Secret Santa has been watching you all year and decided to get you some gifts that might help you in the future. Santa has noticed that you have had some problems in the area of recruiting new employees for ISX.


Do Eric Heimburg, Steven DeVault, Vu Pham, and Ambrose Feinstein sound familiar? If Santa is correct, I believe all of these recruitees were going to start at ISX but decided not to.


Don't worry, Santa will put coal in all of their stockings. The worst recruitee turned short time employee was Sandra Powers though. Santa will be giving her something similar in her stocking to coal but a bit softer and stinkier.


So, it seems like you can get possible recruitees and even get them to sign up, but then they leave either shortly after they get to ISX or before they even start. Santa believes you have the initial "blurb" down pat to get possible recruitees to come in the door to begin with. Santa gets a little teary eyed when he reads the "blurb" you sent to the isx-tech mailing list. It's so beautiful.


Santa believes that perhaps you are not asking the right questions during the interviews... questions that could help to get you to know the candidates a little bit better.


That is why Santa got you this first gift.





Santa got you this wonderful book entitled Hiring the Best: A Manager's Guide to Effective Interviewing. This book features 400 questions designed to help you find the right people for ISX.


I started to read this book and just could not put it down. While reading the book, I came across a few questions that I thought may help you weed out some of the deadbeats mentioned above.


I particularly liked three questions that all interviewers should ask the interviewees, according to the book. They are numbers 37, 219, and 346b. Don't worry about looking them up in the book, I've written them down on this letter.


Question number 37 says to ask a potential employee:

"Are you going to actually start work or will you decide at the last moment not to start?"


Seems like a good question concerning your track record lately.


Number 219 then wants the interviewer to ask:

"Are you going to leave in six months after your starting bonus/paid moving expenses/etc... have been contractually obligated?"


Santa thought he could even supplement this interview question:



Now you can handcuff new hires so they won't leave after six months! These are the finest employee handcuffs available on the market today and for a limited time Santa got a bonus police whistle. The whistle could come in handy in case the new hire somehow gets out of the cuffs. Simply blow and other ISXers will come running to help hold down the short-time wannabe employee (kind of like the police in London do).


Finally, question number 346b asks:

"Did you go to UCF?"


It seems like you are hanging on to the past glory days at UCF. While most men remember the different sports they played in high school or college, you remember the times when you coached the legendary UCF programming team when you would train the UCF programmers to:


Write a program to produce a "canonical labeling" of a graph. That is, given an adjacency matrix A, your program should produce an isomorphic matrix B, and given any relabeling (row-column permutation) of A, the program should produce exactly the same output B. Your program is now solving the "graph isomorphism" problem: A and C are isomorphic if and only if they produce the same canonical graph B.


Well, enough of your glory day! As suspected, there was an entire section in the book devoted to recent UCF graduates. According to the book, people that went to UCF tend to either unexpectantly quit right before they start working so they can do meaningful work, such as work on a game, or quit right after six months. Basically, the book goes on, UCFers are out for high salaries or creating games that will never make it to market. UCF is not what it use to be... recruit from a real school such as Southern Polytechnic Institute!


Santa created a sign on the next page to hang up at ISX so possible interviewees know the UCFers need not apply.


Merry Christmas!



UCF Graduates Need Not Apply