TGIF, I am sure the next week will be great and I’ll meet someone who can tell the difference between an abstract class and an interface or at least tell a green field from a cold steel rail…

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