Optimizing your team dynamic is a huge benefit when your goal is agility. Having the right people filling the right roles on each team can mean the difference between success and failure, and can do wonders for team morale as well.
But how can you streamline the hiring process so that you can be sure to bring on the right people, put them in the right positions, and take full advantage of their strengths?
1. Focus on personality and aptitude, not just on resume.
One key that takes some getting used to, especially for managers who have been around the block a few times, is to take an applicant’s resume with a grain of salt.
Professional resume writers can do amazing things with words, making a mediocre applicant sound exceptional. Unfortunately, some people aren’t too concerned about stretching the truth or flat out lying on their resumes to improve their chances of getting an interview. Really, even a resume that is 100% accurate doesn’t tell you the whole story.
Dan Radigan of Atlassian made this great point in a blog about Agile team personnel:
“An Agile development manager knows to hire great people, then trust them. One of the fundamental tenets of Agile process are that those closest to the work are best able to scope and deliver. The team sets the schedule. The development manager adds unique value in inquiring and vetting assumptions made in the estimation exercise – partnering in the process, rather than dictating it.”
A resume isn’t necessarily going to tell you if the person you’re considering will effectively fit into a self-managed team dynamic, earning the trust that’s so important in high-functioning Agile teams. Look beyond the surface data and fluffy language on a resume to really an individual’s aptitude to fit in to a productive team, add value, and be willing to participate in a self-managed autonomous group.
2. Rethink the onboarding process and hire people who will get up to speed faster.
Of course, you can’t tell the future perfectly. However, if you’re following the advice above, the natural next step is to determine technical skills in relation to what the team(s) need. A candidate’s technical capabilities closely align with how quickly they’ll be able to move into production without slowing down the rest of the team.
Onboarding a new team member can send ripples through the entire organization when a previously quick and productive team has to slow down for several sprints as they adjust to new talent. But if the person you hire has the right combination of applicable technical knowledge and willingness to cooperate fully with the training and onboarding process, that slowing effect can be greatly minimized.
3. Outsource the decision to professionals who have been doing this for years.
Another option that many organizations turn to is outsourcing their Agile hiring process. Everyone knows the wrong personnel choice can be expensive and time-consuming, especially because it’s not likely a task you do everyday.
cPrime actually started out as a staffing agency over 10 years ago. While we’ve expanded into training and coaching, we still maintain a strong focus on being able to hire the most seasoned and talented Agile professionals available for your projects and teams.
If you need some help streamlining your Agile hiring process, take a look at our Agile Professional Staffing services and let us help you get