How To Hire Correctly by Daniel Jaouen


There are many guides on how to hire correctly for certain technologies, but most of them are wrong. There is a simple formula for hiring that often goes unnoticed. This post is primarily targeted at hiring managers, but developers might (well, probably won’t, to be honest) find this useful as well.

Here is the formula:

  1. Identify the targeted competence area.

This is the easy step. You need to figure out the area of competence that will best serve your business. This might be programming or perhaps project management, but you will need to find the area that is most needed (or perhaps most rewarded) in your business.

  1. Become competent in the targeted area (this is the key step).

Often, hiring managers are completely unaware of what goes on “behind the scenes” in the areas for which they’re hiring. This is a critical mistake. How can one competently hire an author if one has never written before? It’s simple: you can’t.

  1. Develop a “rubric of competence” in your designated area.

Once you are competent in your designated field, develop a “rubric of competence” for that field. For example, if you were hiring an author, you might identify “size of vocabulary” and “number of previous works” as criteria. Or, if you were hiring a developer, you might consider “college degree” and “GitHub profile” as criteria. Be specific here: you might add “has at least 1 public GitHub repository” as a criterion for a developer. These will become useful as “lower bounds” for performance.

  1. Identify players that meet your “rubric of competence”.

This might entail joining in on community events in your designated competence area. For example, if you’re hiring an author, you might join a “writer’s meetup” group. For a developer, you might join a programming meetup or attend a developer’s conference. Take note of the people you meet and research the quality of their work at a later time.

  1. Hire those players.

Here comes the payoff: you have now found competent players in your designated field. All that remains is to entice them to work for your company using the benefits your company offers. This might be a large salary or extended vacation time.

And that’s it! Hopefully, if you’re a hiring manager, this post has clarified some of the problem areas for you. Feel free to leave a comment if you’ve found this useful.