Avoiding Hiring Under Pressure

Alexis Lê-Quôc

CTO at Datadog



"A few years ago, before I worked for Datadog, I was looking to hire a project manager. I didn't get a strong set of candidates and was reluctant to push back on the quality of the candidates I was interviewing."

Actions taken

"I ended up backing myself into a corner, and I decided to hire the person I thought was the best out of the pool of candidates I had interviewed, despite my gut telling me they wouldn't be a good fit for the position." "When you hire someone you really want them to succeed. However, when they don't succeed, despite your best efforts, you have to come to the conclusion that it just won't work out and that it would be better for everyone to part ways. This is what ended up happening in this situation." "I see a lot of people struggling with coming up with a decision in interview panels. I try to get people to either say yes or no. A soft yes should mean no, as their gut is telling them something doesn't quite fit."

Lessons learned

"Trust your instincts and develop a really well thought out and repeatable hiring process so that when it comes to decision time you can trust the process and your instincts. Ideally, you should be really excited about someone and you should really want to work with them." "It helps to come up with a rigid set of questions to ask, so you can ensure you are checking for the right qualities in your candidates. If from the get-go, you aren't fully convinced, it just won't work out. Feel brave enough to say no, even if you're under pressure to hire."

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Alexis Lê-Quôc

CTO at Datadog

Decision Making

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