It’s time to abolish the reference check. The unpleasant process of calling up a job applicant’s former boss to gab about the candidate’s pluses and “deltas” is just silly. Maybe if we all just agree to stop doing it the practice will go away, like pay phones and fanny packs. Instead, I’ve learned a better way to hire that leverages a universal human attribute—namely, the fact that we’re all lazy.
What’s my beef with reference checks?
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Lately, I’ve noticed a startling paradox in Silicon Valley. I see shitty companies hiring more engineers than they know what to do with, while other, great companies struggle to fill open roles. Now my definition of “shitty” is completely subjective, but I bet you too can name some ridiculous start-ups that no sane engineer should work for. Meanwhile, great companies catering to huge markets, logical business models, amazing user growth, and cash in the bank from top investors, are having a hard time hiring tech talent. What gives?
I call this phenomenon the developer divide. It occurs after a company has cracked a user need
(estimated reading time: 4:02 mins)