Within the company, we are always asked what our team of Agile Coaches, including myself, do all day, every day. This has sparked an internal blog post series, in which I've explained our tasks, goals, and responsibilities in more detail, to achieve greater transparency. We wanted to make these also available publicly, and so far we have published:
Another big task that the Agile Coaches work on at a company level includes recruiting and external (corporate) marketing. We are convinced that our //SEIBERT/MEDIA employees are our most valuable resource, and therefore the recruitment of new staff is particularly important.
This becomes all the more important when looking at the special framework that //SEIBERT/MEDIA works within. Not every potential employee fits in our environment: The corporate cultural conditions are very different to those in other companies. So it is not so easy for us to find new colleagues who fit in both professionally and personally. These people do not grow on trees.
We believe that it is very important for us as a company, and therefore for us as agile coaches, to consolidate our employer brand and publicize it to make it an interesting and attractive point in the labor market. Of course, we are using the popular job boards like XING or Monster. But we also believe that a personal presence at specialist conferences and in specialist media, in additional to cooperation with universities and organizations is a valuable component in the search for new employees.
XING New Work Award & Image-Video
A recent large project for us was our application for the XING New Work Award. In conjunction with our application, we had a //SEIBERT/MEDIA branding video (in German) produced, which is already the most-watched video in our YouTube channel. We believe that this will help strengthen our employer brand, help attract people who are interested in working with us, and explain why we are as we are.
Our application to the New Work Award has already had some positive effects. This included, amongst other things, an increased media presence at XING, which meant we could reach new customers, potential applicants, and further expand our network. The most significant outcome was probably the article about our work in the BrandEins magazine. The chief editor of the magazine was a member of the New Work Award jury and has drawn attention to our application.
Through our XING campaign we got to know Stephan Grabmeier, who agreed to be a presenter at our last Atlassian customer event (video in German). With other new contacts, we have already conducted exciting webinars about leadership in agile organizations, the culture of collaboration, and digital transformation (videos in German).
Unfortunately, we did not win, and the effects of such measures are not always as visible as in the BrandEins article outcome. but from our point of view, our application has paid off handsomely in the context of employer branding.
Presentations and networking at various (un)conferences
As we are already involved in our network, we participate in a variety of network events and (un)conferences as attendees and presenters - not only in our role as "company ambassadors", but we also collect great ideas and a lot of inspiration, which help us answer difficult questions and resolve problems at work.
For example, our application for the New Work Award was prompted by a presentation at the XING New Work Session in Düsseldorf. A presentation at the XING New Work Campus in Marburg has attracted multiple applicants.
Through our participation and presentation at other events and conferences, we have made many new contacts who can help us by offering to run internal workshops, training sessions, or presentations. We have been represented at these recent events in Germany:
- Gesellschaft für Vernetztes Denken
- Agile user groups
- eo ipso Personalkonferenz
- New Work Future
- Augenhöhe Labs
- Intrinsify Me
- Agile Unternehmen im Austausch
Blog posts & articles in (online) magazines
Another area in focus is an increased media presence through blog posts or articles in (online) magazines. For these activities, the same is true: although we rarely know what the exact consequences of any particular measure are, we believe that sharing information and knowledge both strengthens our employer brand and positions our employees as experts.
We also want to help make the rest of the business world better, and support those who may be at the beginning of their agile transformation. Sounds a little pretentious? One should not underestimate this giving and taking. We have also benefited from the input and the experience of people and organizations that were ahead of us in their journeys.
You can find our articles in BrandEins, in Informatik Aktuell, in the Harvard Business Manager, and in many other well-known publications.
As I have already highlighted, we see our staff as the most important asset at //SEIBERT/MEDIA. That is why the Agile Coaches are involved throughout many phases of the recruiting process, especially in the screening of applications, initial contact, interviews and onboarding.
Searching for new Scrum Masters/Agile Coaches
In the first post of this series, I described our current capacity and its challenges: We are currently very under-staffed and we certainly want to improve upon this to better support our teams. The search for new Scrum Masters or Agile Coaches is one of our most highly prioritized tasks in recruiting.
Within the framework of our longer term vision for Scrum Masters, we have agreed to make a distinction between the two roles going forward. While we continue to perform Scrum's more traditional team support roles, our Agile Coaches are more likely to look at a cross-team meta-level, focusing on company development and supporting Scrum Masters by providing problem solving and methodological support as well as supervision and peer consulting.
We are well aware that the team support is currently rather limited and that there is too little personnel capacity at the agile coach level. We are therefore also looking for new Agile Coaches and building a "recruiting pipeline" for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches through training "Juniors", who, although not yet experts, have the necessary character traits and the drive to get involved quickly in this area.
We have already implemented such a procedure successfully with developers, and we are beginning to see the initial success with the same in the sysadmin area. We would like to achieve similar success with Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches and Product Owners.
Collaboration with universities
We do not negelect collaborating with universities to better our recruiting prospects. While we already collaborate with the Rhein Main University of Applied Sciences and the Mainz University of Applied Sciences, we are cooperating with other universities in order to address additional specialist areas. These include the Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln and the TU Darmstadt, amongst others.
We are looking to strengthen our employer brand and increase the visibility of //SEIBERT/MEDIA beyond the classic IT job portals by participating in case studies or guest presentations and offering of events, workshops and OpenOffice days for students. Through this, we hope to reach future junior Scrum Masters, junior Product Owners, or consultants from economics or psychology-related courses.
We are currently collaborating on several research projects, for example with the University of Lucerne and the Rheinischen Fachhochschule Köln. We are both initiator and sparring partner for the conception and implementation of individual subjects. Employees from //SEIBERT/MEDIA are always available to students as interview partners for their final theses.
In the fourth post in this series, we will discuss the role our team plays in the development of the company.
Jobs at //SEIBERT/MEDIA (Applications and site in German)
Agile organization at //SEIBERT/MEDIA – from brainstorming to realization
How Scrum Masters work as Agile Coaches within the company
Agile Coaches at //SEIBERT/MEDIA - Company level tasks: Education & training