Why Your SharePoint Project Fails – Recruiters Suck!

And it doesn’t matter if you have internal recruiters or hire an agency. You all suck!

Once you’ve accepted that, you’ve taken the first step towards actually finding someone who can help you get SharePoint working, so let’s spend some time looking at three reasons why you suck and what you can do about it.

Senior Chef/Racecar Driver/Neurosurgeon

The first mistake you make is not knowing what you’re hiring.

To any slightly experienced SharePoint professional, most SharePoint job ads look like someone blew up a bomb in the job description factory and you just picked up whatever looked like it was legible and put it together.

You do NOT hire a SharePoint designer/developer/architect. Those are three different positions. For anyone to have experience enough to give you any value, they would need to have three educations and three jobs. You know, taking 8 hours each, effectively meaning they would need to work 24 hours a day, every day.

Learn what the different SharePoint roles are and understand that if you try to hire one person to do three jobs, you get someone who has at most a third of the experience and skill as someone who does just one job.

Note: You can download this free eBook to learn about, among other things, the various SharePoint professional roles.


Solve Our Problems using This Brand Hammer

The second mistake you make is telling professionals what tools they should use to solve your problems.

Why do you care? If I can fix your issues or build your product using a magnetized needle and a turntable, and I can do so twice as good and three times as fast as someone else, will that really matter?

If you hire a carpenter, you don’t put the brand of hammer he or she should use in your job ad. when you go to a doctor, you don’t tell them how to treat your disease. You describe what you want done or what your problem is and trust the professional to know how to do their job. Why aren’t you doing the same when hiring SharePoint professionals?

Tell people what you want done, not how you want it done. If you knew better how to get things done, you’d probably be the one doing it.

Don’t Tell Me What I Want

If there’s one thing that you should never do, it is to tell people what motivates them. I don’t care if you’re the worldwide leader of squat, or if you have multi-continent clients that span vertical and whatever industries.

Understand that if I know my job and know it well, I can pick and choose jobs because I bring immense value to whoever hires me. Don’t tell me that’s not important by focusing on what I should expect in salary or compensation, on how great you are by winning that award nobody heard of, or how how important it is for me to be motivated by personal growth or a great team.

Note: I hate people. Really. I get extremely exhausted by having to deal with anyone in person. It’s a condition called introversion. Look it up. Telling me I’m going to work with awesome people means you’re also telling me what kind of people I like. I don’t.

Skip telling me what I want and instead focus on what you want. I know far better than you what I want and you know far better than me what you want. If you swap these around, you have the wrong person defining the requirements and that means you get the wrong product or service from your candidates.

Think You Know Better?

Fire away in the comments below. Feel free to include your success stories breaking these three rules, though.

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Bjørn Furuknap

I previously did SharePoint. These days, I try new things to see where I can find the passion. If you have great ideas, cool projects, or is in general an awesome person, get in touch and we might find out together.

3 thoughts on “Why Your SharePoint Project Fails – Recruiters Suck!”

  1. Regarding the third section – the point of those criteria on motivation, salary requirements, and so on? It’s not targeted at you, in particular. It’s the equivalent of adding keywords to a search in order to narrow the list of matches down to a size a human can actually sift through.
    Salary requirements? Not everyone can afford to hire the best of the best.
    Motivation? Some companies have incentives that work on some kinds of people and not others, and therefore (if they’re not being stupid) want to hire people who their incentives *do* work for.
    Awards? Just a particular kind of motivation. Being part of a great team? Same idea.

    In short – they *are* defining what *they* want: the right person for the job, where “right” is shorthand for “improves the total productivity of the organization, for an acceptable price” (which is itself shorthand, but hopefully you get the idea).

    Now, are most recruiters not-as-versed in SharePoint terminology as the practitioners thereof – that is, Sam’s recruiter-style-number-2? Probably. I’ve no doubt that the recruiting profession has its own learning curve, and in the process of traversing that curve, the newbies are going to make a lot of mistakes.

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