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Submitted by felipehs on


Hello Manager tools community! I need help with a hiring question.

I need to rump up a team for a new SW development project and I am searching for developers. Many have applied, and I have conducted first interviews, but after all MT podcasts on hiring, interviews and so on, my bar got pretty high. I am afraid it is now too high, as I am not accepting anyone. The problem is I am in risk of loosing this project as I can't staff it. Internal movements are also not possible and I have searched for external companies, but it will also take time until finding a company and having a contract with them. 

To give more input, this is happening in a (not too large) city in Germany and not on silicon valley, so there is not a huge amount of software developers available.

The question that is taking my sleep away is, should I lower the bar and hire someone at least to get the project started? 

Thanks for the help!


DMuzzey's picture
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I'm going to answer your questions with another question.  Is the bar at the appropriate level for the job?  If you have to lower the bar to find a candidate and they can't do the job then you are even worse off than not having anyone.  If you are looking for technical skills that truly aren't needed in the next year then thats a slightly different conversation.

felipehs's picture
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Thanks for the comment. Well, I think many people are able to execute the job, but the performance will be different. An average developer could take 1 week on a task, a good developer 2 days and a talent 2 hours. Any of them would be able to get the project going, but I would feel better with the talent.

I am also not only checking technical skils, but interpersonal ones. So I am also discarding talents that don't demonstrate team player skills.

That is how high the bar is currently set. 

Let's say the project already had 2 talent developers and I needed a third one. In this case I would feel more confident not lowering the bar.

However, with noone to support the project, I feel the pressure to "hire someone already!" and that is where the question comes from.


DMuzzey's picture
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Maybe try this to calibrate yourself.  It sounds like you already have a team.  Check your standards against your current team.  If you wouldn't hire someone on your current team based on those standards and you are also happy with the teams performance then likely there is a gap.

I might also get some internal feedback on your bar.  Not sure if you intended this.  Your description of an average, good, and talented developer seems a little off.  I wouldn't expect any developer, no matter how talented, to be able to take a week long task down to two hours.  Thats a 20X improvement.  If they could, would you pay them 20X?  Even 10X?    Assuming the average person can still accomplish the task I would expect the max improvement to be closer to twice as fast or 1.5 X.  Even then you only get that improvement if they are working on a solo project.  A little digging and you should be able to find some data on this.

Maybe try this expirement.  Take your stack of resumes and eliminate all that don't meet the personal skills.  Next go through the remaining and eliminate the ones that you don't think have the ability at all.  Is there anyone left?  If so take a look at their accomlishments.  Have they demonstrated that they can do the type of work you require?   What about them is keeping you from moving forward.  I'm not recommending that you lower your bar.  I am recommending that you challenge and calibrate your bar.