A stand up is a frequent – often daily – short and snappy (5-15 minutes or so) team meeting which takes place standing up, hence the name! Smart tech teams have been doing stand up meetings for years, and talent teams are catching on. Each team member speaks briefly. Everyone’s communication is short and to the point. The idea is that if you’re standing up you don’t get too comfy, keep chatting, and find the meeting has run long.
The stand up is NOT a reporting meeting, it’s a meeting for the team, and by the team.
Your collaborative and close team are now all working from home. You miss your team mates, and sometimes you can go days without seeing them. Of course there’s slack, and email, and so, so many zoom calls, but somehow something’s missing, and the team mojo is starting to fade.
Time to add a stand up meeting to your day!
For a short meeting a stand up can pack a big punch. Stand ups can help: boost morale, encourage teamwork, share knowledge, connect distributed teams, improve transparency, and remove roadblocks.
Team members can talk about where they’re stuck or having problems and quickly find solutions or escalate, “Oh, you’re having problems sourcing good candidates for this role? Try this!”. Stand ups are an especially worthwhile practice for teams with new members or contract recruiters, leveraging the experience they bring, while also providing real time support to them in the activities they’re doing soonest.
Stand ups keep everyone aligned and are a great opportunity to celebrate wins, commiserate over candidates that got away, and re-prioritze if needed. The daily check in nature of the meeting is a nice way to make sure everyone’s OK, while providing some stability and routine at the moment too.
- Decide timing. Stand ups can be at any time, but booking them in the morning sets everyone up for the day.
- Decide cadence. In dynamic environments with plenty of change going on and a lot to share you can start out with a daily stand up.
- Traditionally stand ups are in person, but virtual meetings work well too.
- If your default is everyone on camera, be flexible with people choosing to not share.
- Encourage everyone to stand up.
- Decide content.
- Team members share what they did yesterday and what they plan to do today.
- Team members share a win and a roadblock.
- Have a visual of the candidate pipeline displayed as a card wall (using a tool like TalentWall or Trello) and “walk the wall”. Review candidates in late stages of the hiring process, or candidates you’re excited about. Nominate a different person each time to share their screen.
- The team lead is there as a roadblock remover in the same way the other team members are versus being an overseer. The stand up isn’t a reporting meeting.
- Share the “rules” of the stand up. Typical rules are:
- Respect the team: show up on time ready to share.
- Respect the team’s time: keep it brief, and take bigger conversations off-line into smaller groups. It’s OK to say “ditto” if you did the same as someone else.
- Remind everyone the meeting is for the team – it’s about sharing, not reporting.
- Everyone speaks. You can go alphabetically, east to west, by order of birth month, mix it up each time.
- The stand up is owned by the team when it’s up and running. Everyone should feel empowered to corral the team, get the stand up started, and keep the conversation moving.
- Continuously improve: empower the team to share feedback about the stand up and make changes to make it work for them. Tweaks you can make:
- Change the frequency. Cut back from daily until you find your team’s sweet spot.
- For large teams (up to 12 people is manageable, after that it’s rough) split the team in to affinity groups e.g. sourcers and recruiters, or sales recruiters and tech recruiters.
- Play with content: Mondays – share main goals for the week, Tuesdays – talk about obstacles, Wednesdays – walk the wall, etc
- Change the timing: push it back by 30 minutes if people need to get caffeinated first, or do it after lunch to beat the post-lunch slump.
- Controversial idea: make the stand up longer. Add 15 minutes for a free flowing part of the meeting. Allow time for people to just chat about whatever comes to mind.
- Lastly, but maybe most importantly at the moment, pay attention to how everyone is doing. If someone seems down or more quiet than usual check in with them after the stand up. Look out for each other.