A friend recently reached out for advice on interviewing and hiring senior engineering leaders. I’ve spent a good deal of time on this topic over the last couple years, starting with partnering with Laura Hilton to design Stripe’s采访循环对于工程领导，最近经过寻求自己的角色。作为一个组织心理学的窗口特别有趣，招聘是特别有趣的：对于最高的股权决定，他们是否转向结构体or to intuition?
For many topics I can write the algorithm that I’m confident will lead to a pretty good outcome, but this definitely isn’t one of them. Rather these are just the notes of what I’ve seen so far.
For clarity’s sake, I’m defining “senior” as managing an engineering organization of 30+ folks, likely with a Director-plus title at a pre-IPO company or the VPE/CTO at a smaller startup. These ideas will apply to folks outside of these narrow lanes, but will require some adaptation.
Further, you’re hiring for a skillset you’re missing, which makes it hard to know exactly how to evaluate the candidates. Worse, while these folks will fit many aspects of your culture to some extent, you’re also hiring them to bring a new influence into your culture, which may generate mixed results from a overly rigid approach to assessing culture fit.
- Topgradingwhere they dig into your accomplishments and trajectory over the course of your career. These look for career acceleration across each role. Note that most places won’t call these topgrading, and may not even be familiar their interview is influenced by topgrading.
- 小组介绍关于相关主题的执行，对等体或团队。一个频繁的主题是你的first ninety plan.
- Group Q&A为了评估您的展示能力，以及让房间兴奋地与您合作。
- Working sessionwith would-be manager or peers on a relevant problem.
- 适合对话with critical stakeholder, including the folks you’ll manage, to learn about you and understand your approach, beliefs and style.
- Backchannel referencesto learn about you, ensuring they don’t only hear from folks particularly positively predisposed towards you.
The majority of processes I’m aware of are some combination of those, over the course of six to twelve distinct interviews, emails, phone calls and texting threads.
BackChannels缺点已经在每一步中有可能阻碍它们的结构不平等的人。被称为恐吓他人是否可能被描述为粗体的那种人。威胁他人可能被描述为喧闹的东西。如果您与不与单独的回报率密切合作的人聊天，它们也可能比八卦更少。他们可以以一种创造相当多的过度悲伤的方式公开候选人的求职。此外，它们代表了对您评估人士的能力的不信任 - 不应该更多地信任您的过程吗？
我听到所有这些批评backchannel, and I agree with it: backchannels introduce considerable bias along with all the other issues.
However, I still think they’re necessary when hiring for executives. Rather than skipping backchannels, I think your obligation is to do them well. Listen to feedback very carefully and knowing full-well that it’s packed with bias. Ensure you ask folks who worked with the individual closely. Let the candidate know that you’re planning to do backchannel references and try to incorporate their guidance. (That said, as a candidate I’ve always accepted that this will happen without folks letting me know. It’s just “how it works” in my experience.)
进入事物的核心，我认为背包是必不可少的，因为高管在组织中影响人们的生活巨大机会。Executive candidates are, with some exception, far more privileged than the folks they’ll soon be responsible for, and you owe it to the team to ensure that the person you’re entrusting them to hasn’t left a trail of ethical concerns behind them. Inconveniencing one relatively privileged individual to prioritize the needs of dozens or hundreds of relatively less privileged folks strikes me as totally reasonable behavior.
我们参加条纹最近的高级工程访谈刷新的方法是专注于人们demonstratingtheir skills rather than描述他们的技能。我们集思了经验丰富的经营者在花时间开启的活动，并设计了对这些活动进行了设计的面试。这种方法在某种程度上在“标准过程”演示文稿面试中，但我们想进一步走得更远。
Much of senior leadership is editing and providing advice to folks on your team, so we tested an interview where folks had to give feedback on a poorly written set of team goals. Another common activity is reviewing an organizational health survey, something along the lines ofCultureamp., so we synthesized an organizational health dataset and asked them to analyze it, identify themes and propose how they’d address each of those themes.
I found this approach gave a very clear sense of how directly and seriously leaders had engaged with these specific areas that we considered integral to successful senior leadership. They’re particularly good at extracting depth (relative to asking folks to describe a time they did something along those lines) and they get signal even if the candidate is an unstructured communicator (while still capturing the signal that they are an unstructured communicator).
This demonstration of expertise approach is certainly notthe onlysort of interview you should do, but personally I think it works quite well and I hope to shift more of my future interviews that direction.
It feels like there must be better techniques out there, so我问，并有一些有趣的观点：
- Yvette Pasqua建议的更多主题for demonstrating expertise like translating business strategy into technology strategy, navigating your P&L statement, mediating complex conflict
- Rushabh Doshi.分享他的帖子招聘工程领袖, which links to Martin Casado’sHire a VP of Engineering, and in particular pushes back on backchannel references
- TechTello建议评估the role a year out (not the role today), and digging into their willingness to take unpopular opinions, something negative they’ve learned about your company and how they’d try to change it, dig into your company values, design a layoff, and their questions around the company and role
- 保罗罗宾逊引用了他写的一篇文章The Problems of the CTO Role, which includes a short section on hiring focused on understanding what sort of CTO/VPE you wish to hire
我一起拉动所有这一切，我的面试高级候选人的一般性建议是确定他们需要执行的任务，设计一个循环来拥有它们证明mastery of the related skills, check for alignment on company价值, and keep doing backchannel references.