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You recruitment, and interview process reveals a lot more about you, and your company than you would expect

11 Nov 2014
9 Oct 2020
7 minutes

Looking for a new challenge is always an interesting experience, and this time is no exception. Since I announced I was leaving Mozilla, I’ve been contacted by many human resources departments, headhunters, and C-level visionary. I’ve seen many job descriptions, and already received some offers (still open to discussion, just saying). It’s probably true for other types of role or industries, but the way you are recruiting new employees, and your interview process reveal a lot on your company, yourself, and the role.

You know what you want, but do you know what I want?

I don’t count anymore the number of people contacting me for a role that does not make sense for me, or something I clearly specify as I job I didn’t want. Yes, I’m talking to you headhunters, and recruiters: a candidate search shouldn’t be based only on some keywords. As an example, I’ve been contacted for developers’ role a couple of time, even if I clearly stated on my departure post, and on my LinkedIn profile that it’s not what I was looking for. At that point, I don’t even want to continue the discussion. It prove I have no value for you as you did not took five to ten minutes to properly look at my LinkedIn profile or my blog which says a lot about me, and what to expect.

No time to post a proper offer? No time to do a proper interview!

I was curious to see what offers were available online, so I search on different sites like LinkedIn and AngelList. You would be surprised, or not, to know how many offers were incomplete: someone, somewhere, copied, and pasted the offer without looking at the final result. English is not my mother tongue, and even I, was able to find enormous errors in the jobs listing. Does this job opportunity is so not important that it does not deserve a couple more minute to be sure the potential candidate will have a great overview of the role? When it comes to information about the job itself, the more, the better. A webpage will never replace a discussion with someone when it comes to getting data about a specific role, but knowing a bit more in advance will both help us save some time.

It’s not a priority for you; it’s not for me anymore.

It may be true: hiring for this role may not be a priority for you, but getting a job is probably one for anyone applying. Except if the candidate is looking for something better while being employed, there is a huge chance that the applicant may not be able to wait weeks or months for you to come back with an offer. Speed up the process, show us that we are important for you. Developers are rock stars today, and you may not be the only company trying to recruit us.

Do you know me?

When I have an interview, I come prepared: I search on the company, the offer, the competitors, and the person who will interview me. I prepare a set of questions, and even play with your piece of software if it’s possible. Both our time is precious, and I want to concentrate on getting the maximum out of this one hour we will have together. Maybe you should do the same for your candidate: if I’m on a call or an in-person discussion with you, it may mean I deserve a bit more attention?

Work hard, work harder.

When you need to specify in the offer that you are looking for someone who are not afraid to work hard, it’s frighten me. Don’t get me wrong: you will pay me to do the work, so I’ll always deliver art, and go the extra mile. On the other side, even if the line between working and having fun is fuzzy for me, it’s still work. It means I have no issue to work hard when needed, but I still need a life outside of the office. Always having to do overtime is clearly a management issue.

Join us, we have a ping-pong table

Don’t get me wrong, I like ping-pong, and playing babyfoot once in a while, but those are not benefits. It’s not also part of the company culture. It can help having a good time during breaks, lunchtime, or after work, but it won’t change how it’s working during office hours. I can also tell you it will never, but never, help me take a decision on an offer. I prefer that you have a shorter list of benefits, but removed those air filling one. When I ask for benefits, I’m expecting things like 401k, gym reimbursement, vacations time, bonus…

Money, who cares about it?

I’m not choosing a job because of the salary, but let’s be honest, I have a lifestyle I want to keep. If you don’t want to tell me a salary range for the role we are talking about, there is a red flag right there. If we go threw a long, and intensive interview process, and you don’t reach my expectations, we will all lose our time. If you have no idea on how much you can give me or if what I’m asking fit the bill, I have some doubt about how serious this role is inside of your company. I know, sometimes it’s true you don’t know about it, but let me talk to HR first! Oh, and, by the way, by experience I can say without feeling ashamed that “competitive salary” means nothing…

Four is a beautiful number

I’ve had interviews process that went from one interview to more than six. The first one may not be enough: how can you be sure you have the right candidate after only one person talk to me? At the same time, I can’t be sure this is a good role or company for me if I don’t get much information from different sources. On the other spectrum, six interviews, and sometimes more, seems the norm! Personally, I think it’s a bit excessive, but I understand you want to be sure you find the right person for this important position. I would say that four interviews is the sweet spot. The recruiter in the HR department can do the first filter, one person already doing the same role or in the same team, the hiring manager, and someone from another team with who you may cooperate seems good.

Do you really want me?

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: developers are rock stars in today’s world. We are in an era where developers can choose what will be their next challenge: they have plenty of choices. Having this in mind, the interview process is not just about me trying to “sell” myself: you should also “sell” this role and your company to me. Why should I work for you? It’s not about being pretentious; it’s a reality!

Of course, this post is quite opinionated as any of my posts I guess, but the foundation is simple: you reveal a lot more than you think when you are in the process of hiring someone. If you are looking for a job right now, I agree that you may not be in the same situation than me. I consider myself at a point of my career where I should expect more from employers, but also, where they should expect more from me… Saying that, I had many wonderful experiences too, and I’m looking forward to confirming my next challenge really soon…

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