Doomed to Repeat
Poor Fred Brooks is like Cassandra from Homer's Illiad. If you read the book that the movie Troy came from, she was the one who didn't care for the (Trojan) horse. She predicts the future accurately, but no one believes her until after the prediction has happened and they have seen it for themselves.
Don't Fight Management / Passive Resistance or Careful Hiring?
My advice is that it is probably not a good day to die, and that if your manager wants you to hire more staff, do it. Suggesting some parameters like getting someone with specific experience and use of rapid screen-out technique will triple the search time and maybe you will reach your deadline before the disruptor arrives.
Minimizing the time you spend on unlikely candidates will save huge amounts of time. For example, any resume without your top three requirements in the first 1/3 of their resume gets tossed, candidates must pass a 30 minute phone screen before any onsite interviews, ignore recruiters who don't pre-screen to your needs. Other techniques abound, make sure anything you use is efficient and effective.
Controlling the Burden of New Hire Integration
If you do make the hire before your deadline and need to deal with a new employee, budget time from people who are not on the critical path to be involved in training. It is helpful to have members of your team see one, do one, show one. If you have a low to medium experience team member, it will strengthen their understanding of your processes, tool set, and code base to mentor a new hire in these areas.
Hopefully, you have some documentation, so assigning the new person to read documentation that will help them ramp up is a good short and long term investment. They should be brought into your processes gradually, and their work should be reviewed by people who can keep them from driving the project on the rocks with bold but harmful changes.
Best and Worst Assignments for New Hires
If you have a separate project or some technology development they can do to prepare for its use in a future project, that also could be a big benefit. Learning your specific tool set, doing their own local builds, unit testing, usability testing, documentation, and participation in reviews are all great candidate tasks for new hires. A new hire may have a perspective that is new and can provide valuable critical commentary about things your team learned to live with and can no longer see.
Less beneficial uses for new staff might include team meetings with managers and non-developer stakeholders, estimation, requirements elicitation and management (unless they are experts after having worked at a competitor), patents, and interviewing new candidates or otherwise helping with staffing.
Keeping Harmony in the Team, Setting Future Expectations
New hire priorities do still come into play. If you have a team that has passed through the forming, storming, norming, performing evolution, you must give the new hire your expectations for his performance and planned responsibilities within the team. You must not make the job of the new hire appear less demanding than other roles on the team. If your team is aggressively pushing toward deadlines, the new hire should have ways to demonstrate he is aggressively pushing toward integration.
but senior management tends to view it as aggressively negativeSenior managements agenda in your case is likely two-fold: to decrease the project completion data under any means possible, and to control the developers. Any view that runs counter to their preconceived notions is going to be viewed as negative and dependening on how aggressively you attempt to "convince" them otherwise will only label you as "not a team player" Eg. Management speak for someone who cannot be controlled.