Ten things we believe about hiring
- Programmer interviews are broken. Whiteboard coding and algorithm questions aren't good predictors of how effective someone will be at writing real code. Technical hiring processes harm both excellent candidates who don't interview well and companies trying to hire good programmers.
- Hiring processes need to be standardized. Candidates deserve a consistent experience and consistent evaluation. A company can't meaningfully evaluate candidates if it treats each one differently.
- Hiring decisions should be made using a clear scoring system, not gut feelings. Humans are good at gathering information, but bad at ignoring bias. We unconsciously pattern match. This harms candidates who don't match our expectations.
- The hiring process should be focused on discovering strengths, not uncovering weaknesses. Everybody has weaknesses. What matters is a candidate's strengths, and how quickly they can learn new things.
- Candidates should be told exactly what to expect in an interview, and be allowed to prepare in advance. A comfortable interview is more likely to lead to a better hiring decision.
- Candidates should be given clear, truthful feedback on how they did during the interview so they know how they can improve. Companies should invest time in providing this.
- Credentials should not be used as a proxy for talent. Education and work history are meaningful but relying solely on them results in missing good programmers. Good programmers come from all types of background. It's what you can do that matters, not where you went to school.
- The hiring process should be treated like a software product, constantly iterated on using data, and improved over time. The software industry needs to experiment more with hiring processes and figure out what really works.
- Candidates are at a fundamental disadvantage in salary and equity negotiations. They always know less than the hiring manager. This is unfair. Compensation statistics should be public.
- Companies should not have to make recruiting a core competency. Just as companies now outsource server management to AWS, they should be able to outsource technical hiring. The flaw with current external recruiting firms is they don't reliably deliver enough good candidates to build trust with companies.
Here's a link to our interview guide. This explains best how to prepare for our interviews.
Here's a link to our diversity statement.
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