1. You can’t afford move-in-ready.
Your ideal candidate has 7 years experience architecting software, but in reality, someone with 4 years fits the bill. We often write job descriptions that are specific without the justification for being so. Could you hire a Python developer with iOS experience who can wireframe? Maybe, but that kind of specificity will cost you time and money to find her. Look for opportunities to meet people who are in the right ballpark and start there. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until it’s staring you in the face – and it doesn’t look like anything you imagined.
2. You can’t have open-concept without support beams.
Ahh, the “flat” organization that seemingly self-manages and sustains itself on good feelings. This is rare (if it even exists). Why the negativity towards managers? Wouldn’t you love to share the responsibility of coaching everyone on the team?
You can have an open community that’s held up by a few managerial support beams; they don’t ruin the view. Rather, they keep the ceiling in place so it doesn’t all come tumbling down. When staffing a team, make sure you’ve got at least one person supporting its members so the CEO doesn’t have to do it all.
Because let’s be honest. No one has time to do it all.
3. Look for square footage; you can always repaint that wall.
As any good designer knows, the design of something will continue evolving until the end of time. So when you’re choosing a candidate to hire, see them in the same way. Their personal design is evolving and what’s Mac today could be Linux tomorrow.
But the core qualities of a candidate won’t change. Is he open-minded? Does she make people excited to work with her? Is he curious and willing to learn new things? These qualities are nearly impossible to learn and incredibly valuable when it comes to team make-up and organizational energy.
4. Consider moving outside your preferred area.
It’s extremely competitive to find talent these days, particularly in the NYC and Bay area. If you’re willing to work with a remote member of the team, your recruiting and hiring plans really have the potential to explode.
Not only are good remote workers known for their communication skills (a must for any team member!), but having a distributed team forces everyone to be specific in their documentation and expectations. Just because a developer prefers to live near family in the midwest doesn’t mean she couldn’t be an amazing addition to your team. Dip into an unexpected pool of talent via remote job boards and you’ll beat every other organization’s hiring practices to the punch.
5. What you’re looking for may already be under your feet.
Why move if you can renovate? Before you decide to hire someone to fit a new role, your first stop should be resourcing within the organization. As employees continue down their career paths, some may want to try a different role than they’re used to.
This is especially true when it comes to hiring managers or leaders. It’s worth taking a look at your current employees and identifying those with leadership qualities. If they’re already part of the culture, they’ve got a leg up on building trust with co-workers — and that’s incredibly valuable when it comes to managing teams.