It was a gloomy November afternoon. We were discussing our team work distribution yet another hour, in a crampy conference room. The atmosphere was getting more and more nervous.

Out of the blue somebody is mentioning something about Kanban. Eureka! It works for engineers, why would not it work for recruitment? Is not it a risky idea?

But we gave it a go.

Kanban board in a recruitment team

Our own version of Kanban let us visualise a realistic number of roles to close, who is assigned to each role, and most of all, the number of candidates per role and their progress within the process.

We were updating our Kanban board and assigning tasks to each team member on daily basis during the morning team standup.

At the beginning, we made friends with simple post-it which we were sticking to the board, with the time passing by, we found much more efficient to use an electronic version of Kanboard board (for instance Trello).

Did it all work? The answer is yes and no.

Using elements of kanban methodology helped out systematise the workload and have a big picture of the work share. This way of working is perfect for smaller teams, but while the team growth was skyrocketing, this is was not enough for us.


Picture comes from Wikipedia.


Every morning we were gathering for a brief team stand up.

According to the rules every team member was meant to share what managed to achieve yesterday, was there any blocker on the way to complete the task and what is going to be today’s task. One of the biggest challenges we faced as a so-called self-organising team was to keep a discipline and stick to 15 minutes meeting rule.

Open source HR

Another idea from IT world, which quite recently has gotten transplanted to Human Resources industry, is an open source. In general HROS aims to share a domain knowledge, good practices and tools for free for global HR community. Here’s a link HROS manifesto .

Even though it’s still in its infancy the community grows extra potentially. In Poland we already have a vibrant Poland Sourcing Community and Ebmasters, an initiative focusing strictly on employer branding practices. In UK we can find plethora of diffent less or more active HR communities, with UK Sourcers working probably the most actively.

Pair Sourcing

I guess that everyone recruiting for IT has ever come across an idea of “pair programming”.

In this system, programmers are switching alternately into driver/observer roles. Some research is proving that these practices improve the quality of the code and increase number of defects in the software.

On the other hand, some engineers, while working in a pair, are whining about problems with concentration, working at its own pace and intensity of collaboration with another person, not always the one they would love to work with that closely.

When it comes to recruitment practices, this way of working might be pretty effective while setting a collaboration between senior and junior sourcer. Working together, arm in am, for a couple of days should help to boost knowledge transfer, ignite the creativity and out box thinking, therefore an innovation can be introduced.

Agile Frankenstein

Those more religious agile practitioners will blame me for profanity, another might call my experience naive and superficial. I would agree to some extent - my interpretation of agile methodologies is indeed quite laidback.

I do not see any clue in setting up similar methodologies from the ground up, while we can benefit from years of our colleagues’ practice from other industry and adjust it to our own enviroment.

At the same time, I remember clearly that taking random elements from Agile may end up with a disaster. We may create a methodology Frankenstein, not being able to function properly even though being created from the perfect pieces.

Not to mention how Frankenstein and its creator ended up*…

*They both died.