I mentioned before that I attended management meeting for a division of Tyler Technologies a few weeks back. As part of the meeting we talked about employee satisfaction, hiring and retention.
I found over many years that when it comes to hiring, the only thing that is important is to hire smart and conscientious people. You want people on the team who are genuinely smart because they can learn quickly. There are two key things that comes out of the previous sentence
- Be able to learn quickly
- Be wanting to learn
Hence, there are two things you want to talk about in the interview. You want to discuss some technical topics. I usually concentrate on the work that a candidate did. I ask him or her about the latest most exciting project they did. Then I talk about the specifics of that, asking technical, procedural and theoretical questions. I do not always use questions I blog about here. At Tyler we also provide developer candidates with a problem to solve using any technology they want. We give them a laptop and problem statement. It is fairly simple, but it will take a few hours to do properly. Primarily, we are looking at how they approach the issue and the quality they put into the solution. We do not expect them to complete the task, but we will see what code they produce. We also try to gauge how much effort a person puts into learning outside of current job.
When it comes to retaining employees, which is direct result of employee satisfaction, I do not want to rehash this great study that Gallup put out. Read for yourself, as it distills the aspects of the job that important to people.