Hiring is a Team Activity

Esther has an M.A. in Organizational Leadership, is the author of over 100 articles, and co-author of "Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great" and "Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management". She’s a founder of the AYE Conference, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Agile Alliance. www.estherderby.com.

In an earlier article, I said, “Hiring new people for a team should always be a joint decision that involves team members.” After all, who has more at stake than the people who will work with the new person day in and day out?

Consider what happened when a well-intentioned manager decided to hire without involving the team. His rationale was the team had fallen into group-think and needed “new blood” to shake them up. When I visited, I found a fractured team. The new member struggled for credibility. Half the team wouldn’t speak to him. The other half of the team spoke to him--and resented their former teammates for ostracizing him. The team wasn’t stuck in group-think any more, but they were too busy bickering to get much done.

Whatever the issue--workload, projects that require specific technical or domain skills--involve the team in the hiring process. You’ll increase the chance of a good fit and gain commitment to help the new hire succeed. Plus, sharing power with the team helps create partnership.

Describe the Ideal Candidate
Teams often have a good idea about what’s missing on the team and where the bottlenecks are. They know when they no longer have the capacity to keep up with an increasing workload. Look at the current work, and the near-future work. Examine the current skills and work approach of the …

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