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FAIR Process Guide

Asana Engineering TeamEngineering Team
June 2nd, 2021
3 min read
FAIR Process Guide

At Asana Engineering, we take a systematic approach to allocating responsibilities, called the Fair Allocation of Internal Responsibility (FAIR) Process. We’re sharing our FAIR Process Guide template here in case it’s helpful to you and your team to allocate responsibility in a fair, transparent, and consistent way.

Step 1: Define the responsibility

What is the responsibility? We’ll be using this to advertise the responsibility, and figure out what skills someone needs to do it well.

If this already has a definition, then just paste it into the box below. If it doesn’t, then fill in the sections below. 

Step 2: Define selection criteria

What skills does someone need to have in order to be successful in the responsibility? We’ll be using this to eventually decide who to give the responsibility to.

Some guidelines:

  • Try to avoid binary conditions (e.g. has x years of interview experience), as it makes it difficult to compare different applicants

  • Include the core skills someone needs to be successful, but avoid listing every skill someone needs. You’ll want between 3 and 6 criteria.

  • Be clear what are your deal breakers (what the applicant absolutely needs to have) and your nice to have (applicant doesn’t need to have this when applying, but you think they could pick this up quickly)

Task: Fill in the selection criteria for the role [Deal breaker] xcxc [Deal breaker] xcxc [Deal breaker] xcxc [Deal breaker] xcxc [Nice to have] xcxc[Nice to have] xcxc

Step 3: Advertise the role

Here, we’re going to publicly advertise the role. 

Figure out where you want to advertise

Task: Brainstorm three places to advertise, and then bold the one you want to advertise in You want to post a message in the smallest channel that has the qualified applicants. E.g. if you require someone to be an Eng interviewer, posting in the Eng Interviewers Asana Team is a good bet.xcxcxcxcxcxc

Make an application form

Task: Make an application form You can use Google Forms, or Asana forms, to do this. Include the questions:Why do you want the role?For each criteria in the selection criteria, how do you think you’re doing?Do you have enough time to be successful in the role?Do you have any questions for me?

Write and post announcement

Task: Write and post the announcement Here’s a template, but feel free to do whatever feels right to you here: TITLE: Please apply to be the [name]! If you’re interested, please fill in the form here: [form URL].  ✅ WHAT YOU’D DO AS [Responsibility] ✅[fill this in with AoR content from above] ❓WHO WOULD MAKE A GOOD [Responsibility]❓[fill this in with selection criteria from above] That said, if you’re interested, please apply! We’re excited to work with people to build up these skills, and don’t require you to know how to do all the above to get started. ⏱️ WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT? ⏱️ [fill this in] If you’re interested in this role, please apply using the form here: [form URL]. If you have any questions, please post them below or slack/task me!

Step 4: Select the right person

After you’ve received all your applicants (waiting a week or so after the announcement is usually a good idea), you’ll want to pick your successful applicant. 

Ask the applicant’s managers

Task: Ask the applicants managers whether they think they fulfill the selection criteria. We want to make sure that their managers agree that they’d be a good applicant, to get more signal and make sure that it’s aligned with their plan for them. Here’s a template for that: TITLE: Is [name] a good fit for [responsibility]? THE ASK We’d like to know if this person is a good fit to become the [responsibility], and whether it’s a good time for them. Below we outline the qualities we’re looking for, and the time commitment. We’ll use your answer, along with their application, to decide on who we want to add. QUALITIES We think that successful [responsibility] will have the following qualities, or will be able to quickly learn to have these qualities:[Fill in selection criteria] Do you think this person fulfills these criteria, or will be able to quickly learn these skills? TIME REQUIRED [Fill in time required] MORE INFORMATION See [announcement link]. If you have any questions, please let me know!

Select the right person

Task: Select the right person! This is the meat of the process here! Take into consideration their application and manager feedback, figure out how they’d do on your attributes, and then select the right person.

Step 5: Let applicants know

Task: Let everyone know the results The easy part: let the successful applicant know they got it!The less easy part: let the unsuccessful applicants know they didn’t. You’ll want to let them know why (so they know they were fairly considered) and if applicable, let them know other ways they can contribute.

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