First, very rarely does a manager regret a hire even though it's very common for a hire not to work out. Hiring and interviewing are in terrible shape right now, and more often then not lead to terrible hiring/job acceptance choices.
Second, you regret hiring PEOPLE, not developers because regrettable hires aren't specific to developers. When they are, it's because an engineer was given too much access to something they should not have been and a theft/breach occurs.
Examples of these concepts in play: The NSA probably regrets hiring Edward Snowden. I don't regret hiring the last JS dev I hired even though it didn't work out and he moved to a different company.
Lack of technical expertise is a problem sometimes, but it can be nurtured. Lack of personal skills is a huge problem in an office environment, and is much, much harder to nurture. But neither of these are regrettable in-and-of themselves.
The thing to remember is that you have to weigh the urgency of hiring against the long term impacts of hiring the wrong person. In other words, be careful and set up controls, but don't allow decision paralysis.
Good luck with your project, keep your head up, and expect failure. Great employees are rare, so just keep at it.
post mobile edit:
Good To Great: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Some-Companies-Others/dp/0...
How to Win Friends and Influence People: https://www.amazon.com/How-win-friends-influence-people-eboo...
Emotional Intelligence: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000JMKVCG/
>can be nurtured. Lack of personal skills is a huge problem
>in an office environment, and is much, much harder to
>nurture. But neither of these are regrettable in-and-of
That's actually a cool attitude. When looking the first time for a full time job 7 years ago I was astonished how static employers seemed to perceive skill - at least in Germany. I had various conversations with headhunters/recruiters and oftentimes it went like this: "Do you know [insert simple technology X]?" - "No, but I can learn it quickly as I have experience with [similar technology Y]" - "Ok, but I asked for X". I found that really frustrating.
Also in most jobs I worked in between I had to learn everything on my own initiative - no matter if that was tech or people skills. There were countless occasions when people, especially ones in manager(-like) positions would discourage me from spending time learning certain skills. I'm happy that I didn't follow so much on that.
Anyways, on my recent job hunt I was very surprised to find companies that actually have programs to develop their tech employees on a wide range of skills. Luckily I'm now working at a place that at least has interest in developing their people.
I understand the desire of people wanting to have competent hires who get up to speed quickly. But that is just going in the completely wrong direction and likely costing such companies tons of money because they need to search longer/spend more on a dev.
On the other hand taking a few days to get to know something is still waaayy better than taking months for the exact same thing. But yeah, that's just over the top for recruiters who just want to go through a checklist.
You're right,this is new for me. But fortunately I'm not making decisions, or managing people at the moment. I'm just learning.
I'll check out the books.