The case study focuses on the CEO of Bitstream, a software firm, the company's culture as well as the necessity to hire a manager to lead a new product division. Four candidates are being considered.
Michael J. Roberts
Harvard Business Review (393055-PDF-ENG)
November 18, 1992
Case questions answered:
Case study questions answered in the first solution:
- What are the requirements for the new position at Bitstream?
- Imagine that you are Jim Sole.
(2a) Analyze the information about the 4 candidates; identify their positive and negative points. Based on this analysis, identify 2 candidates that you think will be more suited for the role. Support your choices with reasons.
(2b) Even if you have a preference for 2 candidates based on their CVs, you want to interview all 4 candidates so as to select only the best one for the job. What aspects would you like to explore in the interviews? Develop the relevant questions and highlight what you expect to learn from the questions.
Case study questions answered in the second solution:
- What are the requirements for the position, and who appears to be the best fit for the job?
- What information would you like to have to make a final decision, and how would you get it?
- What questions would you ask in an interview, and what would constitute a good answer?
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Bitstream Case Answers
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What are the new requirements for the new position at Bitstream?
Jim Sole started looking for the right person to fill the gap of the new project manager at Bitstream in the area of new product development.
He talked with his friend Peter Dromeshauser, an executive recruiter (Head Hunter), and gave him some indications concerning the job. Peter then came up with four candidates that we are going to analyze to find who will be most suitable for the position.
To ensure that the interview will be valid, we need to first review the job specifications and develop a “checklist” with relevant criteria for the job. According to the resumes Jim Sole has received, we can then register our assessment relative to each of the important job dimensions. By the reading of this case, we are given a series of indications that show the key criteria to fill the position.
They are as follows:
- Prior work experience in the field of “networking products” and the “VAR channel” as the existing products at Bitstream do not overlap with either of the two.
- The candidate should possess intellectual curiosity and be ready to take up a fresh challenge.
- The person should be well equipped with knowing what their customers need and their demands so as to offer them exactly what they want and make the product as solid as possible.
- The candidate should be self-learning and seasoned professional since there was no time to sit and explain the know-how about the job as well as about the product.
- The incoming person prefers to have a similar kind of job profile to his previous job so as to settle in smoothly with the new organization.
- The experienced person should have the potential to assume the job with energizing plans, enthusiasm, and a drive from within to build a new organization.
- The job also demanded that the candidate possess good business management and resource management skills along with proven leadership experience.
- It is preferred that the candidate has a variety of experiences and some job diversity.
- The candidate must know how to recruit a sales force and direct them toward selling Bitstream’s new product through the VAR system.
- The job has a heavy marketing component, which will require the candidate to know how to position products, develop a communication plan, and promote the same.
- The candidate should also have an entrepreneurial spirit and be a problem solver along with decision-making skills and, most importantly, skills to convince since plenty of selling activities are included in the new job.
Jim Sole states that he…
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