Hiring Policy

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This is a page concerning a policy or procedure in development. Once fleshed out, we'll consider it for adoption as official policy at Free Geek.

Workgroup: unknown on unknown
Discussion is taking place at Talk:Hiring Policy



Preamble: Hiring permanent staff members is a non trivial endeavor. Factors that need to be addressed are:

  • Purpose - why are we hiring someone? Is there another way to solve the problem without hiring? Can we use a volunteer?
  • Financial - do we have the funding to support the position? Is there a business case to justify the hiring.
  • Legalities - have we followed due process with respect to employment laws?
  • Fairness - have we given all candidates the opportunity to apply? Have we been thorough interviewing?
  • Timeliness - is the process efficient to get the position when needed?
  • Long term vision - Have we planned for the position? How does it fit with other staff positions?
  • Risk - Have the long term risks been assessed? Is this position going to go away in the future?
  • Approval - has the organization which consists of the membership, staff and directors of Free Geek consented to the position.

Important qualities in any Human Resources department include discretion, sensitivity and serious commitment to confidentiality.

Volunteers are the cornerstone of Free Geek, and hiring is a sensitive undertaking. Nobody wants to feel undervalued or passed-over.

A note on Interim HR Workgroup can be called Interim HR (IHR) until it has more regular participants, and a more formal confidentiality policy. IHR will still be open to interested people within FG, including directors, regular volunteers, and staff.

Interim Interview Committee (InterCom): 2 or 3 people who handle one particular hire (a new committee is created each time a hire is undertaken). Can be composed of IHR workgroup members, staff and/or staff collective members. InterCom receives and reviews resumes, selects interviewees, conducts interviews, and selects a candidate who then needs final approval from the staff. At all stages of the process, InterCom should keep staff informed of the process/progress, sending them minutes and consulting with them when needed.

The hiring policy addresses the above factors by the definition of a process.


Round 1:

  • IHR selects Interview Committee (InterCom)
  • IHR sets deadlines
  • IHR presents proposal and gets financial approval from board of directors. Increased financial risk addressed.
  • IHR gets approval (consensus) of all staff
  • IHR posts proposal to general and gets approval at monthly meeting
  • IHR publicizes position within FG mailing lists and other places as required. Minimum length of advertising is 2 weeks. Exceptions require the approval of the board of directors.
  • Resumes can be submitted to one alias: hr {at} freegeekvancouver {dot} org
  • That alias points to all members of the InterCom
  • All resumes submitted are printed and retained in a binder for future reference. A summary list is created of applicants who submitted resumes. Resumes will be marked with a "destroy after date" of one year or as required to meet any data confidentiality and retention requirements.

Round 2:

  • InterCom reviews incoming resumes
  • Separates likely candidates from unliklely, present to staff.
  • Staff has the opportunity to request questions they would like see asked, raise concerns, or ask that candidates who were not initially selected for interviews be given a chance. Staff experience with particular individuals and expertise with the duties of the position may be useful to InterCom.

Round 3:

  • InterCom schedules & completes initial interviews. Candidates will be asked to declare actual and potential conflict of interest. References are checked. Meets with staff to advise of results.
  • InterCom may recommend an individual to staff for the position at this time, or need a further round of interviews.

Round 4:

  • Further interviews if necessary. Interested staff collective members can sit in during these interviews.
  • InterCom recommends favoured candidate to staff. Staff must all consent to candidate, no stand asides.
  • If staff cannot reach consensus, further interviews may take place, or another candidate may be recommended.

Round 5:

  • Once candidate is approved by staff, hiring is done.
  • Candidate is hired, and for 3 months is under probation.
  • At the end of 3 months, there is a review and goal setting if desired. If retained, the individual continues probation for 3 more months.
  • At the end of this period, the individual is either retained and accepted into the Staff Collective, or is not retained.


Notes on Hiring Policy:

  • This policy is based on and follows the Interim Hiring Policy
  • This policy also is informed by our Affirmative Action Policy
  • Reviews complete the hiring process.
  • Reviews are also important to show how people react to peer review and a collective environment
  • Goal setting is important after 3 months to give people a chance to pinpoint things that need improvement
  • A further 3 months is important to give them a chance to demonstrate improvement
  • A long-ish probation period is OK, since if a person likes us and we like them, they'll stick around anyway. It's better to give things more time to settle in and have more time to find out things that could be longer-term problems.