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Hiring the Right Person
Slightly sideways to the topic... As an IT manager, I rarely relied on HR for the reasons stated. I dealt directly with a technical recruiter. One word of warning. The first few hires are good because there is less direct coaching from the recruiter. After he has had time to pick apart interviews you have conducted with several candidates, the recruiter coaches the new candidates to answer your questions exactly how you want them to. You can end up fooled into hiring the wrong people. Lesson: have several recruiters working for you, redesign your interviews regularly and if you are hiring for a very specific skill, test for it.