Meet the Minds Day at QualityMinds
03.05.2018

Meet the Minds Day

Recruiting belongs to the teams! Back in the past we used classical approaches to hiring people: we posted job offers, screened and interviewed candidates by our HR and organised 2-3 hour long meetings with candidates and consultants. After such meetings it was usually the CEO who decided if the person should be hired or not. We realised that it frequently led to several problems:

  • we could not really make sure that the candidate was the right fit for the team since he/she did not spend enough time with them;
  • the decision-making process took too long (classic bottleneck issue), usually because the CEO or the HR department were very busy at the time;
  • we spent our resources and energy on interviewing candidates who were not compatible with our company mindset.

After careful consideration, we decided to further develop our recruiting concept and launched a so-called Meet the Minds Day (MTMD). During that day a self-organised team (often without the CEO/HR) has the ability to spend some quality time with the candidates, work with them and get to know them better. Since the aforementioned team usually consists of people from different sectors of the company who would actually work with the candidate on a daily basis, not only does the meeting offer an opportunity to get to know each other better but it also actively involves the teammates in the decision-making process and empowers them. Moreover, during the MTMD the "culture fit" plays a crucial role: we get to see if the candidate shares our company values and mindset. Those values include trust and self-organisation, and what is a better way to live by them than taking part in the MTMD?

When we reflected on the data gathered during the last 5,5 years we noticed that almost each and every case of offboarding or layoff after the completed trial period was caused by the not fully completed or simply the lack of the MTMD.

And yes, it costs a lot of time, energy and money to organise a day-long meeting with 3-7 colleagues who work in a customer project, but this investment (and we definitely see it this as an investment) pays off 100%. People are hired by future co-workers and share our mindset.

Here are the stories of some of our colleagues who participated in the MTMD:

Tasos:

Before I came to QualityMinds, I used to work for a big multinational company abroad. I expected and was prepared to follow all the formal and informal rules which standard job interviews usually have. The MTMD was something different altogether. I met my future colleagues at the Nuremberg office - all seven of them. We started with the daily team meeting and spent the entire day together in order to see if my mindset matches the team. We had lunch with other people from the office and I could get to know them as well.

After the MTDM my friends were surprised that I looked so satisfied - the job interview took a whole day! I truly was because each session we had at the office (four of them in total) was about "testing" various sides of my personality: my professional side and well as my private one. I knew that the team had a complete image of me as a person: the way I speak, my mindset, my weaknesses, what I'm willing to learn and how. The team explained to me that it had to be a win-win or nothing decision: they had to mutually decide that I am the right fit for the position. The same goes for me. I invested a whole day in the interview and in the end I was able to say: "Yes, this is a job for me. It's not some sterilized environment where I would be just one more cog in the machine". I don't regret taking the challenge.

Rick:

I met several members of QualityMinds at conferences, some before they were ever QM members. After a meet up in Manchester I noticed that the people I enjoyed sparring and sharing ideas with the most all worked together and seemed to really appreciate the atmosphere and energy present. So after a few discussions and phone calls I was invited to see how it all works at a MTMD in Munich.

During my MTDM I was taken along on a day in the life of both the Quality Learning Team and the Agile Testing teams. I attended their standups, their weekstarts and met several of the people at the office. I got the tour of the building and then was asked to present myself and an idea to the gathered Minds. I choose for my topic the Illusion of Perfection, and got enthusiastic participation and many questions. This gave me a good impression that people here were truly interested in topics outside of their direct wheelhouse.

After lunch (during which I got to talk to even more members of QM) I learned a bit more about how the QL team was looking at the future and I presented a retrospective workshop on request. This was a good test for me as it made me think about what the most important parts were and what I really wanted to emphasize. Both of these were triggered by a topic chosen by people I would be working with, so the connection and application were immediately clear. This was followed up by a similar test and exercise by the Agile Testing team, once again giving clear expectations and samples of their daily work.

Overall I found it a unique way of truly seeing if the fit and talents were as expected or desired. Even if I had not been asked to join, I feel the day gave me a chance to show who I was as a full person and to see what the day-to-day life would like at QM, something that is rare in any other company I've worked at or heard about. The QMs in office didn't seem to mind and conversely the day allowed them to see things outside of their context while also being inviting for newcomers. Excellent!

Veronica:

I was invited to the Munich office in the afternoon and met with one of the CEOs as well as with a RE team member. We started with the introduction round and then moved on to my presentation on UML 2.0. I prepared it in advance and had about 15 minutes to present it. There were three other people present in the room and another one listening in remotely from the Nuremberg office. After the presentation was over, it was time for a role play: I was the requirements engineer and two colleagues were my customers. I used the Business Impact Mapping method for this one. 

At first I thought it was going to be a long process but then I realized that I would not want to have it any other way. Every time I spoke to or met with the employees at the company, I just felt more and more sure that this was an employer that suited me well and shared my values. This process helps not only the team to see if the candidate is a good match for the company, but it also helps the candidate see if the company is a good match for him/her. I love the concept of the MTMD because by the time I started working, I had met many of my future colleagues at the office, both during the process and after (in a more relaxed environment over a beer). For me it felt like the on-boarding went easier and faster compared to other processes I have been through.

Today as an employee I can be involved in the process in one way or the other and get to know the candidates and help out with the interviewing as well as with the decisions making.

Katie:

I first got to know some of the Minds at Test Bash Munich. I noticed how everyone was so friendly and eager to tell me how amazing QualityMinds is! Next step, I emailed my CV and had an online technical interview. I was then invited to a MTMD in the Munich office. I knew I would be doing a presentation, which I could prepare for in advance, there'd be an exercise and some sort of test (yikes!) as well as a further technical interview.

On the actual day, the presentation was met with interesting questions, the exercise was testing part of a website and the test was way too much fun to be called a test, more like a game - find the algorithm! I had the opportunity to have lunch with several of the Minds, where we sat on sofas/bean bags and enjoyed some chat, getting to know each other.

Overall, I can say that the day flew by and it was a valuable opportunity to find out so much about the company, the other Minds and also myself!

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