December 12, 2009

Hiring Your Friends

Filed under: Programming — pj @ 2:11 pm

Recently, a friend of mine asked me about hiring friends. I’ve read a lot of books about team management and I have a lot of hard won experience in this area. Posting this up in public may come back to haunt me, but I’ve decided to bumble on anyway and try to document some of my suggestions here in the hope that it will make the world a better place. A lot of the post below details what to do when things aren’t working out, but I don’t want you to think things are all “gloom and doom” – I love to work and I’ve had really good times at work. One of my very best friends today is a “success story” about hiring friends.

It’s All About the Money

Many surveys and studies of programmers suggest that job satisfaction is more important than money, but my experience is that you have to take care of money issues first, or you’ll keep coming back to them over and over. The ideal situation is:

  1. Everybody feels that they are being generously compensated (some of the generosity can be in deferred compensation - see #2)
  2. Any type of deferred compensation (sales commissions, stock options, profit sharing, etc.) is “icing on the cake” and not necessary for the person to pay their normal living expenses
  3. You don’t directly control the person’s paycheck (you both work for somebody else)


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