HR Is Better Together: Collaborative Hiring Improves Decision Making

HR Is Better Together: Collaborative Hiring Improves Decision Making
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A common question I get from clients is, “How many people should I involve in my hiring process?” My answer is usually, “As many as you’d like.”

If you’re surprised at that response, think about it this way: Most jobs require collaboration, whether between coworkers, among departments or even across entire business entities. Shouldn’t hiring also be collaborative? Plus, research shows that groups tend to make better decisions than individuals.

Collaborative hiring or collaborative recruiting can best set you up to choose the right candidate. This is a critical decision that impacts all areas of your business. In fact, a bad hire can cost you up to 30% of that person’s expected first-year earnings.

What Is Collaborative Hiring?

Depending on the organization’s size and the position being filled, collaborative hiring can come in many shapes and forms throughout the various stages of the recruitment process. However, it is commonly practiced when interviewing and evaluating candidates.

For example, my company holds panel interviews with our top candidates. After applicants make it past a phone screen and interview with the hiring manager, they meet (in-person or virtually) with a group of three to five associates representing a variety of departments and roles. Panelists then provide feedback to help the hiring manager make the final decision and extend an offer.

The Benefits Of Collaborative Hiring

One of the most significant benefits of collaborative hiring is its ability to reduce potential biases. When one person is responsible for hiring, their decision is more likely to be influenced by some form of bias (conscious or unconscious). With multiple stakeholders in the hiring process, everyone brings different ideas and viewpoints to the table. Someone may point out a key positive characteristic of the candidate that you overlooked or spot a red flag you didn’t notice. By reducing bias, you can even support your DE&I initiatives and increase the diversity of your work-force.

Collaborative hiring also builds trust with your employees. When you involve others in your process, you demonstrate that you value their opinions and show that you are not making decisions in a vacuum. At the same time, you can improve employees’ managerial, communication and decision-making skills.

For candidates, collaborative hiring comes with the benefit of showcasing your company culture. Interviewees can meet potential colleagues and see how your team interacts. This insight can help applicants determine if they will enjoy working with you and ultimately influence their decision to accept or decline a job offer.

A few additional benefits of collaborative hiring include taking pressure off one individual for making a crucial decision and allowing the hiring manager to easily obtain feedback from all participants at once.

The Drawbacks Of Collaborative Hiring

In some cases, collaboration may elongate the hiring process, as finding time to get everyone together for a panel interview can be challenging. If you wait too long, you may deliver a poor candidate experience and miss out on top talent. Additionally, collaborative hiring can be costly from a salary, time and productivity perspective since you are taking associates away from their typical work duties.

Another disadvantage is that team members may not have experience with hiring, which can lead to unstructured interviews and irrelevant or even illegal questions. It’s also possible that top-quality candidates could make some interviewers feel insecure, influencing them to recommend a weaker hire because they fear that their job or seniority might be threatened. On the other hand, a panel interview could overwhelm and intimidate the candidate, causing them to underperform.

How To Make Collaborative Hiring Work For You

The most successful collaborative hiring initiatives comprise engaged participants. If panel members do not have a vested interest in the process, you won’t get the results you seek, so choose your collaborators wisely. Further, if a position doesn’t impact the panelist, they may not care about the skill set of the candidate. It’s also a best practice to include people of different backgrounds, representing diverse groups and roles to broaden perspectives.

Here is an example of what a well-rounded panel may look like:

When hiring a marketing writer, you might include their direct supervisor (if different from the hiring manager), another member of the marketing team who would work alongside the new hire, a member of your senior leadership team and someone from your product development team (for whom the writer may develop copy).

Before Interviewing Your First Candidate

Hold a kick-off meeting to get everyone on the same page. What role are you filling? What are the must-haves? Everyone should be familiar with the position, so provide the job description for context as well as the candidate’s résumé. You might even consider removing names, dates and other personal information from résumés to avoid generating bias before each interviewer meets the applicant.

Next, create and assign interview questions. Each person on the panel can be responsible for fielding certain questions or touching on specific topics to avoid repetition and keep the conversations going. Panelists should take notes and ask follow-up questions when appropriate.

After Each Interview

Hold a debriefing session with everyone involved while their impression of the candidate is fresh. When sharing thoughts, team members should make supported statements—simply saying, “This person is not a fit for our culture” is not acceptable. Instead, they should explain how or why this candidate is not a fit.

You can also make the process less subjective by having panelists rate candidates using a Likert scale, but be sure to identify the rating or selection criteria ahead of time. This will also help prevent panelists from rating candidates against one another (comparison bias) instead of rating them for the skills and competencies necessary for the job.

In closing, remember that the goal of a panel interview is not to make the hiring decision but to provide valuable feedback to empower the hiring manager to make the final decision. Recruiting is better together, so lean on your teammates to guide you toward choosing your next star employee with confidence.

Source:

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