After hiring and firing eight software companies in a row, I am becoming smarter. The first one I hired, I only interviewed three companies and made contact with only a dozen. When they didn’t pan out, I went to a known contact who started out good, but had gone down hill over the years. I stuck with him for a year on the current project. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t work out that well due to the complexity of the work, but at least I knew him better than anyone else. I don’t like taking risks. I like doing business with people I know as a rule. Whomever I know best gets the most critical work. Experimental or new projects can be done by strangers.
So, company 1 and 2 didn’t work out well. to hire the 3rd company I made contact with another 20 companies. I figured I would get it right this time. Yet again, the company I hired didn’t get any work done. I tried a few other companies, and it didn’t work out either. Finally after a while I reverted to a company in Arizona who I had used for a few months. I gave them all of my work because nobody else worked out. Unfortunately, their work went down hill and they developed a huge temper too since I was being more demanding after I gave them my most critical project. They couldn’t handle the pressure. After all of these failures, my new strategy was to make contact with HUNDREDS of companies in 10 different countries and screen them with my life.
What I learned is that you can interview people, ask probing questions, test them, and give them projects. But, you don’t know how RELIABLE they are until they are doing a real project. The trick here is to see their true colors. People never show their true colors at a 1st interview. I never understood why big companies were so fastidious and had such long screening and interviewing processes. Now that I have been through the ringer, I understand perfectly. The more tests, trials and tribulations you give a prospective employee or outsourced company, the higher your chances are for a successful relationship.
The 2nd interview is one of the most intelligent hiring techniques ever invented. If they are getting upset with you, it will show during the 2nd interview. If they are in the habit of being late, that might show up too. Their initial good behavior will fade, and they will start being themselves. If there is a long silence at the beginning and there is nothing to say — that is a sign. If they seem bored, that is another sign. If they don’t even bother to show up, yet another useful analytic. But, there is more.
You can ask annoying questions during the 2nd interview to see how much endurance they have. If you are going to hire someone for a decade worth of tough projects, they had better have staying power. You can ask weird questions about astrology, feng-shui, natural disasters, or touch working conditions to see if they can handle it. You need to know if someone is serious about getting your work done, otherwise you have no business hiring them. Good luck!