Hiring the Right Management

Hiring the right management can make all the difference. With the right hire productivity goes up, culture gets defined and improved, and morale skyrockets.

Hiring the right management is largely dependent on your current management's hiring process. How prepared is the team to interview the candidate? Are there clear definitions of what the candidates primary and secondary functions will be when hired?

I've seen this play out both ways during my career as a software engineer.

The first time

Management had us interview a candidate for the position of Senior Software Engineer. Everyone agreed the candidate was solid and that we should hire him. However after being hired for a software engineering role, the candidate was then directly placed in a Director of Engineering role.

Both of these positions require different primary skill-sets. A senior engineer's primary role is to be an architect, developer, and spread technical knowledge to the team. A director of engineering's primary role is to manage people, projects, and setting the company culture. Some people are better equipped for one role or the other. Some just need time to grow from one role to the other.

The second time

Management had us interview a candidate for the position of VP of Engineering. It was made very clear what position the person would be placed in. We were provided a document describing the role and it's primary duties. We also had the chance to discuss the role, and why we were hiring for it, with our CEO beforehand.

Knowing the role we were interviewing the candidate for, understanding management's views, and having a clearly written document describing the role was immensely helpful. We were able to better prepare questions and go deep with the candidate in several areas of concern - not only around his skill-set, but how he would help improve ours.

Conclusion

Needless to say these two different processes led to different results. In my current position at JumpCloud I couldn't ask for a better VP of Engineering. It's clear that management's ability to prepare us beforehand paid off. While we were doing fine before, we're doing even better now. The engineering team's culture has improved, our optimism is up, our productivity is up, and we are building out a team with clear goals and confidence in our ability to execute.

Hiring the right management has great benefits, but your chances of hiring the right person diminish when people aren't properly prepared. Make sure you're always communicating clearly - it pays dividends.