Organizational Changes – The Search for New Managers

This post continues a series discussing the handling of some major organizational changes at my company.

We had determined that we needed new managers within the Consulting team.  Looking at the size of the team, we had determined that we needed at least two new managers and as many as four.  These positions would report to Rene, Director of Consulting.  We decided to search for those new managers openly, considering candidates from within the company and from outside.

Initially, we had considered identifying the most promising internal candidates (chosen from our project managers) and simply offering promotions to them.  However, we quickly realized that we wanted to better understand the strengths (and interest levels) of those candidates to make sure we made the best choices.

Together with our H.R. department, we drafted a job description for the new manager roles and posted that job description both internally and externally.  We weren’t surprised that there was quite a bit of interest within the existing team – five of our consultants and project managers applied for the job.  Meanwhile, the recruiters in H.R. identified about half a dozen strong candidates from outside the company.  After phone screening, those were narrowed to the two best candidates.

Our interview process is fairly traditional and, in my opinion, very effective and fair.  We create a loop of six interviewers, including people from multiple departments: Consulting (of course), Engineering, and H.R.  We want to ensure that we get a broad perspective of the candidates and that (especially for outside candidates) they get a good overall view of the company they’d be joining.

We organized all of the interviews to take place during one week in April.  Rene (whose home office is in Dallas) traveled to our corporate office near Seattle for the week.  We arranged for each of the candidates, both internal and external, to fly out for a day of interviewing.  Over the course of four days, we interviewed our seven candidates.  It was exhausting (for both the candidates and the interviewers), but it was important.

Next up: the interviews.

For now…I’ll leave you with this thought:

When new positions are created, post them publicly and allow qualified internal candidates who are interested to apply and interview.

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