You’ve been tasked with the job of hiring software consultants to fill out the team for an upcoming project. This isn’t an enviable position to be in. You need to hire someone that will be able to come in, learn quickly, deliver high quality work, gel with the rest of the team, and ideally provide any constructive criticism before he rides into the sunset when the project is over. You’ve heard stories of nightmare consultants causing more harm than good and you want to make sure you don’t bring in one of the bad apples. Here are some things to look out for when you’re choosing software consultants for your team.
Really Good Questions
You don’t want a “yes man” in an interview. Positivity and enthusiasm is not enough. If they say they understand everything and are able to get started right away without asking any questions, it’s a red flag. They should be interested in finding out as much about the project as possible to determine if the project is a good fit for both you and him. Also, no one is so good that they don’t need to ask any questions. And you can tell, by the content of their questions, how skillful they are. Then you can decide if their skill level is enough for the project you need them for. If they don’t ask any questions, they may be hiding a lack of experience or a lack of knowledge.
Positivity and Enthusiasm
Yes, positivity and enthusiasm is not enough. But it’s important. If the software consultant you’re interviewing is positive and enthusiastic, there’s a much better chance that he’ll gel with your team – unless, well, your team is negative and bored. But, then you have much bigger problems. Also, if the consultant you’re interviewing is upfront about a lack of experience but is positive, enthusiastic, and shows he’s ready to dive in and work hard to learn and prepare before the beginning of the project, then you have a good candidate on your hands. Positivity, enthusiasm, and work ethic beats experience by itself every time.
Sometimes, you can’t have it all. But always look for the gem. If you can find a candidate with the right attitude and experience, don’t blink an eye or let her leave your office – hire her. This is the candidate that will most likely be able to give you insights and constructive criticism about your team and process before she leaves – and she’ll be happy to do so. This is the candidate you’ll want to hire for the next project too. She may demand a higher price – do what you can to get that price approved. Her intangibles are invaluable.
So there you have it. Those are some traits to look for in potential software consultants. Remember, positivity and enthusiasm paired with honesty is most important. If you can get experience too – perfect. And pay attention to the questions your candidates ask you – they can tell you a lot.