Tribal Recruitment

by , under Agile Coaching, Management, Team management

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What made you be part of friend’s tribe?

You might believe “proximity, we grew up in the same neighbourhood” . Ok , if it’s the case your tribe is composed of the same friends you had from your childhood, that’s a good point. However, I am sure there were many other people in the same area and they were not part of your group. So, what made you a group was not only living near, but also something else.

No matter what level is your tribe ( http://www.ted.com/talks/david_logan_on_tribal_leadership.html ) , you became part of it because you choose to, and the tribe accepted you as part of it. We all have experienced the situation of someone coming new to our group of friends, with no sponsor but the only support of one team member. What if the new member is not accepted by the rest of the tribe? This person simply didn’t match with the general mood or interests of the group. In real life, this new member moves out smoothly, naturally. It happens, not many people can say they have never seen this situation.

I truly believe in organizations creating an environment where members can feel like at home, fighting for master, authonomy, purpose ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc ) ;  Organizations where there is a clear group vision, the company purpose is completely shared across all teams. When everybody understands where we want to go, everybody is able to realize and understand what we need in each moment. I don’t think the ability to create teams belongs only to the organizational leaders.

Why not creating a recruitment process where the last word is in hands of the organization members? Mainly, those organization members who are possibly going to collaborate with this new one. What if, for example, you define a recruitment process like this for your organization:

1.- Attract talent. Show how good you are in your community. Inspire others with your achievements, your process, your tools, your environment. Not only by creating a nice and beauty website with the classic pictures, but have your team members sharing knowledge and opening the doors to your inside.

2.- Have a great inspiring and motivating job vacancy posts. Make people feel curiosity and willing to go there, to dream with a better life.

3.- Create an inspiring technical test, hard enough as to have the candidate feeling it’s not simple to reach the place. An average valid candidate should not be able to reach 100% of your test, as you still want them to think there are things to learn. The test has to be prepared between all the current members, not only one of them. You can have some members assigned to evaluate the tests, but it should not be always the same person, and always at least 2 or 3 members.

4.- Have all your team interviewing the new candidates, and choosing who they want to have next to them. For each vacancy, interview 2-3 members. That will give everyone vision of all the possible candidates there are, differences that each one brings, possitive points, negative points. Have everyone aware of the organization values, and remind them to dig the candidate searching for the matching to them.

The key is choosing, having several options opens the team to analyze and feel they are chosing their environment. Always, If there is a current member raising a red flag to a candidate, just reject this candidate. Your group will never reach a high success if they have to collaborate with someone they don’t want . Avoid more than 2/3 interviews for your candidate. In my opinion, It becomes too complex for the candidate and looses the sense of agility, tribe. It becomes politics. We want them here in the moment they fell in love with us, not 6 months later.

5.- Offer the new team member whatever salary he/she thinks he/she deserves, always inside your salary ranges, which are public in your organization and in our job vacancy posts. Make them be aware of why you have these ranges, and what they mean. If you want to have a “senior developer” salary, you are expected to write the best code in your team, train your colleagues in a regular basis, lead technical decissions… and we will check that hardly. Your salary will be reviewed periodically, every year, setting it according to your value in the organization.

I am sure there are many variants of this approach, but I will always suggest to respect the final word of the tribe members, offering them the possibility to decide and block candidates. Do you think it’s feasible somehow to bring this approach to your organization?

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