Hiring only the best

Regular readers of this blog will know that we’re hiring – we’re always hiring, in fact, and we’re going to be talking about it more in the near future. Hiring good people is really hard, so a smart company is always ready to scoop up a great candidate when they crop up.

Hiring is hard because there’s a lot of really good people out there, but not that many great people out there. The esteemed Joel Spolsky covered this at length over a decade ago in The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing, but it comes down to this:

We only want the very best and can’t afford to do otherwise.

Here’s why…

As a webhosting company, Anchor operates in a pretty unique space. We provide a level of support that goes way beyond what most other companies would ever consider doing, and are often instrumental in designing infrastructure for our customers. There’s no one-size-fits-all for us, and that means that we run into all sorts of weird and interesting problems. We need really smart people to solve those problems.

We’ve written about these sorts of interesting problems before, but that’s not all we’re looking for. Just being smart doesn’t cut it, we need people that are pragmatic, know how to see things from different perspectives, and can communicate well.

We test all these things, and we test hard. A successful candidate goes through four or five different stages of testing and will typically make contact with at least half a dozen Anchorites as part of that. At the end of it we can be confident that we’ve found the right person, and they’ll know whether Anchor is the right place for them.

Now, you might say, that seems unfair on candidates that miss a beat when it comes to seeing the big picture, or perhaps struggle communicating with a group. Might we skip over a brilliant candidate and miss out on hiring them? Absolutely yes.

The thing is, hiring is as much about finding someone who “gets it” as it is finding someone who can do the job, and that’s especially important for Anchor. The effects of a bad hiring decision can go well beyond just lost time and money on one employee, so it’s far better to be discerning and miss a good hire than it is to make a bad call.

Speaking of fairness, keep in mind who this is fair to: our staff and customers. It’s only fair to other Anchor staff to know that everyone else here is superlative at what they do. It’s only fair to our customers that they can call up and expect the very best work.

Those that do make it through the gauntlet turn up to work and know they’re working with some of the brightest minds around, in an environment that is positive, welcoming and switched-on.

It’s what Anchor is built on, the very best.