This is a story about how TempWorks recruited a star programmer, James Tamplin, who moved on several years ago after a brilliant stint with us and is now an aspiring actor and a founder of SendMeHome.com.
This is James above in the “Hells Angels Ketchup Packet” video clip. I liked the climax: “Sometimes you have to spit in the eye of the devil just to know you’re alive.”
Step #1: Know Where the Talent Is
The first step in recruiting a star performer is to know where the talent is. You can be the best judge of character, the best interviewer, the best match-maker, but if you’re looking in the wrong place for talent, you’ll end up with high-priced, sub-standard product.
Where is the talent for star software performers? Answer: in the basement playing video games. No, not many kids hooked on Runescape will be star software performers, but in that crowd lie the uncut diamonds. You just need to find them.
In James’ case, he was a kid in our neighborhood. My wife knew his Mom, etc. Nice kid, EE major, bored, top student. Played computer games. Programmed. Gotta meet him, I said to myself.
Step #2: Network, Network, Network
This has happened to me so many times I can’t count. I get friendly and chat up someone and good things happen.
In James’ case, I was out on the street playing catch with my son and he walked by. Like a dog on a bone, I was on him with questions. When do you go back to school? What do you think of C# and .Net? Have you got a job?
Step #3: Nurture Those Leads Regardless of Time to Buy
It ended up that James at the time was all booked up with I’m not sure what. College stuff. Going back to the UK. But we stayed in touch and talked about code and TempWorks and school on an ongoing basis.
One day the timing just happened to be right. He needed a job and rang me up.