Trust your instincts

Trust your instincts

Hiring is one of the hardest things to do as a business owner.

Getting the right people in is vitally important. And it can be an expensive mistake if you get it wrong - not just financially but in terms of good will with your clients.

I've got 25 interviews lined up this week for a replacement for my fabulous Ruby on Rails developer, Ismail. He needed something a bit more "big company" as he's got a few new responsibilities at the moment - and he's also gained enough confidence in his skills to apply for a much more senior post.

So I'm really pleased for him (although whether he enjoys the "big company life" is another matter).

And now I've got 25 interviews to get through.

How can I make sure I get the right person.

Firstly, I prepared a script. With a few branch points in it - if this applicant turns out to be X then ask this, if they turn out to be Y then ask the other. But that means everyone gets basically the same interview, lasting around half an hour.

Secondly, when posting to the job board, I included some questions embedded within the description. If they didn't answer those questions, they were an immediate no (attention to detail, folks, it's vital).

Thirdly, I asked them to book a time using my appointment booking system. You would think that was quite simple. But no, a load of them searched for me on Skype and started asking for more information straight away. Frankly, I'm busy, and my calendar is full for a reason.

And fourthly, trust your instincts. Some people, after their half hour interview, are an immediate no. Some are an immediate yes. Some are in-between. Discard the no's. Go through the in-betweens, read through your notes, and you'll probably find that they are no's as well. Discard them. And, if you're lucky, one of them will just feel right.

I spoke to the "just right" person today. Unfortunately, I've still got 16 interviews left this week and it would be unfair to cancel them, just for this one applicant. And, you never know, there may be another "just right" in the mix too (which would be very interesting indeed).

But you'll know it when you feel it. Make sure you don't ignore it.

Rahoul Baruah

Rahoul Baruah

Rubyist since 1.8.6. Freelancer since 2007, dedicated to building incredible, low-cost, bespoke software for tiny businesses. Also CTO at Collabor8Online.
Leeds, England