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Naresh Jain's Random Thoughts on Software Development and Adventure Sports
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Cannot Evaluate a Candidate just based on their Resume

Its been 7 years since I’ve been actively involved in recruiting software professionals for various companies. In most places I’ve defined or helped refactor the existing recruitment process to increase our throughput without compromising on the quality.

In this post I plan to explain the second step in the recruitment process. The first and the most important step in recruitment of course is sourcing. Sourcing the right candidates is no doubt the most important thing when it comes to making your recruitment process efficient.

A good number of resumes do come in directly (company job portal, conferences, user groups, other community initiatives and so on) or through a consultant. At Directi we have a Puzzles and Case Studies section on our website and look favorably towards candidates who solve the puzzles or complete their case studies and send their solutions with their resumes. Once we get a resume, we need to make a Go or No Go decision.

We evaluate the submission first. Of course we also need to go through the resume and check the quality of projects the candidate has worked on, see if she has relevant experience, decent exposure to technology & methodology and good communication skills. Unfortunately in today’s competitive environment this is not sufficient. Following is a laundry list of steps I follow to make an informed decision:

  • Google for the person’s name, see if her blog/website shows up. Its a delight to see if Google suggest shows the name. See what others have to say about the candidate through their blogs, discussions, etc. See if the candidate has any other web presence.
  • Is the candidate active in the community (Local and online)? Did the candidate present at user groups and conferences?
  • Does the candidate have published articles, experience reports or books?
  • Has the candidate authored any products (open source or otherwise)? If yes, is it usable, what is its acceptance, what problem is it really trying to solve, compare it to competing products, etc.
  • If the candidate has a blog, check what she writing on her blog. Based on her blog we can gauge her interests, her depth and breath of knowledge, communication skills, exposure, etc. Lot more informative than a resume can provide.
  • I’m particularly interested to see if the candidate has solved any issues with tools, frameworks, etc and explained it well to others on her blog or mailing list or any article.
  • Social Networking sites are a good source of information. For ex: if the candidate has her profile on LinkedIn, we check if she has any recommendations. LinkedIn gives you a graph of how you are connected to the candidate. This also gives some understanding of who in your connection knows the candidate.
  • And so on…

Typically this gives me enough information to make an informed call about the candidate. Now we can move to the next step of our recruitment process. (Typically an intro email requesting 30 mins casual conversation.)

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