Blog of Rob Galanakis (@robgalanakis)

Could a random hire thrive in your organization?

I made a couple posts (applicant-designed hiring, randomized hiring) about how less-controlled hiring processes could lead to designing an organization where more folks could thrive. It’s largely a thought experiment, so I’ll share my thoughts :)

What would need to work for a random hire to thrive?

  • Smooth onboarding and documentation. Nothing can fix getting off on the right foot, so onboarding, technical and otherwise, needs to be in good shape.
  • Decent tooling. If doing anything requires expertise with a bunch of cloud services and debugging tooling that is constantly inefficient, it’s unlikely a random hire would be able to participate.
  • Good test coverage and code quality. Give folks the best change possible of being able to contribute to the position they’re hired into.
  • Robust management practices. Without “culture fit” interviews, you’re likely to get someone outside your norm. You’ll need an adaptive and coherent management strategy.
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  • Continuous learning. You can’t select for a specific set of skills as easily, so you’ll need to make sure folks can pick up skills on the job.
  • Dealing with poor fits. You can’t depend on your hiring process to prevent them (not that it does now). You’ll need to figure out a compassionate way to part with bad hires.

The list goes on and on but these were at front of mind. And wow, these things look like they’d benefit any team, regardless of hiring practices! It seems like most folks would be able to thrive if you had these sorts of things solved.

In some ways, this is similar to “what is preventing us from auto-deploying when our tests pass?” Solving that is just a huge win, even if you don’t auto-deploy.

Creating an environment where a random hire would likely succeed is much more firmly in your control than hiring “better” candidates, and I’d love to see internal processes get a rigor similar to the time we’re spending on designing the hiring process.

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