Masters of Scrum: Why the Principles can be Useful for Hiring

The only people that need to learn Scrum are Scrum Masters, right? We’d argue wrong. Last week we sent our Talent specialists, Grace Carey and Kate Greentree to learn the principles in 48 hours. Will they ever get a chance to put what they’ve learned into practice? Unlikely. Does it matter? Unlikely.  

Here Grace explains why…

“Everyone on the Scrum Master course came from different backgrounds and countries – from small agencies and consultancies to the MOJ – Kate and I were the only people there from a Talent  background. It was interesting to find out the reasons behind attending; some were moving roles [into Scrum], some wanted to cement their knowledge, as were already working as Scrum Masters, and some – like us – just wanted to further our comprehension of the concept.

I’ve been working in the tech industry for four years in agencies and startups, and now a consultancy, so I had base level knowledge. I’d previously completed the AgencyAgile course which was relevant to the creative agency within which I worked, but I only had an idea of ceremonies, not a deep understanding. I felt my grounding wasn’t enough – I wanted to know the ‘whys’ of Agile, what the benefits were, what research it was based on and what the true purpose behind the practices were.

While Kate and I are part of the 101 Ways crew, we wanted to be more involved in the business side; be part of the workings, not just on the periphery doing hires. We’re holding ourselves out to represent 101 Ways and we need to  know what we’re talking about. We discussed further training as a team [Head of Talent, Ally Mitchell had already completed the Scrum Master course last year] as the principles are ingrained in 101 Ways’ culture and the business, and it was  important for us to be able communicate that. Doing the course helped us better understand our candidates’ experience and demonstrate the credibility of our knowledge during the recruitment process.

Initially I had found Scrum quite difficult to get my head around; particularly some of the theories like self-organising teams. But by playing a number of games and completing a few tasks, we were able to see what a simple concept it was and why it works so well.

In comparison, I found the cultural/environmental side of Scrum much easier to envision because it’s something I’m interested in on a personal level. Organisational change fascinates me and while I don’t have any direct experience of it, it’s something I enjoy learning and reading about. While it is unlikely that’ll I’ll get a chance to put what I’ve learned into practice, it doesn’t matter; it’s invaluable for us as a recruitment team to have the knowledge and I think everyone should do it!

I love that 101 Ways invests in their employees and not just by giving us training within our specific area. They believe in holistic development. It really is an amazing opportunity to be part of a company where your overall knowledge matters, not just what you do. Management continually push you to learn something new and take responsibility for your own career development so you become more effective. And I suppose that is truly what it means to be agile.”

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