Products About Blog

Busting talent myths to hire multidisciplinary teams

Note: A previous version of this blog was posted in error.

We recently talked about how we get by with a little help from our friends. One of the most common questions we get is how we hire multidisciplinary teams. So we reached out to the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) for some answers and a bit of myth busting.

We’ve talked about how we work in new kinds of teams, but we’ve skipped over an important part: how do you build these teams in the first place? Within the Government’s classification system, there are policy instruments in place that need to be respected, as well as some practices that have been adopted as hard and fast rules.

Our friends at OCHRO recently made an important clarification. While this is not new, they confirmed that teams can include positions from different groups, working together on a multidisciplinary team. For instance, a content designer who is in an IS position, could report to their manager who is an interaction designer in a CS position. If it makes organizational design sense, fits within the mandate of the unit, and reflects the work assigned, it may be possible. A discussion with a classification specialist will confirm whether a multidisciplinary team is an option for you.

We know how important it is for the government to enable hiring the right talent for the job. That’s why OCHRO has also clarified that if an expert is hired at a senior but non-executive level on a multidisciplinary team, the position could be paid at a level close to or higher than its manager. The evaluation of work is dictated by the applicable job evaluation standard. OCHRO recognizes that it is important to have the right balance of technical skills and expertise on your team to do your best work. If these choices fit with the principles of organizational design, you can hire the experts you need.

OCHRO has received many questions from hiring managers about staffing teams with different skills and needs. The Office is showing leadership in enabling public servants by supporting multidisciplinary teams and in promoting innovative classification solutions.

We often get entrenched in ways of working to reduce risk, which may in fact, unnecessarily limit flexibility. It all starts with someone asking the question: why not hire differently? If you have more questions about hiring, your human resource teams can help.