April 23rd, 2020

Enhance your technical job opportunity description

We are all experiencing a change in our daily life (choices as well) because of Covid-19 (worldwide pandemic, not-a-flu). As job seekers, some of us were caught during job searching, others were furlough or let go and need to find a new job. As companies, some are hiring now and some have frozen hiring.
It is more important than ever now, as a company, to put more work into your job opportunity descriptions. Turn around the question "what can you do for us" from interviews, to "what can we as a company do for you".

Why? Here is some motivation:

  • It's a business collaboration. Letting aside passion, you need people to work for you as much as people need jobs: for money.
  • You can fire people if business dictates it and people can leave if their needs dictate that. (Stop blaming people for leaving, you would do the same if the table turns)
  • You actually want diversity in your team and company. I mean, actually not just for marketing. More details of the interview process translate into more people that are reluctant to apply to actually apply. There is such a thing as an anxiety-inducing interview. It's like you go to a potential client meeting but have 0 information to prepare before.
  • There are companies that have hundreds/thousands of applicants when a job is made public. Why? because they explain clearly what are the steps for the interview process, they add real-work-description for the job, they pitch their company because they want and need people to help them continue their business.
  • Time is money, right? You want an appropriate pool of candidates so you don't waste your time and don't waste the candidates time. Yes, there is such a thing as wasting a candidate's time.

I have bundled together some examples (in no particular order) that I found by searching online and with the help from other nice people:

For more examples, I have started to add the companies that do the work in this Notion page: https://www.notion.so/Technical-Interview-Process-Explained-Well-f52511e9a32f439a811930703210507a

Knowing that tech interviews can be very toxic and gatekeeping, I am sure that these companies that take the time and make their pitch to potential collaborators will continue to thrive, get traction and thousands of applicants.
Feel free to add to the comments your own examples of companies that hire with a similar approach. I will do my best to add them to the Notion list page. Good news must be shared, especially during these times.

By taking more time to create a meaningful job description, you show much clearer what you are looking for, and more people from the right-for-your-company category will apply. It's very important to acknowledge that not every developer thrives in the same type of interviews. Some like whiteboard questions, some definitely don't. Others like pair programming others appreciate more home tests in their own time and not 'on the spot'. I am going on a limb here, but I have doubts that anybody likes dictating code by phone.

While hiring, it's logic that you get what you ask for. For instance, if you don't mention you do pair programming in the company and in the interview, you might get candidates that never worked like that and they won't pass. This entire process of hiring needs a bit of introspective on your part as well (company part), what you take for granted, what is easy for you is not easy for everyone.

Not fitting your mould doesn't make other people less good. They are probably really good, they just don't shine in your hiring process.

So, empathy is crucial as well as communicating writing your process. Remember, you work with people for people.