Getting Hired – At Conferences

One of the things that I have observed from a number of testing conferences is that none of them have any sustained focus on hiring or getting hired *.

There have been one or two sessions about the topic of hiring but nothing sustained.

The occasional tracks that I have seen have been mostly focused around the hiring strategies of big corporates where bums on seats is sometimes more important than cultural team fit.

Most testers don’t know how to get hired – I wrote a book to help bridge that gap. Those that do know how to get hired are truly in the minority and appear, at least on the surface, to be overall better testers. Mostly this is not true – they are good, but they are often no better at testing than others, it’s just they are much better at getting hired. Getting hired is a skill.

Hiring and getting hired is a vast topic and one which is fraught with contextual challenges, but I believe that a dedicated set of talks from hiring managers from a wide variety of contexts, and maybe some sessions and tutorials on writing CVs, interviewing etc would go down well at most testing conferences. It’s great being good at testing but how do you then go on and get hired…

There are supporting topics such as social profiles, writing clear CVs, networking, self education and interpersonal communication that might also make interesting tracks. Or maybe they wouldn’t. Maybe people go to testing conferences to learn about testing and not the other stuff that comes with our working world…

What are your thoughts?

* The conferences that I have been to

7 thoughts on “Getting Hired – At Conferences

  1. Great article, Rob. I agree with you, getting hired is a skill just like any other and some of those abilities you need to get hired are transferable – research, communications and presentation skills. I know some people who are great at their job who do badly in interviews and vice versa. I’ve been told I interview well and I’d like to think I’m pretty good tester too. Do you think that the skills required to get hired as a permanent member of staff different significantly from those looking for work as a Contractor?

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I think the skills for a permie are the same as for a contractor, but a lot does depend on the hiring company.

      Some hiring companies have a different interview processes for contractors which is less intensive so it’s always tricky to say either way.

      I would always assume the interview process is the same and the interview skills are the same.


  2. A really good point Rob. Getting hired is a key skill and conferences don’t focus on this. I guess we just need to be careful that they don’t turn into recruitment centres, or become too recruitment focused (as has happened in some cases with tester meet-ups).

    1. Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for commenting.

      Indeed – they could become a horrible place where people fear to tread. Careful monitoring and facilitation would help that. As would sessions by those hiring managers doing the hiring rather than recruiters.


  3. I’d be interested in that sort of session. Maybe a panel session would give the variety of context it’d need to be useful?

    1. Hi Anna,

      A panel session would be a good idea. I think the topic is so vast that workshops might also be a good way to go.


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