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Pedro Paulo Oliveira Jr

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A few months ago we were in a hiring spree and I was helping the HR team to improve our process to deal with the flood of resumes we were receiving.

Unfortunately many companies use the following process: Automatic filter resumes, Send code challenge, then start talking. This is a flawed methodology that will on the long run yield B players and my goal in this short post is to prove why.

In Brazil, the dream of many kids is to turn into a professional soccer player, therefore the major soccer teams in the league are flooded with applicants and it’s hard from seeing a kid play for 10-15 minutes to decide if we are seeing an average player or the next Lionel Messi.

One famous rejection occurred in the summer of 1953 when Flamengo turned down a young player nicknamed Garrincha after a quick glance by saying his legs were not straight. The history proved then wrong and Garrincha playing for the rival team Botafogo humiliated Flamengo several times and won two Fifa World Cups.

My point is, if we set an automatic or semi-automatic process before we even have a chance to talk with the candidate we might reject people that are true A player. A players sometimes shy away from doing automated code interviews before talking. A players sometimes don’t perform well in simulated situations when they don’t have motivation to see that it’s not yet another automated test. Your automated test sometimes is poorly designed.

In 1984 Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers had the opportunity to draft Michael Jordan. They both wasted it. Of course one can argue that hindsight is 20/20 but let’s give ourselves a better chance of hiring the Michael Jordans of development by having a conversation first and then moving into a coding challenge.