Monday, January 12, 2009

Recruiting and Managing Geeks

Via CarnalOwnage i found a very interesting link about recruiting Geeks or technology savvy candidates. The article is called "Open letter from geeks to IT recruiters" and it gives tips to recruiters on how they have to evaluate a candidate for IT. There is also a part about managing Geeks, and that part is more interesting from my point of view.

Here are some tips they gave about managing Geeks:

  • Try to measure productivity in output and not in hours. (article)
  • Assign tasks to the geeks who are most interested in them, not the ones with the most experience.
  • Segregate the corporate, compensatory hierarchy from the leadership hierarchy. Basically this mean that the Geeks will organize in a meritocracy, following the group guru. In my opinion not always will be this way, but a halfway option could be good.

I would like to add some others:
  • Allow them to work remotely.
  • Don't impose absurd procedures, that consume time.
  • Listen to their opinions usually they have very good alternatives or ideas, they are problem solvers and like challenges.
  • Don't impose online content control/management, they are the "online generation", if they are productive why to worry if they are chatting or browsing the net. Most of the times they will be reading information that will improve their work and knowledge, and this is good for you.
  • Give recognition, most of the business today relay on their work, stop and think again how much of your business relay on their work. Management tend to know the work of the geeks when things goes bad, what about of recognize them when everything goes smooth ?
  • Don't burn them, they will leave, they do not tend to stay as other kind of employees.
  • Give them the correct equipment, why people don't understand that a 3 year old computer is not adequate for doing the job in conditions? It's true that they work but they performance is awful and that will demotivate the geek. They spend the whole day working with the computer, usually multitasking,  go and buy them a good and powerful computer, with a big screen or multiple screen setup, productivity will boost... and remember 19" is not a big screen...
  • Let them wear casual clothes in your company, they are not too friends of the tie. But they understand that if the need to go to customer office is necessary to wear the suit.
  • Provide them with a creative environment.
  • Give them training, they will take advantage of it.

Some of this are taken from the "How not to lead geeks".

Do you have other tips?



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