Overcoming the Hiring Problem

Great People = Great Products.

And right now, you have that incredible product offering put together by an amazingly talented group of people from here, there and everywhere. The team is executing and delivering on all facets in building the next iteration or branching out into something different.

And now your customer base is growing and that age old problem is starting to creep to the forefront as the team struggles to keep pace.

We need more people to keep delivering

Finding that perfect new employee, the diamond in the rough, the hire you never knew existed is the #1 problem facing most organizations today.

Or is it?

Before we go deeper, it’s important to mention that BetaRover Inc is not a staffing and/or recruitment company. In addition, this isn’t about finding that external Tiger team that can onboard to your product and company automatically in 5 days and be executing in 6.

This is about your hidden Tiger team, the one inside your company, the one waiting to emerge, the one that is ready to go today.

It starts with Preparing your Team for Tomorrow Today

Take the case where you have two very talented Software Development Managers each with their own team of six to seven developers who are killing it all day, every day.

Each quarter you’ve been adding a few more people to the roster to incrementally meet the increased demand and now the teams are at ten and eleven respectively. All the while you’ve been adding these new hires the efficiency and capability of your managers has been dropping as they have now had to invest more time in managing individuals vs delivering product and leading the team.

But you’ve realized this and now it’s time to get those efficiences back and split the two teams into three and get the numbers back down to that magical six/seven team size where everyone was operating at peak prowess.

Good decision.

So whose going to lead the third team?

Are you going to hire External or keep in Internal?

Do you have the time to wait for that “perfect” candidate externally while your product and teams suffers through the wait?

You probably have a short list in mind of internal candidates (great) that you are considering but before you sit down with them to discuss any further, here’s a few questions you should be asking yourself first.

  • Are they ready for it?
  • Are they ready to transition from being solely responsible for their code to being responsible for other people’s as well?
  • Are they ready to transition from focusing on their own bug counts to focusing on the team’s bug count and working with them to bring this down without unleashing the Tsunami of bugs upon them?
  • Do they have the skills needed to ensure the team doesn’t grind to a halt when a customer issues arises but keeps performing and executing?
  • Do they know how to balance letting their new team make mistakes and learn from them while mentoring them in those scenarios where they shouldn’t?

And then it hits you, they don’t.

They haven’t had the opportunity to try out these skills in a bubble and now it’s time to roll the dice and see if they are going to sink or swim.

The time to start on boarding these skills was four to six months ago when you started increasing the teams from six to ten.

Identify why you are Hiring

When adding more people to your team it’s imperative that with each hire you bring on, you look beyond the current need the team has now and look to where they are going in the next 3 to 5 months.

  • Again, more questions to ask yourself…
  • Do we anticipate growth to continue?
  • Will we need to break out our teams into three in the next 9 to 12 months?

When you are hiring for that incremental growth today, what you really need to be thinking of is whether they are the fuel that can light your ambitions tomorrow and allow an easy transition into a three or four group strategy that executes seemingly without putting the transmission into reverse as everyone gets up to speed.

Back to our original focus, Hiring is not a Tactic based implementation (“Need a person, get a person.”), it’s a Strategy based implementation (“Who will I need tomorrow?”). When you start answering that question early on in the development of your team development, your focus will shift from being a “Hiring Problem” to being the catalyst for an “Internal Growth Strategy”.

Internal Growth Strategies being a topic for a different day.

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