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inauniversefarfaraway 12/5/2012 | 1:02:14 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) alchemy,

There are real pitfalls to this technique of back-door references.

First, you may simply be contacting a network that is larger than you even think, and defeats your intent. There may be people in the network that are playing you in the process. I've seen this happen several times, and the loser is the one engaging in this type of scenario.

Second, by ignoring the references given, a unique opportunity is lost. Sometimes it's not the content that matters in the references, it may be the type of reference, or a pattern.

Third, by ignoring references supplied, the seed of distrust is already budding. You're going to offer this person compensation, trust them with your projects and livelihood, but you don't trust a reference? Wow, that seems like an incongruous dichotomy.

In any case, nothing beats doing your own groundwork. Evidently, there is no panacea.

One way is to take what they say at face value, and to put them to the test. The law provides for a training period in most jurisdictions that is precisely for this purpose. If there are tasks that are critical, have managers go through a ramp-up where they are tested based on background and expected performance. At the end of the trial period, schedule a performance review that forces managers to do their job(!) and decide whether this candidate is a fit. If the candidate made a big deal about some experience that was relevant to the job, that should be really easy to work with (Duh).

Personally, I think the other stuff, such a back-door references is an open invitation for all kinds of other-worldly adventures.

Even in regard to trials, I have seen managers ignore obvious warning flags. As with most things, the back doors were all green, yet reality was crying out for action. Also, I've seen instances where a candidate was a great fit, but some back door was flagging red, again disaster struck.

The shrewd individual will always rely on his own judgement over another's.

chook0 12/5/2012 | 1:02:13 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) Startup,

Can't say I've had the same overall experience with management as you have had.

Sorry to hear you had such a bad run.

PS: Bad managers typically are also the ones with the mediocre team. Careful who you denigrate.

-- Chook
>> Management tends to be issued from the worst elements in companies, hence they instantly feel threatened by this type.

I thought many times why the above statement
is SO UNIVERSALLY TRUE. Is there any social
engineering theory behind it? My conclusion is
putting inferior people in management serves
vested interests...that is why this happens
so universally
startup_shutup 12/5/2012 | 1:02:12 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) >> every company was a startup once.

Do not get me wrong. Earlier generation of
startups was not as JUNK...there was no
abundunce of VC money and herd mentality. There
was no corrupted practice like Kerietsu ...
fund each other and order each other's product...
badwidth swapping...laddering and so on
btierney 12/5/2012 | 1:02:10 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) One thing to keep in mind regarding the NHL leading scorers is that they always (as far as I know) have way more assist than goals. Usually 2-3 times as many assist. That to me is the ultimate team player.

the problem in the business world is no one gets credit for an assist. Only the goal scorers are recognized and rewarded. this creates a backstabbing rumormongoring culture where people take credit for others work and overtly attempt to denigrate other employees.
deauxfaux 12/5/2012 | 1:02:09 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) OOOOPS...hit the send button accidently


You wrote: "Earlier generation of startups was not junk"...."no corrupted practice"....

So on top of being confused and bitter, you are naive too? Theft and corruption has been with business since the beginning. You should try reading some history. Here is something from HBS that makes the point better than anything I can write.


Take some responsibility for your own problems and quit laying all of the world's blame at the feet of the risk takers: even if some of them are slave drivers.

deauxfaux 12/5/2012 | 1:02:09 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) Shutup

You wrote: "Earlier generation of startups was not junk"...."no corrupted practice"....
zool 12/5/2012 | 1:02:04 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) In a long rumored move Xan3D, which until recently was known as Xanoptix, has terminated 90% of its employees. CEO Rob Baxter and Vice Presidents Karen Moore and Alain Jean are among those no longer with the company. With only 10 people left another comparable round of cuts will leave founder, CTO and president John Trezza as the sole remaining employee.

sgan201 12/5/2012 | 1:02:03 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) Hi,
1) One of the poster said that how to tell whether the job applicant really know their stuff. The easy way is to test them with real job situation..

For example, if someone claimed that they are C programer. Ask them to write a short C function to copy character string. This approach knock out 805 to 90% of the pretender. The hiring manager know what the job requires. He/she could always create a simple 5 minutes test on real job situation to asses whether the job applicant can do the job.

www.asktheheadhunter.com has a lot of good material on how to find and interview for job.

2) If you want to build a team, make sure you get the whole team to interview the new applicant to make sure that the new person fit within the existing team.

Quantum Dotty 12/5/2012 | 1:02:02 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) I'm surprised the name change from Xanoptix to Xan3D didn't happen after today's implosion.

General Custer 12/5/2012 | 1:02:02 AM
re: Headcount: Cutting the Fat (Really) Xan3D is more like Xan2D now that they are on the Atkins diet. No doubt Trezza hopes to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Xanoptix was never about building a company. It was only about Trezza and his delusions of becoming a Bill Gates or Andy Grove.

The General
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