Where I work we have regular round tables, in which you can talk and ask questions to middle management from other departments than your own. I had the opportunity to talk to a person who manages development priorities and staffs teams, and who of course has some insight into hiring and the interview process. That was very enlightening.
For example, finding people to hire in a large organisation is a hard job. Hiring rates are quite fixed, so in order to find people to hire you need to go through a relatively fixed, larger number of resume reviews, phone screens and face to face interviews. Assume that for each three people you would want to hire you need to sift through 100 resumes – that’s 10.000 resumes to look at for 300 people to hire. And it can not be automated.
An interview process for hiring, then moving people and their families, and finally on-boarding has latency – several months, often half a year, until the move and first day at work, and then another three months of on-boarding and three more months of team formation (the four *ormings).
I agree with whiteboard programming being a useless exercise in hiring interviews, and prefer other methods to validate credentials and capability – I like to ask people “Choose a previous project from your resume and tell me about it. What was that about, what was hard, and how did you handle this? What did you like about your solution, and what would you be doing differently in retrospective?” I like to hear about things they are proud of, and things they have learned, and I like to hear about possible choices and reasons for preferring one over the other.
Thanks for your email. I’m very interested indeed. I have nothing against an interview. However, there is one condition: I have to be interviewed by the person I will be working for. By my future direct manager.
is not going to work in any larger organisation, and for sure not in the place I work in. “We don’t hire for a specific position, except for very few and distinct job profiles. Certainly not for developer positions.” has been explained to me. “We would for example hire for specific positions in deep infra, Network Engineers or Database Administrators, but that’s rare and an exception.”
When I asked for the why, we ended speaking about one core work of that manager, and how an agile organisation at scale can work. In our case, the organisation has a very specific culture and way of working, and of course a huge established codebase. The purpose of on-boarding is to explain our way of working and our past choices to beginners, and to familiarise them with our vocabulary, toolset and environment in a safe way.
After completing this, beginners like everyone else, can enter the “Choose your next team” process, in which wishes and requests, skills and interests are being matched, and in which people can move laterally through the organisation.
It may very well be that the job and team you are applying for after completing on-boarding did not exist yet when you were interviewed – and in fact that’s not entirely unlikely, considering growth and the speed of change in the business environment.