Dissection of a candidate?
Have you ever experienced the dissection of a potential employee at an IT company? Well, I was invited to a candidate dissection session at Alchemy Technologies yesterday morning after my meeting with my friend Jawwad Farid.
I hesitated before accepting. It sounded like it would be brutal and I am a gentle soul. However, Jawwad can be very convincing so I found myself amidst a cross-section of team members from Alchemy.
Apparently, they had just finished interviewing a young man and were now deciding whether to make him an offer. Jawwad sought the opinion of people from the different departments – the domain experts, the techies, the HR guys, the marketing team, etc. They were very vocal in their assessment. It was felt that the young man was knowledgeable and experienced (although he talked a bit much and strategies would have to be developed to keep the chatter from driving everyone insane).
He was technically competent, understood the domain, would add value because he was coming from the customer side of things, wanted to be continually challenged and appeared to be a team player. His personality was discussed as was his staying power. If he could have stayed in his previous job for 3 years – mundane as it was – it was felt that since he had turned down a few similar lucrative positions, he was on the lookout for an environment where he would be challenged and would have an opportunity to learn. He felt a small tech shop was more likely to provide that than a large multinational. Smart kid!
Everyone was in agreement that he should be “procured” right away as each department felt he would add value to their efforts and also that he had the communication skills and knowledge needed to interact with clients. I liked the democratic group decision and naturally wanted to know what was so brutal about this kind of dissection process.
Well, apparently I had been lucky enough to attend a session where the candidate was positively viewed – it is when this group finds weaknesses in a candidate, things they feel will impact negatively on the work of the company, on the further development of the products and the service they offer their clients, that is when they are absolutely brutal.
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