Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Dissent, disagreement, compromise and consensus 10 – the jobs and careers context 9

This is my 10th installment to a series on negotiating in a professional context, starting with the more individually focused side of that as found in jobs and careers, and going from there to consider the workplace and its business-supportive negotiations (see Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3, postings 484 and following for Parts 1-9.)

I initially offered a to-address list of topics points at the end of Part 8, that variously address the issues of other stakeholders who a hiring manager would bring into the candidate selection and hiring process. And I repeat this list here, for smoother continuity of narrative as I continue addressing the issues that they raise:

1. Why would a hiring manager bring other stakeholders into what is essentially their hiring decision making step?
2. And closely aligned with that question: who would they bring into this process and what would these stakeholders discuss with a job candidate?
3. And how would their input and insight be used in making a hire-or-not decision?
4. And given these questions and their issues, how can you as a job candidate most effectively meet with, and communicate and negotiate with these people, each with their own reasons for being included here and each with their own goals and interests in this process, so as to help you to achieve your own desired goals out of this overall interviewing process?

See Part 9 for a discussion of Question 1, and a start to one regarding Question 2. And my goal for this posting is to complete my discussion of Question 2 and its possible answers, at least for purposes of this series, and then at least begin to delve into the issues raised by Question 3.

I wrote in Part 9 of within-team stakeholders: people who would be brought into this type of interviewing process as peers of whoever is hired for this position, who report to the same hiring manager and supervisor that this new hire would. And I wrote of outside stakeholders who a hiring manager has to effectively work with. These are in most cases, people who the hiring manager is in-effect working for at least for specific tasks or work processes, and on a service provider-to-client basis. Then I parsed the pool of possible stakeholders who might be brought into this in a second way. There, stakeholder interviewers might focus more on validating how well a potential new hire would fit in and how easily they could be worked with. Or alternatively, they might primarily focus on the issues of how effectively these candidates might be able to effectively contribute to the resolution of whatever goals-specific tasks or ongoing work processes that the hiring manager is to a significant degree responsible for getting done, that those stakeholder in effect own as their problems to be resolved.

I bring a third set of stakeholder selection criteria into this narrative here, when I add in the issues of office politics, and the need to be able to work with at least minimized social friction, with others in the business. This can mean more effectively meeting the needs and preferences of people higher up on the table of organization. But at least as importantly this can mean maintaining smoother and more mutually cooperative relationships with others in the business who might be at the same level of that table of organization as them, who this hiring manager would not want to displease by excluding their voice and opinion.

• Who does the hiring manager work for, and either in a chain of command, reporting and supervision manner, or through a service provider and client relationship?
• Who does the hiring manager depend on for service and support, and both for special task work or on an ongoing and more normative basis? There and in both cases, who is in a position to make life easier for this hiring manager, or create bottlenecks for them?

Most people who write of businesses and business processes and work flows, do so in terms of normative, expected and official processes and priorities and how they are arrived at and how they are met. In reality, politics always enters into all of this and a large part of office politics, at least as a more positive, is directed towards reducing friction and tension so work can get done and at what is at least ideally, the maximum level of comfort for all who enter into those political negotiations there. I set aside the issues of cliques and in-groups there, that by their very nature limit effective communication and collaborative cooperation across their boundaries, and simply note them here as an aside, that can also enter into who is and is not included as involved stakeholders in this, and I add in other business contexts as well.

I have written about idealized and realized business models with their systems of business processes and priorities, and how they arise and play out. For a most recent reference here for how I have done so, see Business planning from the back of a napkin to a formal and detailed presentation 24. Office politics can also lead to the types of divergences from the normally planned for and expected that I have been addressing there, and particularly when political considerations and their ongoing impact on the decision making processes in place, hold sway but as unacknowledged factors in that.

I add this final detail here to my response to Question 2, simply to indicate that the issues that I write of here in this posting can have implications and consequences that even the most savvy and aware, and thoughtful a job candidate would not be able to pick up upon and certainly in any actionably meaningful detail. So approach both possible future employers, and cutting ahead in my narrative here: current ones too for those hired, with an awareness that there is always more to learn and know about places of work. This applies to the dynamics at play that would govern decisions to bring specific stakeholders into a new hire interviewing process, and certainly when that means outsider stakeholders. But this only begins with that. Think of this concluding comment as an attempt to put the hiring process as a step in the jobs and careers pathway, into a fuller perspective. And with that noted, I turn to Question 3 of the above list, and consideration of how stakeholder interviewer input and insight are used in making a hire-or-not decision.

I am going to focus on that topics point in my next installment to this series, and begin that here by offering an orienting point of observation that I will build from moving forward.

• How the input and insight offered by these stakeholders would be used in making a hire-or-not decision, depends in large part, or even entirely for that matter, on the role that these colleagues play in that process as discussed in Part 9 and here, and the relationship that they have with the hiring manager who they would report their interview findings too. Their role and their acted-upon stake in this hiring decision process depends on what type of a stakeholder they are, from the hiring manager’s perspective and their overall relationship with them.

Then after completing my discussion of this topics point and the question that it is centered around, I will address Question 4 from the above list. And then I will proceed from there to discuss negotiations as to terms of employment, and with compensation and other factors definitely included in that, there assuming that the hiring manager you have met with has made a positive decision to bring you into the business as a new employee. Then, looking ahead, I will turn to consider the new hire probationary period.

Meanwhile, you can find this and related material at Page 3 to my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development, and also see its Page 1 and Page 2. And you can also find this series at Social Networking and Business 2 and also see its Page 1 for related material. And I particularly recommend your at least briefly reviewing a specific job search best practices series that I developed here on the basis of both my own job search experience and from working with others going through that: Finding Your Best Practices Plan B When Your Job Search isn’t Working, as can be found at Page 1 of my above-noted Guide as its postings 56-72.

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