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Aug 30, 2017
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

As promised, this is the first in a series where we can break down the process for starting a search. In part one, we will break down steps one and two. The next article will discuss steps three and four, and final article will cover steps five, six and seven. As a reminder, the steps were:

  1. Work by hand
  2. Write Down What You Did
  3. Find Patterns
  4. Check by Hand
  5. Translate to Code (Boolean)
  6. Run Test Cases
  7. Debug Failed Test Cases

Step 1. Work by Hand

What does it mean to “Work by Hand?” This step would happen when we first get the job requirement or intake meeting.

We’ll want to look at the job description and start figuring out exactly what we’re looking for. It’s not the time to think in code (Boolean). That comes later. Right now, we are inspecting.

But what if you’re not a hundred percent sure of what you’re looking for? That’s where domain knowledge comes in. Sometimes we may be asked to work on a search that we’ve never worked on before. A role that we’re not even sure what that person would be doing in the company.

Sure, the ideal situation is to have a call with the hiring manager to do a full intake and find out exactly everything they are looking for, what the candidate is going to be doing in that role, and what are some similar attributes that someone may have. But what happens when we can’t get all that up front?

We dive in. We research. We use our sourcing skills to find out what we might need to know, and we take notes. Let’s say you’re looking for a software engineer that has experience working with Solr and Voldemort. What on earth do we need someone that has the power of the sun and a Harry Potter character? If you don’t know what these software’s are, how can you find someone that is a fit?  Especially when LinkedIn only has 133 of these people listed.

Doing a little research, you’re able to find what Solr is and that there may be other software that is similar. Likewise, with Voldemort.

I also use this time to find out what people in this role might have been doing before they arrived. Have you ever heard the expression “I wish I could find this person xx years ago?” Usually, this means that someone was doing exactly what they needed x years before they got to where they are. This is a good way to get more knowledge of what you’re looking for.


Step 2. Write Down What You Did.

Once you are comfortable that you understand what you’re looking for, have some profiles of people that may be currently working for your company in this role (or profiles that the hiring manager may have passed along that looks like a fit), or even people that you’ve used in a similar search; it’s time to write everything down.

Write down all the similar software you found while researching the software, past companies that people may have worked for, skills that you see in the job description that you need to look for, and keywords from the profiles that you have found (or were given).

Once you have the list, you’re ready to go on to step three which we’ll cover in The Batman Sourcing Process, Part 2.


This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.