Thursday, December 06, 2007


Enterprise Architecture and Bad Hiring Practices...

A respected architect made an interesting comment to me last week regarding feedback on a candidate she interviewed where others had differing opinions...

It is habit in most places to check references and to solicit the opinion of others which can sometimes result in the wrong answer. Just as one usually seeks out bad opinions of others in hopes of avoiding making a mistake, you should be equally untrustworthy of good opinions of others as well since you really have no idea what someone's interactions were with the other person that would lead them to their opinions. Usually it comes down to whether they are nice or not. I would encourage folks to probe deeper as they may have not interacted on any kind of technical level especially if the position requires technical knowledge.

One interesting behavior is that folks go around the table with candidates but don't actually interview. Maybe folks should start asking their own questions and forming their own opinions? More importantly, you need to ask yourself why are you interviewing a candidate in the first place? Is it because management pressure to hire someone they know? The right answer may be to think of this as a sign of disrespect to the team and for you to call out a larger problem.

Sometimes management forces folks to also hire noted stars. One opinion may be that stars are formed because of heroics and heroics are needed because a project is in trouble. If a person becomes a star then you should figure out why did so many projects they touch get into trouble?

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