Hiring

The Roles and Responsibilities process will output a set of Role Interfaces for each Realm, some of which will be unfilled. The Resource Allocation process will output a headcount for each realm. We can now turn our attention to how to hire for those unfilled roles.

The people most affected by a new hire are the people working with that person. At the same time, because roles are granular, and because there is lots of flexibility, each person will likely steward multiple roles across different areas of the organization. Therefore, the set of people affected by a new hire is potentially very large.

In a small, stable, organization, the hiring problem would simply reduce to an Advice problem. There would, presumably, be a single realm, and the steward of that realm would be responsible for making hiring decisions, but would need to seek the advice of everybody working with them, who presumably would be everybody. Those people would get the information they need to give advice by interviewing the candidate.

As an organization gets larger, this becomes harder. Not everybody can interview a candidate. Further, when considering an engineering candidate, other engineers are more likely to be working closely with them than, say, a finance person.

For each candidate, the steward of the most realm in which the candidate will be spending the majority of their time is the decision-maker on whether to hire the person. That person creates a committee composed of other people who would be impacted by that candidate, as well as some representatives of the company more broadly. Those people on the committee interview the candidate and then give advice to the steward, who then reflects the advice back to them, tells them what decision they would make. If there are no conflicts, either the steward of the realm or (when the company is small) the steward of the general realm communicates the offer.

Therefore:

Treat hiring like any other decision through the advice process, except more structured. Determine the decision-maker by seeing who would be most affected (the steward of the realm in which the candidate will be spending most of their time). The decision-maker then puts together a committee of people to represent those who would be affected by the hiring of the candidate (including at least one person stewarding roles in another realm who would not be working directly with the candidate). People on the committee interview the candidate and then give advice to the decision maker, who synthesizes, reflects back the advice, tells the committee of the decision, and then, provided there is no conflict, either communicates the decision to the candidate or asks the CEO to do so.

Before hiring, ensure that you have the headcount; if not go through the Resource Allocation process. Also perform an extensive Recruiting process before hiring. After hiring, work hard to continue the recruiting process post-offer. And finally, include a thoughtful and extensive Onboarding process. Continuously measure, evaluate, and improve the Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding processes using the Unfolding process.

Published May 5, 2019