Open-source, Hiring and Low-hanging-fruit

For recruiters looking at an unfamiliar candidate, the candidate's open-source projects have often been a criteria for selection. Many résumés carry a link to a GitHub profile or equivalent and many recruiters demand as much.

However, it is hard to judge the suitability and ability of a candidate based on their projects alone; those projects might not be in the area of interest of the recruiter or not implemented in a relevant language, etc.

To get a better idea about the candidate's abilities, they are often asked to design and implement a quick POC or solve an imaginary problem. While this may work, the effort spent on these is wasted beyond the hiring process.

I just had a new idea; atleast it's new to me!

Offer the candiate a list of issues in open-source projects and ask them to fix one of them as a proof of ability. Seeing the candidate work on a real project will give a better idea of how they perform. Moreover, the bugs chosen can be from a set of projects that are relevant to the recruiter.

From a candidate's point of view, there are some advantages too.

  • Their effort can be recognized beyond that particular job/company.
  • They don't have to worry about the company slyly utilising their effort without compensation.
  • Satisfaction of solving a real-world problem and doing something for the common good.

The open-source projects could help themselves by tagging issues that can be picked up easily by others. I suggest the tag: Low Hanging Fruit. A quick search reveals that there are 406 open issues across GitHub with that label.

This seems like a win for everyone involved!

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