You can fix your hiring process: Here’s your five-step plan

My latest in Quartz… As a manager who has usually taken over teams that have been struggling in some way, there is something that I’ve consistently had to do: fix the hiring process. Hiring well is a huge lever for team transformation. Getting it right doesn’t just mean hiring good people (although that part is crucial), […]

Career management quartz

Three signs of a poor hiring process—and four ways to fix it

My latest in Quartz… When given the opportunity to establish a process, we’re all biased to advocate for one in which we would be successful ourselves. In hiring, this plays out in two main ways: “A” players build monocultures, hiring people just like them, and “B” players hire “C” players, hiring people who won’t threaten […]

women in computer science

Addressing Hiring Gaps Through User Research

The hiring hot take is a regular feature of every tech conversation. Newsletters. Conferences. Blogs. Twitter. We talk about hiring a lot, because the market is competitive, and hiring well makes a big difference. Hiring effectively goes well beyond the “quality” of people you hire – it sets them up for an experience inline with […]

management mobile

Phase 1 of Hiring, Getting from 0-30

Towards the end of 2017, we reopened hiring on the mobile team at Automattic which had been shut since the start of the year as we got things in order. I think of this as phase 1 of hiring on the team – nailing the basics of the process, and making some progress with diversity […]

Career management

Interview: How to create momentum on day zero

I did an interview with GitPrime about hiring and onboarding. I really like how it came out, and I hope you like it too! “We talk about how engineers hate process,” says Cate Huston, Mobile Lead at Automattic, “but here’s my theory: engineers often love process, but when they love it, they call it culture.” It’s […]


The Receptionist Test

The receptionist test: how does someone treat the receptionist? Alternative: a person with power or authority is someone’s first interaction with a company, e.g. by staffing the front desk. How are they treated (i.e. do people assume they are the receptionist). In the modern era there are three ways to pass the receptionist test. Look the […]

Career WISE women in computer science

On Improving Diversity in Hiring

Caveat: Diversity is more than gender. I’ve used gender in some of these examples because I have enough anecdotal data to support these theories wrt to gender but I don’t want to extrapolate beyond that. In general my policy is to test and measure women because we can actually have data for that, but then […]


Things You Don’t Learn in Technical Interviews

I spend more time than I thought I would thinking about technical interviews lately, because something I’ve been doing is conducting technical interviews for a few startups including Glowforge (they’re hiring!). Since March I’ve done ~36 interviews. Designing hiring systems is hard because you only have partial data – specifically you don’t know who your […]