Blog Roadmap – 2014

I have neglected this blog over the last few months for a variety of reasons but I’m back on it.

So what follows below is my blogging road map for the rest of this year.

It’s based mostly around hiring the right people. It seems like my world is occupied by hiring right now. It’s a large part of my work at NewVoiceMedia and is a topic I’m deeply passionate about.

I wrote Remaining Relevant to help testers find good jobs and then do well in applications and interviews and I’ve since helped a number of testers improve their recruit-ability.

This next year will see me blog about recruiting from the other angle – from the angle of a hiring manager building an efficient and effective team – not just hiring testers who have all the buzzwords listed on their CV.

When I was recruiting one or two people I could rely on traditional ways of recruiting (adverts on jobs boards). When I was hiring in the numbers of around 5-10 I needed to get more efficient so I started using recruiters (they aren’t all bad) and other mechanisms to find people (which I will share as part of my upcoming posts)

When we’ve been recruiting in the 50+ (not all testers!) mark we really needed to get smart with how we do it.

I’ve only ever seen two presentations at a testing conference about hiring testers and both have made me cringe. One presentation talked about the process of scoring each candidate in a giant spreadsheet regarding some core skills such as test case management, defect writing and spec analysis. The person with the most points got the job.

There was no assessment of person fit, attitude, learning ethos, work ethics or anything else that is SUCH a big part of building an effective team.

The second presentation was about the desire to hire Top Class talent but with internal HR constraints and a crappy budget. The role went unfulfilled because the candidates weren’t good enough….but the salary wasn’t good enough and the aptitude tests by HR were putting off good people. (hint – fight the constraints, change the constraints, influence the people who can change the constraints, ignore the constraints, swap two roles for one or do whatever is necessary to get the person you need for the business to move forward – or of course lower your quality bar :))

It’s clear that most testers often don’t know how to get hired, and most hiring managers don’t seem to want to improve the hiring process.

I didn’t want to build an average test team here at NewVoiceMedia so I didn’t adopt average ways of recruiting. I’m not alone – there are many other talented hiring managers using innovative ways to get good talent to come and work with them – I’m hoping to get some of these people to guest post also 🙂

So the road-map will be focused on hiring. Here’s the road-map:

  • Effort on the CV is a good indicator
  • The certification is not a marker of excellence
  • Stop relying on certifications for hiring
  • Take recruiting seriously
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Recruiting is not quick. Well not always
  • Plan carefully
  • Find a  trusted supplier
  • Don’t rush in to a decision
  • Dedicate time each day to recruitment
  • Kanban recruitment board
  • Tell them the truth. Are you offering a career in testing or just a job
  • Run retrospectives
  • Training versus hiring
  • Outsource all hiring or just some of it
  • Is your job role realistic
  • Writing good job adverts
  • Don’t use Nice To haves
  • Focus on values.
  • What end result do I want from each hire
  • Your recruitment consultants are an advert for your business
  • Learn from each interview
  • Direct contact is okay..if you have a compelling offer
  • Know their experience
  • Never the standard job spec
  • You are always hiring
  • Find people who inspire you
  • Slow down or speed up
  • Practical assessment are ok. In fact you should do them.
  • We don’t have the money to hire
  • Recruiters remove the need for tricky conversations
  • I don’t have the skills to recruit
  • Hire for your culture – not for skills.
  • Different messages for your recruiters
  • Videos
  • Filtering CVs.
  • Understanding a CV
  • CV Review – Look for outcomes
  • CV Review – Working through Jargon
  • Researching on Social Networks
  • Follow up on references
  • Logos on CVs
  • 3 Different Types of CV
  • How to deal with desperate candidates
  • Always be ready to receive an application
  • Should a hiring manager have an online presence
  • Create a business blog
  • Fending off recruiters
  • Networking
  • Follow up on prospects rapidly
  • Create a really great first impression
  • Recruiters – work out the ratio of success of each one
  • Build relationships with recruiters
  • Keep a record of all applicants and their outcome
  • Phone Interviews – Keep them short
  • Phone Interviews – Plan accordingly
  • Phone Interviews – Pair Up
  • Phone Interviews – Make Notes
  • Phone Interviews – Don’t Use a Phone
  • Phone Interviews – Lack of visuals
  • Phone Interviews – End the Call Like a Pro
  • Phone Interviews – Be clear and conscise
  • Interviews – Why do we do them?
  • Interviews – Open Questions
  • Interviews – Informal Discussions
  • Interviews – Leading Questions
  • Interviews – Closed Questions
  • Interviews – Loaded Questions
  • Interviews – Paraphrase Questions
  • Interviews – Hypothetical Questions
  • Interviews – Open With Time For Questions
  • Interviews – Time Keeping
  • Interviews – Appearance Matters
  • Interviews – Physical Proximity
  • Interviews – Make Them Feel Comfortable
  • Interviews – Turn Your Phone Off
  • Interviews – Eye Contact
  • Interviews – Leakage
  • Interviews – Take Notes
  • Interviews – Overpowering number of people
  • Interviewing for Second Life
  • Interviews – Did they actually answer the question
  • Interviews – Do a tour
  • Interviews – Be Honest
  • Interviews – Working with recruitment consultants
  • Interviews – Multi-part interview
  • Interviews – Reflect after the interview
  • Offering – Make it appealing
  • Rejecting – Give feedback
  • Recruiting – Be flexible
  • Accept rejection – don’t keep badgering
  • Killer questions in interview
  • Give people a chance
  • Don’t push a tester to be something they are not…and then call them stupid

And if I manage to blog all of that then I’m hoping you will have a pretty decent set of ideas to help you find good testers for your team.

Note – I may not blog in the order listed above. I will also expect new posts to emerge and existing ideas to be deleted.

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