Sunday, 25 November 2012

Everyone thinks they're hiring the top 1%

Martin Fowler: “We are still working hard to hire only the very top fraction of software developers (the target is around the top 0.5 to 1%).”

Me: “We get between 100 and 200 [resumes] per opening.”

I remember when I started working for David Shaw he told us they only hired "1 out of 200."
I hear this from almost every software company. "We hire the top 1% or less," they all say.
Could they all be hiring the top 1%? Where are all the other 99%? General Motors?
I had an insight the other day.

Quiz: If you get 200 resumes, and you hire 1 person, are you hiring the top 0.5% of software developers?

"No," you say, "your screening process is unlikely to find the best person out of 200."

Agreed. OK. Let's say you had a magical screening process that actually allowed you to find the "best" person.