Stakeholder Collaboration: How to Ensure Alignment on Tech Hiring Decisions

Hire Remote Developers
Rafael Timbó
By
Rafael Timbó
|
Chief Technology Officer
Linkedin

Table of Contents

Stakeholder collaboration empowers all key decision-makers on a project to be heard and have their needs met. This article discusses the concept of stakeholder collaboration and alignment and how it relates to tech hiring decisions.
Published on
May 9, 2024
Updated on
May 15, 2024

Hiring the right software development team is a challenge in its own right. Conducting a software developer skill assessment and comparing skills against a project team’s needs is important. But, when the project initiatives require buy-in from multiple stakeholders, this can become difficult.

Stakeholder collaboration and alignment involve weighing everyone’s needs when making tech hiring decisions. This makes each decision more complicated, especially if stakeholders don’t agree on different candidates’ potential. However, focusing on stakeholder agreement is critical to the hiring process. It can build trust and lay a foundation for cross-functional collaboration, an improved product strategy, and increased customer success.

What Is Stakeholder Collaboration?

Stakeholder collaboration involves working and aligning with all key stakeholders in important decision-making processes. Implementing stakeholder collaboration in the hiring process means that every decision-maker on a project is responsible for how team members are hired. 

Prioritizing stakeholder collaboration allows team leaders to get the buy-in regarding new talent up front. This avoids any misalignment, leads to fewer disputes down the road, and improves overall product development.

In building a remote team, stakeholder alignment, or collaboration, would involve asking each stakeholder what they expect or need from the team. A marketing team might require someone with strong communication skills who can comprehensively explain technical details to help them obtain the information they need to update marketing materials.

On the other hand, a stakeholder invested in finances may be looking for entry-level candidates to keep costs low, while the tech lead may seek individuals with the technical skills necessary to do the job.

Focusing on stakeholder alignment means listening to all of these goals and developing a talent-sourcing strategy that addresses everyone’s concerns. In this scenario, it may mean hiring one candidate with strong communication skills, one or two seasoned executives with strong technical skills, and one or two entry-level candidates who show promise in the technical landscape. By listening to the needs of everyone involved, stakeholder alignment leads to more well-balanced hiring decisions that benefit the organization as a whole.

Difference Between Stakeholder Agreement vs. Alignment

Teams that make critical decisions based on a "majority vote" work on an agreement-based system. Stakeholder agreement means that key stakeholders agree on a specific decision concerning their own functional departments or teams.

Individuals invested in a specific decision will argue their cases and try to get others to see things from their point of view. When the final decision is made, some people are completely satisfied, and others may not be satisfied at all.

Not only that, if certain stakeholders aren't satisfied, they may consciously or unconsciously create bottlenecks for the hiring team and the potential candidate. Hiring a tech professional despite opposition to the decision will impact a new employee's ability to meet their personal and professional goals.

Stakeholder alignment differs because it relies on analyzing needs and setting objective goals. With alignment, the plan is to ensure that whatever hiring decision the team makes helps everyone meet their ultimate goals. Even if the new hire isn't everyone's first choice—even if stakeholders don't agree —stakeholder alignment ensures that any new hires help move the team and the organization in a positive direction.

Why Do Stakeholders Matter to the Overall Team Structure?

Stakeholders play a crucial role in project management. Involving stakeholders during team structure development means that all the team’s needs are considered from the beginning. As a result, the final team structure aligns with the organization’s strategic objectives. Including stakeholders in team development ensures the team becomes an integral part of the organization’s broader structure.  

Other reasons stakeholders matter while developing team structure include:

  • Strategic alignment: Decision-makers provide valuable insights into the organization's long-term direction and goals. By involving key individuals in early team discussions, there is a better chance of creating a team that supports the organization’s broad needs rather than just short-term project needs.
  • Resource allocation: Decision-makers control resources, including money, technological resources, and personnel. By valuing all key individuals' opinions, there’s a higher chance that each team will receive the necessary resources. If there aren’t enough resources in a specific area, individuals will understand the team’s limitations and resource allocation strategy and adjust their expectations accordingly.
  • Buy-in and support: Engaging all stakeholders early in the team development process fosters buy-in and commitment to the proposed structure and hiring decisions. When decision-makers feel included and valued, they are more likely to support the team and champion its initiatives.
  • Risk management: Stakeholders may offer valuable insights into the potential risks and challenges associated with specific hiring decisions or team configurations. By including decision-makers early in the process, organizational leaders can address potential roadblocks proactively. This helps minimize setbacks, allowing teams to execute projects more smoothly.
  • Cross-functional collaboration: In complex organizations, leaders from different departments or functional areas bring diverse perspectives to the table. Involving the individuals who represent the various departments promotes cross-functional collaboration. Doing this from the outset creates a culture that values effective communication and collaboration across the organization.
  • Talent acquisition: Leaders with robust talent acquisition objectives often have a vested interest in attracting and retaining top talent. Their input helps identify critical skills and competencies required for success in the role. This informs recruitment strategies, ensuring hiring decisions align with the organization’s culture and values.

By considering the perspectives and priorities of stakeholders throughout the team development and hiring process, organizations build cohesive, high-performing teams that drive innovation, achieve strategic objectives, and deliver value to stakeholders and the broader organization.

How to Identify Stakeholders in Tech Hiring

Understanding which stakeholders contribute to a team’s success allows hiring managers to assess the needs of everyone involved. This means better tech hiring decisions and a higher potential for overall project success. Key stakeholders in tech hiring include:

  • Team/project managers: As the leaders overseeing a project, team managers have to feel confident about their teams to provide high-quality support. Their buy-in ensures proper allocation of resources, timely decision-making, and overall project direction.
  • Team/technical leads: These individuals have the technical know-how to evaluate whether a project is viable and whether team members can realistically accomplish what they’re being asked to do. Their insight is invaluable when designing a project roadmap and implementing ideas.
  • Collaborating department leads: Marketing, sales, and customer service leads must work with team leaders. They may have insight into important metrics to track or suggestions for staff augmentation to better meet overall organizational needs.
  • Product owners: These individuals define the project scope, requirements, and priorities from a business perspective. They may also be in charge of the budget, meaning keeping them in the loop and satisfied is critical for initiatives to succeed.
  • End users/clients: Ultimately, teams build products for someone. Focusing on the clients from the beginning leads to better customer success.

How To Get Buy-In From Stakeholders

By identifying and aligning with key stakeholders early on, organizations make sure that their hiring strategies resonate with the needs and objectives of all involved parties. Here are some tips to create alignment and foster collaboration with stakeholders during the tech hiring process:

  • Involve stakeholders early: The earlier team leaders involve stakeholders in the hiring process, the more they will feel like their input is valued, leading to more honest collaboration.
  • Actively listen: Before outlining job descriptions, each stakeholder must be given the opportunity to voice their needs, both from the team as a whole and individual hires. Understanding everyone’s priorities is the first step toward aligning those priorities and achieving buy-in.
  • Define OKRs as a team: OKRs (objectives and key results) define and track objectives. Objectives are the goals a team hopes to achieve, and key results are the metrics used to track the success of those goals. Defining OKRs early in the process while getting the input of all key stakeholders helps clarify what the team needs.
  • Seek input from stakeholders: Stakeholders must participate in the hiring process — perhaps as a hiring committee. Seeking direct input from stakeholders means learning about potential problems directly rather than guessing at them. By getting everyone’s input on hiring, team leaders may discover creative ways to evaluate candidates and make more well-informed hiring decisions.
  • Discuss pros and cons: After interviewing potential candidates, open communication on the pros and cons of each option is crucial. Every stakeholder should have a say. Discussing each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses regarding how they’ll support project goals empowers the hiring committee to build a well-rounded team that meets everyone’s needs.
  • Address concerns: Even when a team’s focus is on stakeholder alignment rather than agreement, there will be times when not everyone is on the same page. If stakeholders raise concerns about a potential candidate, strategies should be developed to address them, such as junior mentorships or continual training options.
  • Set pride aside: If hiring managers constantly refer to “their team” or make executive decisions despite other stakeholders' objections, achieving stakeholder alignment or getting buy-in will be challenging. It is important to treat all stakeholders as equally valuable in the tech hiring process.

Find Developers Who Align With Your Organizational Goals

Finding developers who align with organizational goals and meet the needs of all key stakeholders is a complex process. Revelo can help.

Revelo matches businesses with rigorously vetted time-zone-aligned developers. Each candidate has the necessary technical skills, soft skills, and English language proficiency to succeed on a tech team. Additionally, we’ll assist in ongoing administrative tasks such as benefits administration, local compliance, taxes, and payroll. Revelo simplifies hiring, allowing managers to focus on augmenting their teams in a way that benefits everyone. 

Learn more about hiring top talent with Revelo today.

Need to source and hire remote software developers?

Get matched with vetted candidates within 3 days.

Related blog posts

Tech Hiring: Strategies to Successfully Grow Your Team

Tech Hiring

Regina Welle
READING TIME: 
Employer Resources
Best Software Development Analytics Tools for Engineering Managers

Best Software Development Analytics Tools for Engineering Managers

Rafael Timbó
READING TIME: 
Tech Team Management
How to Build a Strong Engineering Culture

Engineering Culture

Rafael Timbó
READING TIME: 
Tech Team Management

Subscribe to the Revelo Newsletter

Get the best insights on remote work, hiring, and engineering management in your inbox.

Subscribe and be the first to hear about our new products, exclusive content, and more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Hire Developers