I Fired Four Developers In Six Months And I Tested Them

This is a story, not about hiring and firing, but about the process of hiring somebody and some tips that can help you make sure you hire the right people. Sometimes, no matter how much testing and interviewing you go through, you may still end up with the wrong person but don’t be afraid to really test them during the recruitment process.

I literally was in the situation that I had to let go of four developers in less than six months, for various reasons.  But what they did prompt me to do was to reassess the testing and assessment process.

A couple of tips:

1)      Make sure the test is absolutely appropriate for the job that they’re going to be partaking when they join the organization. Ideally, don’t just test them on their technical skills but see if there are ways to test them on their personal skills. If they need to be able to work as a team, then you need to question and quiz them in a certain way to make sure they’re going to work well in your team as well. Make that part of your test.

2)      Follow your instinct. Make sure that if your instinct tells you in an interview that things don’t seem right or when they start communicating with you – there might be some emails going back and forth –you start to feel like things don’t feel right, trust your instinct because it’s often correct. If you try to fight that instinct, you might end up with the wrong person.

3)      Don’t be afraid to make your test really hard. Sometimes, you may have to pay them for their time in the testing so that they can perform a sufficient test for you to really gauge their skills. You might want them to come and actually work in your organization for aday and do some work. Pay them for the day if you have to because those few extra bucks could be worth more than the lost money you could be saving in wages down the track.

4)      If you don’t have the skills, personally, to appropriately test somebody, then find somebody that does. Again, it’s a cost that’s worth enduring. If you need to hire a software developer and you’re not an experienced software developer yourself then find somebody that will be able to define a test to set for somebody, based on your requirements, and assess that test. It might not cost you a lot of money because that’s not a very onerous task, but you need somebody with the right skills to do that.


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