Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Interviews - Shucking a lot of oysters to find the pearl?

It was my first start up experience, The fifth person to join. I was working for this company called NetQuest (Now called Aditi) founded by an ex Micro-softie.. Being part of Senior leadership, I was coached by him extensively that we needed to hire for potential and not for skills. We had an elaborate interview process and at any round in the process, if somebody objects, the  person is dropped. No exceptions ! Also, we had a list of the Microsoft questions (for example Why are manholes round ?) to identify the folks with "Out of the box" thinking. My mentor, instilled into me this approach deeply so that it became my default interview process. This helped me immensely  in my career as my success is mainly based on finding the right folks to work for me !

Read on to see how this simple technique can help you find and built sustainable productive teams....

Hire Consultants for the skills 

In the technical world that I belong to, I come across lot of smart young consultants who just want to be given a chance to learn the new technology and demonstrate how productive they are. I am guilty of falling for these passionate requests, hiring these smart folks and helping them get trained. Sure as night follows day, they get the skills quickly (after all they are really smart), update their resume and ride off into the sunset for the next project - of course commanding a higher consulting rate considering the experience they now have. Or the project comes to an end and I had to let go of these folks. Quickly I understood that I had to tweak my interview process. So learn from my mistakes - make sure you hire the consultants for their skill set and experience. Not for their communications skills or their personality. The investment of time and effort is not really worth it...

Have you experienced a similar situation? Drop a comment and share....

Choose Employees for their potential

This is completely different when you are in the process of building teams and hiring employees. The return on investment is over a longer period of time and hence hiring for potential makes sense. The way technology keeps changing, these employees need to able to adapt to new world often. Skills quickly fall by the way side and it is only their potential to learn and the ability to communicate cn help them changes roles and continue adding value. 
So invest the time to find the right employee and look for long term potential rather than short term skill

Employees with potential can adapt with changing business needs and continue to provide return on the investment made on them

Does this resonate with you? Do you have your own tips to build incredible teams? Let me know

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