Using the Agile Methodology with Human Resources: BrainyHR Advices

Using the Agile Methodology with Human Resources: BrainyHR Advices
  1. Agile is a state of mind
  2. How does this relate to practice?
  3. 5 Agile HR practices

In IT, we all know what it is, according to the Harvard Business Review, more and more organizations are becoming agile not only in IT departments but throughout the organization. Waterfall project management models are becoming a thing of the past, giving way to more agile, user-oriented methods. Nowadays, in order to be successful, you need to be innovative and react quickly to business needs.

Is this possible in HR? We will not run away from this. I would even say that we should not want to run away at all, because HR trends and processes have been moving towards agility for a long time. More and more companies are moving away from annual evaluations in favor of current feedback, our employment plans quickly turn out to be outdated, we must be constantly ready to respond to the dynamically changing labor market and business.

Everything sounds good, but how to be Agile in HR? Where to start?

Agile is a state of mind

Why a state of mind? It is not enough to follow the trend, say that "from now on we are Agile" and do nothing else in this direction. To be Agile, you have to change your thinking and habits. Agile is based on trust, cooperation, openness, transparency, and quick adaptation, which unfortunately is often missing in organizations. Changing the way you work takes time and takes time to understand what it is all about.

The Agile Software Manifesto comes to the rescue (which, by the way, is already old, because it was created in 2001), which defines the values ​​and general principles of software development in the spirit of Agile. As the name suggests, it refers to IT, but recently our HR department has had its own manifesto (Manifesto of Agile HR), which says to value:

  • cooperation network over hierarchical structures,

  • transparency over keeping information confidential,

  • the ability to adapt beyond established processes,

  • inspiration and commitment over management and retention,

  • internal motivation over external rewards,

  • ambition over duty.

The manifesto also includes 5 principles relating to empowering commitment, making and adapting to change, establishing cooperation, building an environment that supports trust and motivation, and nurturing development. All this, defines the general framework for the functioning of the a

How does this relate to practice?

“You can't be Agile in HR” - that's the main objection I hear. If you think so too, you couldn't be more wrong. Terms such as "flexibility", "willingness to change", "development" and "customer focus" are the essence of Agile and, in my opinion, they also describe a well-functioning HR department. Perhaps you are already "Agile" or you are going in that direction without even realizing it.

1. Adaptability

Think about how many times the team leader came to you saying that he is basically not looking for a Front-end Developer, but a Fullstack with a good knowledge of PHP, or you have received information from the CEO that a new project is starting and you will need to hire a few additional programmers from PM at the helm? If you've just had deja-vu, you know what I'm talking about. Dynamically changing employment plans throughout the year have become the norm, and we should be able to easily adapt to the change.

2. Network of cooperation

Our cooperation with Hiring Managers must also take on a new dimension. We cannot only be contractors of the entrusted task, which must be controlled for this, otherwise it will not bring results. Our goal should be to become a business partner, develop relationships, focus on cooperation and ongoing feedback. We should be experts in their field who always provide support and know what solution to propose to our client.

3. Ambition

In HR, and in recruitment, in particular, we cannot rest on our laurels. We should look for new ways to reach the candidate and maintain positive relationships. The employee market does not allow us to start recruiting only when a vacancy is opened. Our goal should be constant contact with candidates, using many communication channels, investing in employer branding, and improving processes, thus shortening time-to-hire and time-to-fill.

4. Inspiration and commitment

Our approach to talent attraction strategies should also change. We should not accuse the candidates of non-wage benefits in the form of another sportscard or a kitchen equipped with RedBulle. Responding to the changing needs of subsequent generations entering the labor market, let us focus on real development opportunities and an engaging work environment that gives it meaning.

5. Transparency

Recently, we have been talking more and more about transparency in communication with the candidate. If we want to be transparent, we cannot keep the recruitment process a secret, and our candidates must know from the very beginning what awaits them in the process. Another issue is the financial range. Fortunately, we can notice that we are deviating from this (bad) trend and we see more and more advertisements in which we can find information about the financial range. No Fluff Jobs is a pioneer of this change in Poland and you can see that we are going in the right direction!

6. Internal motivation

I would refer to this point to us. If we are not internally motivated ourselves and we simply do not have the will to develop and change, introducing agility and improvement will simply not work out.

So it is possible!

With each subsequent HR project (regardless of whether it will be recruitment, budget planning, or introducing a new benefit), let's learn from mistakes and draw conclusions so that the next iteration is better than the previous one. Let's experiment with new solutions and improve our processes. As HR professionals, we just have to be flexible and need a constant need for improvement in our blood. Especially if we want to be Agile.

5 Agile HR practices

Which Agile practices are already working in HR?

Here are some examples based on Bersin's "Agile model of HR" article:

Agile Requirements

Agile HR Practice Examples

Client: Mandatory and frequent interaction with clients to create the best result

Focus on customer focus on competencies, development, performance management

Experiment: You have to constantly try, draw conclusions, and get better

Creation and support and support. Leadership training, communication, and team support

Result: Effective and fast results require working in small teams

Competency revision, rapid leadership development, focus on personal responsibility, pay revision, and performance management

Communication: Constant and transparent communication in the team and between teams is important.

Development of cultivation

Changes: The role of the leader is changing towards more support, coaching, and teamwork.

Changing the focus in leadership training

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