do you hire based on skill or personality?

  • 5
    I would say both as you need talent but also a good work ethic.
  • 3
    Both are important in my opinion.
  • 7
    I hire based on skillsonality.
  • 5
    Mostly personality. If they can't get along with the team, it's not going to last long. Skills can be taught/learned, but need to fit in with the group.
  • 9
    At my last job, we used to say, "You can teach anyone how to program. You can't teach people to stop being a dick."
  • 1
    @lreading I like that... But added to that, there does need to be a hint of talent too!
  • 2
    Mostly personality, but we always value how fast a person can adapt by putting them under stress in the interview with a way off base line of questions.

    Can teach anyone to program if they are a great person to work with, as said above.
  • 0
    @leighb4rnes Why do you need to put deliberately put someone under stress?
  • 2
    @GinjaNinja - we started that in the interview process. As we have had multiple individuals that collapse under pressure. Leaving the team around them to take up the slack.

    If we put a person off guard and they are calm and collected they are gonna be amazing to add to the team. If the person goes frantic and starts talking faster while they try and figure out what they have just been thrown. We know for sure that person is gonna , make mistakes at the very least under pressure, at the very worst burn out. For their well being would never throw them into an environment that would cause them harm.

    It also very often shows if some one can take criticism. Great devs will listen and argue while hearing the other side.
  • 1
    @leighb4rnes Hmmm... Let me start off by stating that a hire should be based first and foremost on "whether or not that person will add value".

    Now, if that means he/she will be required to work under pressure is not something that everyone has in their bag of tricks... and, believe it or not, that's OK! The person's strengths may lie elsewhere, then that is what should be focused on, because that strength is what is going to add value to the team/project/company.

    If he/she is a good fit for the team... perfect! If he/she can work well under pressure... bonus!
  • 0
    @GinjaNinja - they wouldn't be in an interview if they didn't have a skill that would add value.

    As a DEV and a good one that person will need to learn and grow, a lot of the time that will happen when there is a need for something with at the very least a timeline. While we can't equate an individual on that with out trial by fire that is how we equate that.

    From 12 years worth of hiring and working with amazing guys and girls. The ones that don't collapse under pressure will be around for the long run. You may view that as harsh or short sighted, but it has worked for us.
  • 2
    Both. Having only hired one person after two months of interviews, a good coder as interesting as a bank manager is not something we are looking for. Same thing for a passionate kid who fails a simple anagram or fizzbuzz test.
  • 0
    personality is a skill
  • 0
    @leighb4rnes I get where you're coming from and what you are saying. And the hiring criteria that you've set out is completely at your own discretion and prerogative.

    That being said, there is a flip side to the problem. Along with being a competent programmer, you need to have a great personality and be a team player and work well under pressure and, and, and... you'll get the job!

    My main concern is that you could potentially (and probably have) let really good candidates otherwise fall through the cracks.

    I'd much rather hire an ass who is a competent, productive programmer, who doesn't f@#* up the code base, than some "who can work well under pressure" based on some questions in an interview he got right 'cause he can fake it 'til he makes it!

    Just my 2c...
  • 0
    I hear you @GinjaNinja - we probably have. But saved HR and management time which keeps phenomenal people employed. If SA had better Labour laws we wouldn't be so selective and give more to chance. But again I do hear your sentiment.
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