Hire quickly, because your competitors will.

If you aren’t taking hiring seriously – other people can, and do hire the people you need.

I’ve been guilty of it before – leaving it a couple of days – or even a week before getting back to someone that sent in their CV – although of course, most of the time, it didn’t matter. The person wasn’t going to get hired because they were just not good enough (the generally poor quality of developers is a different rant).

A couple of times I have been bitten hard when hiring though, such as being introduced to a sysadmin on a Thursday night, following up late Friday afternoon and finding out on Monday when I chased him up, that he had just accepted an offer.

So, what to do? Well, to be honest, all you can do is be swift about things. Check all CVs that come in within a couple of hours at most, and for those that show promise, get back to them and arrange the next step as quickly as you can (probably a quick chat on the phone?) and pencil in some time – in your own calendar, if not theirs – a potential time to sit down with them properly.

Please though, after you’ve had the interview get back to them quickly. Occasionally, I’ll have left them with a little thing to do (some code to write, or something to get back to me on), it’s a good idea to just drop a quick email confirming that after they step out the door. A couple of times when I was looking for a new job, I’ve actually emailed them back that afternoon, or before lunchtime the following day to follow up with some code. Both times I was starting that role inside two weeks.

When I’ve been interviewing, I’ve even offered someone a job before they left the interview. It was obvious that the guy was a good developer – just searching for him online found a number of posts he’d done into relevant mailing lists. A few years later, I’d moved on myself, he was now freelancing, so on my suggestion he was interviewed again, and promptly hired again.

There is a cut-throat market for developers in the last few years, and that’s not likely change. Really good people will always have a choice if they want it. You, as an employer, need to be worth working for.

  • Interesting project(s)
  • Enough money for that not to be an issue – though salaries for the best devs are rising fast
  • Working conditions that don’t get in the way

A future post will touch more on my ‘perfect wish-list’ of working environments.

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