Haupz Blog

... still a totally disordered mix

Hire Juniors, Grow Seniors

2022-12-16 — Michael Haupt

Imagine that, on one team, Senior Developer X leaves. The gut reaction often is "We need a Senior to do this work." Now, hiring more senior people takes a longer time, and we must not forget that a Senior still needs to go through the same amount of onboarding as everybody else before they reach a productive level.

How about asking instead: “Who on the team is the next best person after X to do these things that X used to do?” There's your Senior-in-the-making now. Letting them fill the space X left behind gives them a perspective, and a space to grow into. That person is already onboarded and is just shifting perspective.

Of course, "Oh but that person is looking into those other things." OK then, who's the next best person to look into those instead? There's another growth opportunity, and more - a cascade of them.

Yes, that’s a lot of shuffling, and it disrupts the team’s setup and ways of working. (Change does have effects.) But rather than expecting everyone to just carry on and waiting for the hole to be filled with someone who has the right shape, how about morphing the team so that the hole goes away more instantly? There is a need for that work, after all.

More junior people are more quickly hired. Also, they bring fresh perspectives and new ways of thinking. Finally, a company should never be a place for senior people alone - it also has a bit of a societal duty to give more inexperienced people in the job market a place to start and grow.

"Hire juniors, grow seniors."

Tags: work