Wednesday, August 1, 2012

An Unconventional Approach to Recruiting

I have been spending enormous amounts of time filling this role for a technical web project manager. Most of the candidates that I have interviewed are not web savvy enough. I couldn't see them adding more value than assigning tasks and updating status reports. To be effective in this role, the candidate needs to understand how web pages work, be able to problem solve, and help educate our customers on the nuances of maintaining effective websites. Most of all, the candidate needs to love the web. I mean, really love it. In addition to all that, there are the standard PM responsibilities of keeping track of issues and workload management.

After sourcing candidates the traditional way, I decided to take an unconventional approach. Rather than make the job application process easy to increase number of applicants that can later be filtered (by me), I created an experiment to filter up front with this simple job application form. The form applies three filters:

  1. You need to have a presence on the web — some URL. It could be your blog or personal site, your Twitter profile, your LinkedIn profile, Google Plus, about.me, flavors.me, Facebook… This shows that you are interested in the web and are participating.

  2. You need to be curious. It is not immediately obvious how to submit the form. I know a lot of people will bail and prefer the conventional route of pumping out résumés and job applications. I want a problem solver who looks for a clever solution.

  3. You need to have web skills. The solution requires that you know your way around your browser's developer tools and can diagnose a web display issue.


Successful form submissions get sent directly to my work email. Anyone who meets those three criteria deserves my careful consideration.

I have floated this idea by a few colleagues. Some people love it. Some are skeptical. I have no idea how it is going to turn out and that makes it a perfect experiment. The only challenge is to publicize this as much as possible so I can have a statistical sample. If you are curious about this approach too, please share this blog post and the application link: http://liox-web-pm.appspot.com/. I promise to share the results even if they stink.

If you are interested in the job, good luck with the application!