One of the trends that has been consolidating during recent years is the implementation of the so-called Agile methodology, an organizational system which had little or nothing to do with corporate HR management in its inception.
It was created in 2001, when twenty software development experts decided that it was about time to skip over the rigidity of traditional working systems in order to bet on a new paradigm that reduced the length of procedures, improved the quality of products and made possible a quick reaction to issues along the way.
Their developers, led by American engineer Ken Beck, talked specifically about “agile methods” and poured everything they came up with during that that historic brainstorming session into a manifesto which, almost two decades after, has turned into some kind of bible of efficiency and efficacy around goal achievement, a whole global movement that is transforming the world of employment.
The greatest feat of the Agile movement is that it transcended the universe of software developers to be increasingly applied into more and more areas within organizations. In HR departments as well, in order to deal with an increasingly competitive market, in terms of candidates and profiles required.
The philosophy those software developers gave birth to in 2001 has not only been proved to be useful in the world of business –having a greater impact on the technology sector, with juggernauts such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple or Amazon spearheading its implementation-. Also in politics: the adoption of this working system was one of the keys to make Barack Obama overcome 2012 polls and be re-elected as President of the United States.
In the field of talent management, the Agile methodology involves placing greater importance into human factor rather than into procedures; getting the most out of mistakes to achieve continuous improvement; a close collaboration with customers; and faster adaptation to changes that may arise during the process.
Companies that bet on being agile from the point of view of HR are characterised by having a collaborative, humanist approach: decisions are taken collectively by highly qualified, extremely motivated professionals with team work skills, thus facilitating synergies and conflict management, and achieving a better flow in every process. In addition, individuals are no longer seen as “resources” and become indispensable elements who generate value to the company.
This methodology can also be applied to talent attraction. With agile recruiting, selection and hiring processes are quicker and more efficient, without unnecessary intermediate steps or exhaustive red tape.
In addition to the system directly derived from the Agile Manifesto, there are another two methodologies considered agile, with broad acceptance among talent managers: Scrum and Kanban. In the first one, selection processes are divided into stages, with regular meetings being held in order to evaluate each step; the second one allows to be up to date with the development of the process thanks to a table (hard or virtual) which gathers, in real time, the status of every task, either pending, finished or in development stage.
HR departments working around Agile methodology are, as a result of their transversal rapport, in a unique position to become the ambassadors of this system, so that its implementation expands to the rest of the areas within an organization.