Recruiting and onboarding – how to do it right in holacracy? Holacracy Practitioners Meetup #4 

As we continue to spread the good word about holacracy during our meetups, this time we worked on hiring and welcoming new people to the company. How should it be done to avoid pitfalls and obstacles, how to pick people who best fit your company DNA and how to arrange dedicated roles to stay reliable during the process? Let’s get through some key remarks from our wonderful guest speakers from the Holacracy Practitioners Meetup #4  that took place on 8th August in Gliwice.

So, what’s the best way to learn new things…?

Listen to the most experienced people in the field! That’s why we invited another guest from Springest – one of the most renowned companies in Europe that has been developing its holacratic structure for over 6 years now – Anne Nynke Jansma. Anne is accountable for various areas at work, including events and talent acquisition, so the know-how she brought to the meetup was extensive.

See what Ewout Meijer from Springest spoke about at Holacracy Practitioners Meetup#3

During her speech, Anne described the structure and roles that are part of the process of selecting and onboarding candidates. You can find them at roles.springest.com.

Crucial issues to notice here? “Hiring starts with the Lead Link, because the Lead Link is the role responsible for resources in his circle”. In terms of the open positions –  “We need people for multiple roles, so we cannot write a vacancy for one job title” Why not? The deal behind giving people freedom is to let them form their own career path according to the roles and accountabilities they fit the most.

Regarding the final choice of candidates to be hired, the variety of roles and clear accountabilities of each role in the recruitment area (i.e. in Springest: Lead Link, Happiness, Recruitment, and Trial Buddy) allow you to collectively assess candidates for the sake of the best match.

How to evaluate this match?

Start doing trial days and throw challenges at the newbies. Anne described her trial day at Springest, “I had to figure out my own job. (…) During the trial day, someone asked: What do you want to do today? I had to figure this out by myself.” It gives a candidate the challenge of choosing priorities, and allows you to look at how they deal with it, solve problems and fit the role. These are signals that tell you whether you want to hire someone or not.

Another part of the story is onboarding. “Make your newbie an owner of their own onboarding,” in Anna’s words. How to do that? By giving the newbie a role and making them accountable for it. Stimulate self-reliance, make it a guideline and let the newbie follow the next steps – from tools, to learnings and figuring out their “jobs” from the very start.

If something can go better – let the new people give feedback in case they have an idea to make something happen – “Tension is fuel,” Anne said.

Discussion panel

After the presentation from Anne, it was time for a quick discussion facilitated by Karolina Kołodziej, Growth Marketing Campaigns Creator at XSolve. The discussion focused mainly on questions from the audience: general holacracy issues like culture fit, making mistakes and setting up the priorities and strategy at the company.

The panelists, among whom were Anne Nynke from Springest, Anna Zarudzka – Growth Lead Link at Chilid, Marek Wzorek – business and teal coach, and Patrycja Wala – Holacracy Adoption Lead at XSolve, pointed out the significance of taking ownership in projects, the role of the Lead Link, and the importance of transparency and having a clear division of accountabilities in teams, all so as to avoid organizational chaos and blaming.

“If things are not going well, an accountable person gives clarification. It’s all about feedback and learning from mistakes” as Anne said.

What about a strategy? An interesting remark came from Anna Zarudzka about comparing a holacratic organization to a city. “You have the law, you have rules and the local government. There’s nobody who tells you how to cross the street. You have lights – you decide what to do.” By analogy there are circles and individual responsible roles. “It’s the team with the roles, not one person like a fuhrer”.

Marek Wzorek gave us an interesting perspective about the “empty chair” method. Whoever sits in it at any given moment is the one accountable for setting the direction and the vision behind the company. He also spoke about a way of putting ideas into action based on a client-centered approach: “If you come to me with an idea, I treat you as a client I can do something valuable for you, just as we do in this business for our clients on the market”.

Patrycja Wala also referred to the core of holacracy in terms of setting up priorities in the organization. “It’s all about purpose, then comes the strategy”. If it’s “safe enough to try”, just do it, and then learn and evaluate.

Summary

Lots of great insights, lessons learnt and ideas to improve how our companies function right now – this is what the Holacracy Practitioners Meetup is all about! Let’s sum up this wonderful event with a bold statement from our guest from the Netherlands, Anne Nynke: “When you implement holacracy, you have to go all in! And yes, let’s make companies great again, together.

You can already sign up for the HOLACRACY PRACTITIONERS MEETUP 5 – the webinar: http://bit.ly/2vNlINC