Hiring the Best

This past week was a whirlwind of technical talks, heated debates over drinks, and lots of learning more about the people I work with. Here in Minneapolis, we hosted our annual Technical Summit, a two day conference for the technical teams from all of our offices across the world to gather. One of these debates was related to hiring. And how we always hire the best.

For the last three years, I have been a part of the interviewing team to hire people I want to work with, work for, and work for me. We pretty much have it down to a science, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. Ultimately, though, we really just want to hire the best. And that is what the debate was about. What do you consider the best? There were some arguments that one must absolutely be technically apt in order to do well. I argue that that is only a fraction of the equation. We have always been coached to hire A players or B players, people who are currently rockstars or will become rockstars. This has been valuable in our hiring process. No one is perfect and no one knows each and every Java library and version of that library because, well, technology changes. Fast. What’s that saying? The only constant in software is change.

Instead, my strategy is to look for people I will learn from and who want to learn from me. I was pleasantly surprised to find that others felt the same way. I really feel that is critical in this constantly changing world of technology.

What is your strategy to hire the best?