I have expressed my opinion in private but I think at this point is also useful to do this here, although reluctantly as it might seem that I have stakes in the matter, but I can assure you that I don’t.
Specifically to hiring a team lead:
Hiring a team lead might be a solution, but I think there are certain things that need to be addressed/acknowledged organizationally first.
First I think the problem needs to be stated clearly: What are we trying to solve here? (i.e releases take a long time, they are not on regular schedule, we lack some technical competencies etc).
Only once that is clearly stated, we can start thinking of a solution.
Say that we identified that we do have a lack of leadership in the team, and we want to address that.
Clearly promoting someone in the company is a better solution, if no one suitable candidate can be found, that should be a warning sign.
Why can’t we find anyone internally? That’s definitely something that organizationally we need to address and crucial for the well being of the company, as we should value our talents.
So, say that we can’t find anyone internally, and that’s being acknowledged by people in the team in some team discussions and we agree that an external team lead is a good solution, then it’s time to hire.
Hiring process/decisions, at least from my side, has been to some extent opaque and troubled at times (we hired too many, we had to let many people go, as far as I can tell often without much warning, but of course I wasn’t involved in the conversation)
From my point of view, people just popped up some day to work, without much introduction etc. I think the hiring process should be transparent, especially when it comes to more delicate positions like team leads.
As an example of a workflow that I had good experiences with in the past: anyone in the team can see the applicant’s CV, can comment on relevant experience, and then we rotate people for interviews. Here I don’t even know what the interview process is.
Essentially I think we need to build a better culture (in product, hiring, tech, leadership etc), so we can better utilize the resources we have. We also need more transparency on decisions and crucially, learn from previous mistakes (anyone doing retrospectives on a regular basis?)
I am not questioning hiring more people or a lead or whatever, but I think the process and the outcomes are way more important, otherwise we are just throwing people at problems.