I’ve hired hundreds of people during my career, and my process has been pretty consistent for all of those hires:
1. Decide on the need for a person in a job. Maybe it’s a replacement for someone who left, or maybe it’s a new position that I need for a project or for an expansion of a functional area.
2. Define the job. I’m not a personal fan of job descriptions, but they’re important for recruiting and for determining a fair level of pay. So I’ll usually put one together, sometimes working with someone in Human Resources (HR). In many cases, the job is similar to another existing job, and so the job definition and salary range are based on that other job. Once in a while, I’ll create a totally new position, and then it takes a bit more thought and effort to define the position and its salary level.
3. Get approval for the position if necessary (this depends on [more…]
I’ve promoted 20 or 30 people into their first manager jobs during my career. Two of those promotions were failures — they did so badly that I had to take them back out of the positions. Here’s what I learned from that experience.
In both cases there was ample evidence that the people were ready for a promotion. Both people had performed well as project leaders where they provided direction to others. Both were respected by their peers and customers, and had good communication skills. Both people had worked for me for a few years, so I had a pretty good idea of what their strengths and weaknesses were.
The First Failure
The first failed manager was promoted into a software development manager position. She had shown good ideas as a project leader, and I expected her to dig right in when she had her own people reporting to her. But I didn’t recognize a problem she had with self-confidence and prioritization.
As a project leader she had to make decisions, and she seemed to cope well with the decision-making process. But [more…]