Hiring a Professional Scrum Master

One of my customers is hiring for the Scrum Master Role and asked if I had a handy-dandy Scrum Master Job Spec that they could use. I did not, but there have been a few good ones floating around in the ether so I thought that pulling one together would be a good idea anyway. Here is my best effort to use the existing job postings, and combine them with the latest version of the Scrum Guide.

Professional Scrum Master


Hiring a Professional Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is a challenging position to hire for and finding the right person is even more difficult. Ultimately the Scrum Master is accountable for the effectiveness of the Scrum Team. That means that they need to have some level of knowledge of both the relevant business domain to help the Product Owner, as well as enough technical knowledge to help the Scrum Team.

While there is no need for a Scrum Master to be technical, they do need to understand what effective looks like within the product and the technical domain within which you are creating the product. Ultimately it’s worth remembering that certification is not an indication of competence, but may be used as a simple bar to reduce the load on interviews and assert a minimum level of knowledge. At $200 for a PSM I assessment and $250 for the PSM II assessment, and with a reputation in the industry of not being totally easy, these are a no-brainer for any aspiring or experienced Scrum Master. At the time of writing there are more than 350k people with PSM I and 11k people with PSM II.

A Scrum Master Job Spec

The Scrum Master is accountable for establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. They do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory and practice, both within the Scrum Team and the organization. The Scrum Master is accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. They do this by enabling the Scrum Team to improve its practices, within the Scrum framework. Scrum Masters are true leaders who serve the Scrum Team and the larger organization.

Role Summary

This Scrum Master position is a leadership role that is accountable for the effectiveness of the Scrum Team by:

  • Leading, training, and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption;
  • Helping establish empirical product planning for a complex environment;
  • Helping find techniques for effective Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management;
  • Coaching the team members in self-management and cross-functionality;
  • Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value Increments that meet the Definition of Done;
  • Causing the removal of impediments to the Scrum Team’s progress;
  • Ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox.
  • Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the organization;
  • Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact an empirical approach for complex work;
  • Removing barriers between stakeholders and Scrum Teams.

Should work to build a trusting and safe environment where problems can be raised without fear of blame, retribution, or being judged, with an emphasis of healing and problem-solving.

Role Requirements

The successful candidate must have the following attributes:

  • First level Scrum Master certification (PSM I, CSM, RSM)
  • Excellent Leadership skills; with a proven track record of assessing the Scrum Maturity of the team and organization and coaching the team to higher levels of maturity, at a pace that is sustainable and comfortable for the team and organization
  • Personify Scrum and Agile; Providing all support to the team using a servant leadership style and leading by example.
  • Facilitation skills; Facilitating getting the work done without coercion, assigning, or dictating the work; Facilitating discussion, decision making, and conflict resolution
  • Excellent communication skills; Assisting with internal and external communication, improving transparency, and radiating information
  • Diverse knowledge of agile mindsets; an ability to guide and coach the Scrum Team in self-management to fill the intentional gaps of the Agile/Scrum frameworks.

In addition, the successful candidate will have some or all of the following attributes:

  • Second level Scrum Master certification (PSM II, CSP)
  • Experience playing the Scrum Master role for at least two years for a product development team that was diligently applying Scrum principles, practices, and theory.
  • Knowledge of other Agile approaches: XP, Kanban, Crystal, FDD, Less, Nexus, etc
  • [If Software Team] Knowledge and/or experience with widely successful Agile techniques: User Stories, ATDD, TDD, Continuous Integration, Continuous Testing, Pairing, Automated Testing, Agile Games
  • [Applicable knowledge of the Business used by the team] <– Add your Business Domain Here
  • [Applicable knowledge of the technologies used by the team] <– Add your Technical Domain Here

Role Sucess

If the Scrum Master is successful then the Scrum Team will have the following characteristics:

  • Reliable delivery of the quality valuable product.
  • Solid understanding of Scrum framework, theory, & values
  • Continuous improvement and learning
  • Happyness
  • Self-sustaining

I would love to get your feedback and discussion on this job specification so that we can make it better!



Upcoming Training Opportunities

These are the next five classes we have, and you can check out our full public schedule of classes.

Live Virtual Professional Scrum Product Owner online 5th June 2023
5-8 Jun, 2023
09:30-13:30 BST
4 half-days
Live Virtual PAL Evidence-Based Management Online on 19th June 2023
19-20 Jun, 2023
09:00-13:00 BST
2 half-days
APS 19th June 2023
19-22 Jun, 2023
09:00-13:00 EDT
4 half-days
Live Virtual Professional Scrum Master Online on 26th June 2023
26-29 Jun, 2023
09:00-13:00 EDT
4 half-days

We can deliver any of our courses as private in-house training over Microsoft Teams & Mural. We also recommend training based on your accountabilities or role, you can go directly to recommended courses for Scrum MastersProduct OwnersDevelopers and Agile Leaders.

Create a conversation around this article

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin

Related Courses

Scrum Master


An interactive activity-based course where students gain a strong understanding of Professional Scrum and the role of the Scrum Master.

Advanced Scrum Master


An advanced class to help experienced Scrum Masters learn how to overcome the challenges they face through immersive facilitated excersises.

Scrum with Kanban


Teaches Scrum practitioners how to apply Kanban practices to their work without changing Scrum, bringing greater transparency and flow.

Read more

Martin Hinshelwood nkdAgility.com
https://youtu.be/_fFs-0GL1CA Why do you encourage people to follow a certification path in their career journey? I would encourage you to follow a scrum certification path for the same reason that people go to university. The same reason that people do any course or certification. It gets you a foot in …
Martin Hinshelwood nkdAgility.com
https://youtu.be/QGXlCm_B5zA What will you learn on the PSM II course? There are two main things that most scrum masters will learn on the PSM II or Advanced Professional Scrum Master course. That they haven’t been working effectively as a scrum master to date. That they are there to empower and …
Martin Hinshelwood nkdAgility.com
In Scrum Events across the world, I hear repeated the phrase “that’s how agile works” when describing behaviours that are both unprofessional and the very opposite of an agile mindset. These behaviours will inhibit agility and are a result of a lack of understanding of the underlying principles. We need …
Martin Hinshelwood nkdAgility.com
https://youtu.be/klBiNFvxuy0 What is the most common Aha moment people have in a scrum course? It depends on the scrum course they are attending. The content presented in the Applying Professional Scrum (APS) course leads to very different epiphanies when compared to the content presented on an Advanced Professional Scrum Master …


We believe that every company deserves high quality software delivered on a regular cadence that meets its customers needs. Our goal is to help you reduce your cycle time, improve your time to market, and minimise any organisational friction in achieving your goals.

naked Agility Limited is a professional company that offers training, coaching, mentoring, and facilitation to help people and teams evolve, integrate, and continuously improve.

We recognise the positive impact that a happy AND motivated workforce, that has purpose, has on client experience. We help change mindsets towards a people-first culture where everyone encourages others to learn and grow. The resulting divergent thinking leads to many different ideas and opportunities for the success of the organisation.