Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The impact of an empowered team over HR recruitment process

First Published - 19-12-2010

Recruit criteria and processes as they are traditionally held, sometimes contradict and even interfere with a mature agile mindset that rules a mature agile organization, those must be altered to reflect the organization agility mind set.
Organization agility demands Recruiting  agile people. Job descriptions should be altered to fit the agile mind set inside the organization.
HR systems should contribute to agility and leave behind the traditional recruiting approach.
Agile demands winners, and it is aim to win. Financial impacts related to the agile approach are more important than traditional slow and expensive Recruit approaches. 

When working in an agile organization, we anchorage the teams to be self managed. It means that the team selects its own tasks; accountable for those issues to deliver; managers are few steps back , no longer dividing tasks or  controlling the workflow, rather dealing with the team vision, technology  future and  cross departments processes. The agile manager leads the team by understanding and effectively empowering the team to business value delivery.
Agile anchorage communication, it encourage openness between team members, retrospective and criticism of performance and processes. An agile team that follows those practices becomes a more mature and demanding one. We count on them to deliver.

When a team is accountable for its own outcome, they must have the tools to control their resources and decision making which in a traditional world is an HR-Manager related issues. 

In many occasions, these issues are very secretive. Defining the Candidate profile, interviews, paychecks and decisions are all made between HR and the managers. Furthermore, the training plans and performance evaluation are also a sole HR-Managers "secret" process.
But, what about the agile team?
What about those team members that needs to deliver? That was thought to self-thinking and self-organizing? After all, they are the ones that are committed to the delivery of a quality product. They are accountable for the result of the entire team. So … something have to change.
Since the team is accountable for its outcomes, and accountable for the delivery, it also needs to be part of the recruiting process of new team members to that team.
The team should have the opportunity to define the right position of the new recruit.
The team should be part of the decision making over new comers into the team.
It does not mean that the team interviews the person (although having a team member present in the interview may be a commitment oriented activity for the team), but the profile, process and decisions are visible and shared to them.

Once the team is part of this process, the chances of a new employee to blend into this team day to day activities and mind set is higher.

The team best practice will also be to build, monitor and perform the new employee training plan and coach. In this case it is highly important to emphasize that it is not the team manager role anymore. It's not the HR and the team manager sole responsibility to define a training plan. It a collaborative effort, we all need to share and visualize our ideas.  
Once the team is responsible for training, has visibility to recruit process, it's also can take full responsibility for the outcomes. Then the team can win.
Remember the phrase “we are all accountable for quality?” well the recruiting process is very similar, its like having the testers inside the scrum team and having quality being a team mindset , a team responsibility and not only a tester accountability.
Once you are accountable, responsible for a process, control the process, have visibility to it, the outcomes will be better.

Loose the control, trust the teams, shift to better visibility and communication is the best HR practice in the agile world.

Opening and sharing some of the HR functions into the organization fits the agile way and the organization mind set. 
The outcome will then be, a very agile HR supporting a healthy and functioning employee layer in the organization that deliver quality product with financial impact.

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