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The point of an opening is to get it filled

Having recently shut down a job search to concentrate on my writing here and contracting, I figured it was a good time to talk about hiring developers. This won’t be the last time.

I’ve been a hiring manager multiple times in my career. Sometimes, I sourced my own candidates and did the recruiting myself. Other times, I had inside or outside recruiting resources that would handle initial screening, job postings and the like.

Off the top, I realize more than most that the current hiring market is very tight on the available jobs side – it’s pretty straightforward right now to get lots of quality candidates if you have an attractive opening.

While I was still hunting for a full-time job, I sent out more than 30 applications in a quick flurry.

I got one interview out of that, and entirely because I had a prior connection with the Human Resources folks there.

They later closed the position I was interviewing for without a hire – a shift in priorities on their part.

Which brings us to today’s point …

If you have an opening, the priority is to fill it

If you’re lucky enough to have an opening on your team and a go ahead to hire, a big part of your job is finding and hiring the right person as quickly as you can.

The longer it takes, the more likely it is that priorities will shift – like my personal example above.

More to the point, a new hire is an investment that doesn’t immediately pay off. Any new software developer hire will take time to become productive and might spend the first part of their time at your company being an overall weight on your team.

A hire you make today will not be an asset until weeks or months down the line.

It was always my goal to get that clock started as soon as possible.

In a market like today, if you have an opening, it’s also likely that your team is either hurting badly enough to need the additional resource, or important enough to be a strategic investment for the company.

It’s important to your team and the company as a whole that you get your opening filled – with the right person – as fast as you can.

This means, you need to make the hiring process a priority.

If I had a recruiter, I made it a point to kick it off with them by going through what I was looking for, which questions to ask, and what to look for in the initial screening steps.

We’ll talk more about working with recruiters in later weeks.

I also made it a point to review new applications each morning alongside my first coffee, highlighting interesting candidates I wanted to explore more and explaining why so my recruiting partner can form a better idea of what I’m looking for.

If I am also sourcing candidates – either because I have no recruiting assistance or because I’m trying to accelerate the process – I’d also spend time exploring my own network for developers who fit the profile of what I was looking for and sending them along or reaching out directly.

So much of hiring is about aligning timing with opportunity – and your goal is to meet the right person as quickly as you can, and then close the deal just as quickly when you know it’s right.

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