How to use a Moneyball approach to build a better IT team

By Rich Hein, CIO |  IT Management

Rosenbaum says he plans to hire 150 people at Catalyst over the next year and estimates the company will look at more than 10,000 applicants before choosing ones that they feel are not only great employees but also that they fit into the culture of the company they will be working with.

The process is almost completely automated, says Rosenbaum and starts with an online application that asks for some basic information. Using algorithms they choose candidates for the next portion, which is a much more detailed online application that takes a few hours to complete. Applicants are being monitored and judged via resume data, keystrokes, time on page, public domain data and other proprietary signals.

Algorithms will then take that data and generate a probability score of whether that person will be a high performer over time. Catalyst's HR people get an immediate percentage number. If applicants reach a certain threshold then they will be interviewed and a majority wind up being brought onboard. In the first four months, new employees work with a team manager and perform tasks that the company has performed for their clients many times in the past, so they get to know how things are done there and also to build a baseline of metrics.

Build a Winning IT Team

There's another sports adage that applies here: Great players win games, but great teams win championships. Finding people who are not only great developers but also fit into your company culture is challenging in a competitive IT job market.

"How a developer handles stress and uncertainty is incredibly important, because the software development world is often one of big problems and short deadlines. One of the overarching qualities that we value most when hiring new talent, particularly as a software development firm, is the ability for a programmer to solve problems under duress," says Rosenbaum. Ten years of using this method has taught Rosenbaum a few things about building teams with the right people. Here are three key points, according to Rosenbaum.

1) Look Beyond the Resume

When you're looking for new talent, do your best to look beyond the resume. As an industry, we're so accustomed to using the resume as a barometer of potential employee success. This approach can seriously mislead and deter companies from finding the best talent. For example, in 10 years of screening more than 10,000 potential employees, I have found zero statistically relevant correlation between whether or not a candidate has a degree (undergrad or masters) and whether or not the candidate will succeed as a software developer.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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