A couple of weeks I posted about hiring a development team in Thailand. Having completed that process, it’s now time to write about the results.
Actually getting the job ad posted took a bit more doing than expected - doing business online in Thailand tends to involve phone calls and paper forms more than you might expect. While the “Pay by credit card” bit was easy enough, it ended up being very helpful having someone who can speak the language to figure out that the reason nothing happened after paying was that they wanted to be sent a copy of the company registration certificate.
Having sorted that out, which took several days, we started getting resumes. The quality was about what you would expect anywhere - quite a lot that may or may not be any good and a small number that stand out.
Naturally some of those stand out for the wrong reasons - The one with no experience and qualifications in theatre design, or the one who sent his resume as a 2MB rar file copied to half a dozen other companies.
Most of the rest responded by ignoring the request to apply by email and using the apply button on the job site, which produces a very standard Thai CV. Those are pretty good if you want to hire based on weight or religion, but next to useless for actually determining ability to do the job. I think the standard Thai recruitment process is based on doing a large number of in person interviews rather than early filtering. From what little I could tell from the available information, most of the applications received would probably be worth hiring if we were adding to an established team. However, when starting from scratch you need someone you are absolutely sure can get the job done.
There was actually only one applicant whose technical ability I was really sure about, as he included a link to his technical blog. Unfortunately when we set up an interview via IM, he turned out to speak almost no English.
After that we moved on to interviewing the one remaining applicant I was almost sure about - and ended up making an offer to start the next day.
We actually ended up hiring the least experienced candidate - he finished studying just a couple of weeks ago. After years working with corporate development teams I know just how incompetent people experienced and qualified on paper can be. It is far more important to find someone who really enjoys coding and can learn new stuff - and we seem to have succeeded in that.
While we had been thinking about hiring more developers, we’ll probably hold off on that for a while. A few days into the work we’re finding that the biggest problem is producing specs fast enough, and having more people writing code isn’t going to fix that. Besides, sometimes it seems like hiring a larger team is mostly aimed at making sure there is at least one good developer involved who can get all the work done.