18F Leadership Selection Playbook
This playbook is intended to capture what we’ve learned from selecting past 18F Supervisors and Team Leads and help you, future reader, avoid some pitfalls and remember some easy-to-forget nuances. Please feel free to iterate and experiment, but capture the results of those experiments for future selection rounds.
Create a nomination form in Google Forms. You can copy an older example or just create one from scratch. Typically, this form has been very short and simple with just a few pieces of information:
- What position are you taking nominations for?
- When do nominations close?
With these form fields:
- Who is being nominated?
- Why would they be good in the role?
- Anything else to add (optional)
Be sure that the form is set to capture the email address of the nominator in case you need to follow up.
You’ll want your deadline to be at least five days out. Longer is OK. Don’t do anything shorter. Wrapping up nominations on end-of-day Friday is pretty convenient and easy to remember for everyone.
Publicize the nomination form on Slack, to the appropriate email distribution list for your chapter or portfolio, and, if timing allows, any relevant newsletters or other communications media you can think of.
Go ahead and create calendar holds now for several interviews the following week. You want to create these blocks now. Finding time on everyone’s calendars will be tough. The sooner you have a hold in place, the easier it will be to find time convenient for everyone. Now’s also a great time to schedule a calendar hold for the interview panel members to debrief and make their selection after interviews are complete.
Remember time zones are a thing, and the open space on your calendar may be at 7 a.m. for your candidate. You don’t know yet, so plan accordingly.
You’ll want at least three holds. You may need more, but three will be enough most times, and if you do need more, interviewing will probably go into the next week anyway.
The calendar hold should be for at least 45 minutes (preferably an hour) and should usually include:
At least one, preferably two, Chapter Supervisors
If you’re interviewing for a supervisor position, the chapter head
A representative from the diversity guild or a chapter diversity lead
In some cases, you may want to include a supervisor or director from another chapter as well.
Whoever you include, be sure to have the same interviewers present for each interview, and to keep all the interview times equal.
Toward the end of the week, make sure to make at least one additional call for nominations. You cannot over-publicize.
As you learn who the candidates are, send out the actual calendar invites to replace the holds.
Be sure all candidates and interviewers have a copy of the Position Description, a general description of the role, and a copy of the questions they may be asked. These are all in Google Drive somewhere. Hopefully you already know where.
Before the interviews, create a private Slack channel or DM group for the interview panel to capture quick thoughts, and a Google doc to collaboratively capture notes in. Be sure to share both with all the interviewers.
##Making the selection
After completing all the interviews, convene your interview panel one more time to make the selection. You should have consensus. If you don’t, listen to the minority voice in the conversation, especially if they’re saying “no”.
As your going over the candidates, go ahead and fill out the Talent Selection Spreadsheet. You’ll need it once you’ve made your selection.
###Once you’ve made your selection:
If you’re selecting a supervisor or director, you should let the Chief of Practices and the Talent team know who you’ve selected. In both cases, most times it’s just a courtesy, but if there are any problems with the selection, they can tell you before you proceed. Talent is going to want the selection spreadsheet you created. And remember, the Talent team must be notified as soon as possible whenever a person is moving onto a supervisory PD.
Notify the people who were not selected.
Notify the person who was selected.
Make public announcements.