Two Quick Thoughts: Logic versus Syntax

Posted by Charley Hughes on Dec 2, 2015 3:31 PM


Logic versus Syntax – Different Approaches for Different Phases.

Here are two quick thoughts to consider the next time you need to hire an EDI professional.

Screen for Syntax

In the early stages of the hiring process someone within your organization will likely conduct initial screening calls of applicants for a position you need to fill.   Sometimes this can be done by HR and sometimes, based on the complexity of the role, it will need to be conducted by someone with a technical EDI or Data Integration background.    During these initial calls, screening for a meaningful command of relevant syntax is important.

You can expedite this process by developing a standard set of questions asked of all applicants for the same role.  However, upon reviewing your questions you may find your list is too lengthy.  Shorten your screening list by applying the 1-for-3 rule.  Is there 1 well-formed and open ended question which would provide a better understanding of a candidate’s grasp of specific EDI or Integration technology, instead of 3 more fundamental or narrow questions?ask_the_right_questions.jpg

Each well-formed and open ended question will allow the trained technical ear to listen not only for correct answers to desired skills, but also for other adjacent skill sets and experience that may be of value to the organization as well.

Hire for Logic

When candidates who have made it past the basic syntax screening come into your office for a face to face interview, develop a list of technical questions to evaluate each applicant’s logical skill set based on what you learned during their initial screening interviews.   Doing so will help you to quickly divide candidates into to two groups.  Those who can recite technical answers, and those who can best apply their knowledge of specific or adjacent technology to create solutions. 

Candidates with an understanding of the EDI technology you use, who are also able to demonstrate a track record of applying their logical abilities will likely be successful employees.  They will often understand how their area of responsibility can most efficiently support company goals.  And, properly vetted for experience, they will be less likely to create complex solutions to simple problems, or apply layers of simple stopgap fixes when a more elegant solution is required.

The approach of viewing candidates thru the lens of logic versus syntax doesn’t replace the need to behaviorally interview candidates to determine their approach to complex interpersonal or technical situations.   But it may help streamline your approach to hiring top performers for your EDI group.

Need to hire but don’t have the time?  Not seeing qualified candidates? REMEDI specializes in working with highly skilled EDI and Integration professionals for both project and full time needs.  Give us a call.    We’d be happy to help.

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