Hiring is one of the most important thing that any organization does. For consulting organizations such as DevMynd, it is even more important, our people and reputation are our only differentiator. DevMynd has taken a long-game approach to hiring and in this guidebook we go over the process by which we meet and evaluate new team members.
We don't hire for individual client needs, we are just always looking for great folks.
One way that we meet new technical folks is through the many events that we organize and sponsor. We have half a dozen user groups that use our office for their meeting space, we always buy them food and beer…that's a no brainer. We also organize a number of events throughout the year, mini conferences, one-off events in partnership with other companies, training workships, etc. This puts us in front of a lot of folks and gives us an low-impact introduction to them.
At these events, and anywhere we meet folks really, we don't pitch DevMynd. Nobody ever says "hey you should come work for us". The approach is 100% relationship based. We just like to get to know good people, whether they're happy at their current employer or not. What this means is that we may identify someone we want to work with many months or even years before we are in a position to offer them a job. This works, it builds lasting relationships, and even though it doesn't scale to massive hiring that's ok, we don't hire for scale.
We have a separate guidebook on apprenticeship, but it is one of the primary ways we grow the team. Each time we open up for a new apprenticeship spot we receive between 30 and 50 applications. This gives us a huge surface area to pick great team members.
As we grow and hire more great folks our network expands. We love it when current team members introduce us to new folks that they know or have worked with in the past. This gives us an extra level of comfort that we are a good fit with someone. Great people want to work with other great people so this tends to produce a snowball effect.
Just as we take a longer approach to meeting folks, we take our time evaluating candidates as well.
Coffee, Lunch, Beer
Once we have identified an individual that seems like they might be a good fit the first thing we do is line up a low-key in-person meeting with one of the company leaders. This is not an interview, this is lunch. We like to hear about a person's background, how they got to where they are in life, are they happy doing what they do. And, we love it when they ask questions about DevMynd, our culture, personality, and work. We may repeat this a couple times before being comfortable enough to move to the next step.
Pair Programming Days
Provided everyone is still comfortable after sharing a meal or drinks, we move on to meeting the team. We ask candidates to spend two full days with us. Candidates will pair program with at least 3 if not 4 different people on the team over the two days. If the candidate is a designer, we pair them up with another designer or put them in some front-end situations. We have two goals here: first, give the candidate a realistic picture of what the day-to-day is like at DevMynd, and secondly, see how they work, think, and interact with others.
We don't play games over these days. There are no white-boarding problems, there are no "coding challenges", we want to focus on real-world client work. We value candidates that are humble and are not out to prove something. Hearing the phrase "I don't know how that works, let's Google it" from a candidate is awesome.
We prefer that candidates don't dress up, no suits required for these days. If we don't feel as though we've received enough information about someone in two days, we ask them to come back for a third, though this is rare.
We don't make hiring decisions in a vacuum, as much as possible, we make them as a team. After a candidate has spent a few days pairing with us we get everyone who had contact with them into a room to discuss. We talk about the pros and cons of hiring this person, how did they mesh well with others, are there risks or red flags, mitigations for those risks, how we feel they will interact with clients, and what intangibles do they bring to the company. Then, we vote, we prefer the vote to be unanimous.
As was mentioned earlier, this is a very long-game approach to hiring. It will never allow us to hire a dozen people in a month, but we will likely never want to. This approach is geared around our values and mission, to deliver the highest quality product to our customers, and to do it with people we like.