Mobbing on recruitment


1 minute read

What’s a mob? 🙋🏼‍♂️💻💁🏼‍♂️

Mob programming or mobbing, in software development, is an approach where a whole team of people work on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and at the same computer.

These days at work we mob or pair program remotely but the principle is largely the same.

Mobbing on recruitment

In my day job at Booking, I’ve gotten heavily involved in the recruitment process since the start of 2021. In revamping the process one of the things that we tried doing is teaming up to review a potential candidate’s technical test.

Note: I can’t take credit for this idea, I just want to share it. I enjoy doing this and find it a productive, inclusive way to vet candidates for interviews.

We have a variety of people in the recruitment “mob”, with job roles covering different disciplines and varying levels of experience. This helps to ensure a more fair and inclusive process than if just one or two engineers are reviewing an application.


Who’s driving?

Mobbing involves a “driver”, so one of us will open up a candidate’s code project and run it, with the other observing and analysing it. We have a refined set of criteria that we collaborated on too, so we all have that open to read from as well.

We review the project, each person calling out anything they want to dive into in more depth.

Sometimes we switch driver so someone else can have a turn, and we can get new perspectives on the technical test.

One person will be continually taking notes, and comparing them against the assessment criteria, ready to submit after the mob session.


Collaborative reviews

All-in-all this does provide a more collaborative way to review an application and gives us a wider breadth of knowledge to review with. A wider pool of experience to draw from.

We catch things that a single reviewer might not. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we argue, and that’s great!

It gets everyone on the same page, so if a candidate goes through to the next stage it doesn’t matter who interviews them, we’re all going to have the same mindset.

It seems so simple but it is highly effective.

It’s fun too. Try it.

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