Hire Growers

Tech workers rarely take a job just because they need one. It’s a buyers market for the most part, and more so when the economy is booming. Rational job seekers – and I’d like to think they all are – choose positions that will allow them to grow and develop.

Finding the right person for the job is never easy. The hiring manager’s job is to hire people who are most likely to grow, and help them realize their potential. The ethical justification for a hiring decision does not revolve around saving the candidate from starvation or allowing yourself to take more days off. Instead, it centers on imagining a better future for the candidate and coaching them on their path to achieving it. Hiring someone only to fill an opening is as short-sighted as getting hired just for the paycheck.

Hiring people who want to grow and develop is the best option for both sides. Growers are people who constantly try to improve what they do and how they do it. Even though they think long-term, they don’t necessarily have to be young. Some employers use the euphemism “dynamic” to describe what is essentially a young person, hiding a discriminatory message in otherwise mundane job descriptions. Optimists see “dynamic” as a characteristic of growers of any age.

Growers want to assume increasing responsibility, and likely see the hiring manager’s position as their next career move. Understandably, hiring them can be intimidating. On the other hand, hiring candidates who are set in their ways is a sure sign of mediocrity; job seekers would be wise to stay away from such employers. As they say, A players hire A players but B players hire C players. Hiring an A player requires foresight and planning, but most of all courage, a rare commodity in many companies.

How do you identify growers? Look for these telltale signs:

1) They have a clear vision of their career path, and can articulate it.

2) They have a good understanding of your market and can envision your company’s next moves.

3)  They have the background required to base their growth upon.

The next time you’re trying to “fill a req”, be brave and hire a grower who will take your team (and possibly your company) to the next level. They will likely seek – and may eventually assume – your position, but if you manage it right this should propel you toward the next step in your own career.