The problem with a good problem to have is that it’s still a problem. It is, by definition, better than whatever the alternative is. It is also, by definition, still a challenge. This is how I came to consider our recent hiring process. On the one hand, we had a legitimately overwhelming number of bright, talented and passionate candidates. On the other, well, we had a legitimately overwhelming number of bright, talented and passionate candidates. How does one sift through dozens of applicants who would all bring something different, something important, to the table?
In our case, the answer is: very deliberately. We went through multiple interview rounds. We reviewed submitted materials. We researched backgrounds. We tested. And internally we debated. And debated. And debated. We’d spend a half hour agonizing over whether one candidate would simply make it on to the next round. Just to help myself in the decision-making process, I put together a baseball-style scouting scoreboard for our finalists, ranking them on a variety of characteristics as a scout would, with a numerical ranking from 20-80.
We could have made our lives easier, of course, by narrowing the funnel. One of our candidates asked us about this, in fact:
interview question this morning: “you guys are redmonk: why don’t you simply require X years of analyst experience on the job application?”
— steve o'grady (@sogrady) May 22, 2015
This was my answer:
my answer: “because we want the best person for the role, and that person may have 0 years of experience as an analyst.”
— steve o'grady (@sogrady) May 22, 2015
We kept the funnel wide, knowing that it would cost us time, because we wanted to get it right. Hiring a BMC developer and a Mayo Clinic scientist worked for us in the past, after all, so we talked to evangelists, electrical engineers, professors, COOs, consultants, a marketer or two and developers, naturally. The notes from the first round alone streched over 40 pages.
Eventually, however, our lengthy starting list was funneled down to a single name, and that name was Fintan Ryan.
Fintan may be familiar to some of you, whether it’s from the work he’s done with RedMonk in the past on a few conferences or some of the community work he’s done in London. In any event, those of you who follow what we do at RedMonk will have the chance to get to know him better.
As you’ve come to expect with new RedMonk analysts, Fintan brings an eclectic mix of skills to the table. He’s been a developer – holds a few US patents, in fact. He’s been the one tasked with managing developers as well, from waterfall to agile. He’s done yeoman’s work in community organizing, whether it’s conferences with us like IoT at Scale and Thingmonk or external events such as the CoreOS London meetups.
Analytically, his quantitative research chops are excellent; he did some very interesting research just prior to our opening, in fact, for no other reason than he was curious. And it’ll be nice to have someone else on board working in R. Beyond the technical skills, however, Fintan seems to have a knack for asking interesting questions, a trait that can be harder to find than the ability to answer them.
Most importantly, however, Fintan is passionate about what we do at RedMonk. From my perspective, almost every other requirement for this job is negotiable. Believing in what we do, however, isn’t optional.
Starting on August 5th, then, Fintan will be the next monk. With us, he’ll be covering the same broad spectrum of topics that we cover, and based on the quality of the research he did as a function of our interview process, you’re going to enjoy his work. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Fintan to the RedMonk family, and if you’re so inclined, feel free to hunt him down on Twitter to say hello.
Mike Guerette says:
July 28, 2015 at 11:20 am
Steve – Seems that Fintan is a 5 tool player! (baseball jargon for those of you who don’t know.)
Christine Pearson says:
August 10, 2015 at 9:16 am
Congrats on joining the Monk team, Fintan!