Hiring Good People

Filed under Hiring

The topic of hiring came up recently, and it reminding me of a novel approach an employer I once worked with used to find people.

They posted notices with all the major job search boards (that’s how I came across them in the first place), and in them, they gave no email address, just the URL of a zip file that contained the source of a broken project.

The task was to fix the project. Once you’d done so and were able to run the thing to completion, the end result was the email address where you needed to submit your resume.

The trick was that you couldn’t just find the email address in the source. The project really did have to be debugged and corrected first.

It wasn’t terribly tough. If I remember correctly, I fixed it up one morning before going in to my at that time current job, and submitted my resume more on a lark than anything else. The company was, after all, located in Chicago (I had no interest in moving to Chicago), and they made no mention of telecommuting.

In the end, I liked the guys involved, got the job and stayed for more than two years.

I was speaking with the CIO who concocted the test at one point. He said he got something like nine resumes submitted and every one of them looked like a great fit. That in contrast to the thousands of resumes that come in from a typical post to, say, Dice.

In the entire time I’ve used the various job sites out there, I’ve never seen this approach used by anyone else.

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