Hiring software engineering talent is a struggle for most companies. The ever-growing demand for software in almost every business leads to extensive searches for the right candidates. Hiring is rated as one of the biggest obstacles to growth by most CEOs. Hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers all wrestle with how to source candidates, interview fairly and effectively, and ultimately motivate the right candidates to accept offers. The whole process is often costly and frustrating for companies, and all too often stressful or unfair to candidates navigating this high-stakes process.
Anyone who cares about building effective software teams should benefit from the experiences and knowledge of those who have tackled similar challenges, and avoid repeating common and costly mistakes. In this Guide, we’ve assembled know-how from some of the most insightful and experienced leaders and practitioners—senior engineers, recruiters, entrepreneurs, and hiring managers—who’ve built teams from early-stage startups to thousand-person engineering organizations. The lead author of this Guide, Ozzie Osman, previously led product engineering at Quora and teams at Google, and built (and sold) his own startup. Additional contributors include Aditya Agarwal, former CTO of Dropbox; Jennifer Kim, former head of diversity at Lever; veteran recruiters and startup founders Jose Guardado and Aline Lerner; and over a dozen others.
We believe recruiting and hiring can be done well, in a way that has a positive impact on companies, employees, and every candidate. With the right foundations and practice, teams and candidates can approach a stressful and difficult process with knowledge and confidence.
Written by practitioners. Edited by professionals.
More than words on a page.
We believe the reading experience for book-length resources can go beyond paper or e-books. Reading on Holloway means a distraction-free, interactive format to help you find what you need, when you need it, in your browser. Digital access to a Guide also means access to ongoing new content, curated commentary from experts and readers, and features like search and bookmarks.
Definition A job requisition (or job requisition form) is an internal company document a manager uses to formally request permission to fill a role or position. These documents are particularly useful for coordination and wider alignment at larger companies. For instance, the requisition might require approval (often from finance, HR, and upper management) to ensure sufficient space and funding are available for a new hire. Once the requisition receives the necessary approvals, it can serve as the starting point for a discussion between the hiring manager and their designated recruiter (for instance, at a role intake meeting).
danger️️ Wording in your can have unintended consequences in determining who applies. Attempts to make your roles sound more enticing can actually discourage people from applying. Researchers have found evidence that using gendered language contributes to an imbalanced pipeline of candidates; certain language can also discourage older candidates or candidates from marginalized communities from applying.
controversyThe “best” interview format for coding questions is a notoriously controversial topic. While many companies rely primarily on onsite, face-to-face coding interviews, a significant fraction of engineers consider “whiteboard coding” to be intimidating, stressful, and not predictive of job performance. On the other hand, alternatives like take-home tasks have drawbacks as well.
confusionPeople often confuse percentiles and percents, with serious consequences. When someone recommends compensating at the 75th percentile, they are talking about percentile rank, or paying at a rate that is greater than what 75% of companies pay for a role (in a given market, stage, et cetera). This is very different from paying 75% of what a fair market salary would be.
At Holloway, we imagine a place on the web where depth, quality, and high-value writing are the norm. A place where experts’ ideas are accessible to anyone. Where thoughtful, inclusive, and well-written resources win over quick takes, self-promoting blog posts, and content marketing.
We believe you, the reader, know the difference. It’s 2019. You recognize sites riddled with ads and clickbait headlines. Deep and comprehensive resources take expertise, time, and money to build. By buying access to a Guide, you’re supporting a place online that makes longform reading a pleasure—and allowing us to pay authors, contributors, engineers, and editors who build and improve them. We see Holloway as a new and powerful way to publish. We hope you’ll join us on the journey.
What exactly am I buying?
Each Holloway Guide is sold separately as a one-time purchase. For a limited time, early readers can purchase lifetime access to the Guide on the Holloway Reader, plus a PDF to download.
Can I get a Guide as a Kindle or physical book?
Our Guides are most helpful when read on the Holloway Reader, where you can call up definitions from our glossary, navigate using our advanced search, and more. That said, we know some people love the option of reading in other formats; when you pay for a Holloway Guide, you get a PDF that you can download, print, and keep. If we get enough demand for a Guide to be available in print, we’ll consider printing a limited run.
How do I access my Guide?
To access a Guide on the Holloway Reader, you need a Holloway account, which you can create by connecting through Google or Twitter.
What is the Holloway Reader?
The Reader is how you read and engage with a Guide and access all of its content, features, and resources. It automatically updates your Guide when changes to the content are made, like responses to reader questions, new data, or new developments on the topic. The Reader is designed to help you navigate all of a Guide’s content and resources. Features include powerful search that gives you section-by-section results; a table of contents and internal links that take you to the content you need, when you need it; definitions of complex terms and concepts; bookmarks to keep track of your favorite parts of a Guide; and the ability to make suggestions and see expert commentary in the margins.
Are there any discounts?
Before a Guide is released, it may be available for pre-order at a discount. If you pre-order at a discounted price, you will get lifetime access to that Guide the day it is released to the public. We also offer student discounts to individuals with a valid .edu email address, and bulk discounts to large groups. If either of these sound like you, contact us at email@example.com.
I have more questions!
We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.