Agile Team Member Hiring (EN)

13:00 - 14:30 How to: Agile

Speaker: Hagen Schendel
Language: English
Format: Workshop

There are few decisions that have more impact on a team (or department), than those about who should join it. Given the high impact, it sounds reasonable to involve the whole team, especially if it already is using self-organization techniques. The benefits that have been observed in practice include better hiring decisions and a high motivation to onboard and integrate the new team member. Yet hiring also has to be fast, especially in the competition for tech talent. And HR and the line manager responsible for the open position still have to be confident that the hiring process works as intended. If you are interested in first-hand experience of how this can be set up, this workshop is for you.


In this workshop, Hagen will share his experience in setting up hiring as a team effort, and how you as an Agile practitioner can moderate this. When it comes to hiring, many modern companies are still quite old-fashioned. Hiring is mostly carried out by “the line manager”, mostly going it alone, with some support from HR and senior specialists. Yet this leaves much potential unused. From finding out who the team needs, and contacting possible candidates, through conducting a test work session, and taking the final decision, all parts of the hiring process can benefit from real team involvement.

We will take a fresh look at the overall hiring process, and its reusable building blocks, from a Kanban perspective. This makes it easy to identify and eliminate “waste” which in this context is mostly time, be it waiting time for the candidate, or working time spent by the participants. And it gives us a tool to use, when involving a whole team into defining and optimizing a hiring process.

We will then look at how the cross-functionality of an Agile team can help in hiring specialists. To make this possible, you need to find and make explicit a common understanding of what kind of person you want to hire, and then co-create a hiring process that you can implement together. We will do this as group exercises, allowing you to bring in your own challenges, e.g. open positions you need to fill.

The self-organizing approach is not without trouble, so the talk will demonstrate how to solve the time conflict between daily work and hiring effort, and how to be able to schedule interviews really fast. There are critical topics such as the salary negotiation or having hired the wrong person and acting on that.

We will also investigate what it means to continuously improve the hiring process, and how digital tools can help or hinder self-organization. Furthermore we will look at whether you can gamify the team member participation which is helpful when the "team" is not clearly defined, or distributed.

The workshop is not limited to IT hiring, but its techniques could be applied for any kind of open position.

Learning Objectives:

- Learn how to employ self-organization in the hiring process
- Understand the chances and risks of making hiring a team effort


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