This is an in-person position.
Our office is in Prompton, PA. It's a beautiful small town about 90 minutes from New York City. It's centrally located, with a less-than-five-hour drive to Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, and, of course, NYC.
If you have a family (or are thinking about starting one), the local school district is one of the top districts in Pennsylvania:
Resumes are (Way) Overrated
I hire differently than most.
I know graduates from top-tier colleges that I wouldn't want anywhere near my company. I know computer science majors that can optimize a traveling salesman algorithm but are so business-illiterate that they can't explain the etymology of the term. I know programmers who can write code all day and all night but can't string together an entire paragraph of grammatically correct, logically coherent sentences.
And I know that the most important skills for a software developer are the ability to think logically and communicate effectively.
That's why I don't use resumes as a screening tool.
The Problems with Resumes
Resumes as a screening tool are terrible for several reasons:
- They overrate the value of past experiences
- They overrate the value of easily learned skills
- They overrate the value of formal education
- They overrate the value of perfecting a single document
- They underrate the value of an applicant's desire to work for a particular employer
- They underrate the value of an applicant who can think logically
- They underrate the value of an applicant's intangible qualities
- They exacerbate the signal vs. noise problem inherent in the hiring process
- They encourage subconscious stereotyping and biases
I should probably write about these topics in greater depth in future articles. I have a lot to say on the topic of hiring, resumes, and higher education.
If not resumes, then what?
Do I immediately jump to an in-person interview? No. That would be insane. (I actually did that the very first time I tried to fill a position.) You absolutely need some kind of screening tool before you devote massive amounts of time to in-person interviews as an employer.
What I've come up with is a fictional scenario about a small business owner running a medical device servicing company named MediMaint. I provide a one-page overview of the business owner's problem, then ask applicants to provide two one-page documents:
- A Q&A with the fictional business owner where the applicant asks clarifying questions and also provides the fictional business owner's responses
- A one-page, non-technical proposal that the applicant would provide to the business owner to pitch a solution to his problem
This MediMaint scenario is an absolute game-changer.
Finding Diamonds in the Rough
(Or, if you prefer the highfalutin language of economists, "exploiting market inefficiencies.")
The biggest market inefficiency in the US job market today is the overreliance on resumes as a screening tool.
That's bad news for most employees and employers. On the bright side, though, it's good news for me. That's because my method of identifying qualified applicants neatly circumvents the problems with using resumes as a screening tool.
- Completing the scenario takes time. Applicants who are shotgunning resumes out to dozens of employers won't bother wasting their time completing my scenario. And that's fine by me. Signal vs. noise problem solved.
- For the intellectually curious, the scenario is an irresistible puzzle. (I've actually had multiple applicants tell me they had fun completing the proposal.) As it so happens, the intellectually curious are exactly the kinds of applicants I want to attract. Underrated intangibles problem solved.
- It hasn't been commoditized. Every proposal I get is completely original. Applicants can fake a resume; they can't fake this scenario. Overrated perfect doc problem solved.
- I don't need a developer (like me) to do the initial screening. The first part of the proposal is intended for a non-technical audience. That means a non-technical employee can perform that screening role.
- It's way more interesting reading than sorting through a stack of resumes.
'Tis Better to Attract Good Fits Than to Block Bad Fits
Think of it like this. Imagine all the "good" fits for a job are iron shavings and all the "bad" fits are sawdust. The resume screening approach is like slowly shaking the sawdust mixture through a sieve. The problem is that the sawdust and the iron shavings are similar sizes. So, some of the "good" fits will get missed, while some of the "bad" fits will appear to be good.
The MediMaint scenario approach is like a big magnet moving over the mixture and attracting only the iron shavings, i.e., the "best" fits.
So, if you think you are one of those best fits (or you know someone who might be), head on over to our Careers page to download the scenario and apply today!