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Managers have led recruitment processes for a long time, but as businesses shift towards more collaborative practices this has started to change.
Many innovative Silicon Valley businesses, including Facebook, Apple and Google, already practice collaborative hiring and have reaped the results, namely increased innovation. They use various approaches to ensure the process runs smoothly and is beneficial, e.g. goal setting and decision making at team level, 360° feedback, and actively fostering a culture of openness.
Other techniques include involving a more diverse range of people in interviews, or setting up networking days that enable employees to evaluate potential candidates by the skills that they show.
Collaborative hiring works because it engages employees, encourages employee buy-in, and diversifies evaluation processes. It can also get rid of the bias that hiring managers frequently have.
Below we take a look at some of the benefits of collaborative hiring in more detail.
Your employees live and breathe their work, therefore they are best placed to highlight the most attractive aspects of the job. They will also be better placed to answer questions about the job than someone once removed from that particular role. Candidates are also likely to trust their peers and view them as authentic.
When you involve more people in the hiring process, e.g. by having them present at interviews, you’re likely to receive a range of assessments of the candidate. This helps to ensure that the person you ultimately hire is right for the business and is someone with whom the team feels confident working.
Working with brilliant co-workers is one of the most important factors for top talent in deciding whether to take a job. Showcasing your employees is a great way to foster interaction between you and potential employees, and a good way to sell your business.
Fostering interaction between current employees and potential new ones leads to an authentic understanding of the job on offer. This in turn leads to fewer surprises, and therefore a reduced likelihood of the new employee becoming disgruntled, when they start.
Current employees may refer new employees to your company once they’re reminded as to the value of attracting quality new talent.
Publicising the fact that you adopt collaborative hiring techniques can really help build your brand. Get the message out on social media and any other marketing channels you use.
If you include employees in the recruitment process they are more likely to feel invested in the new hire. This fosters a culture of spontaneous coaching, mentoring and training, which means that your new starter can get settled into the role quickly.
Existing employees can learn a lot from being involved in the recruitment process, e.g. through knowledge sharing and asking questions. Learning about how other companies operate is also beneficial as it helps people to consider different ways to approach problems. This can foster innovation and improve productivity.
Collaboration creates a feeling of community within the workplace. It reinforces a culture of transparency and openness that makes employees feel valued and respected. This can improve retention rates within your business.
So, collaborative hiring is a valuable approach; however it is not without its problems.
Below are some things to consider or watch out for.
Some candidates may be wary about so many people knowing that they’re actively searching for another job in case it gets back to their boss or colleagues. This can result in people declining interviews.
Talented potential employees can make current employees feel insecure. This can lead to people selecting or championing less qualified candidates, either consciously or unconsciously.
Employees may feel annoyed that they’re being delegated recruitment tasks since traditionally this is a manager’s job. As they work at a senior, strategic level, managers may be perceived as having a better understanding of what’s required of candidates and how well they will fit into the company.
Your employees may not be trained in recruitment and may not possess the right skills to evaluate candidates. To recruit the right people it’s important to run structured interviews, but interviews led by employees are often unstructured. This can result in conversations going off-topic and time being wasted.
Creating a process wherein your employees can meaningfully engage with potential new hires takes time, potentially adding weeks to the recruitment process. Top talent may have accepted another offer in the time it takes you to organise interviews and assessments for other candidates. This can be alleviated by conducting interviews by video or arranging multiple interviews on one day.
Making your recruitment process collaborative is essential if you want to show potential employees that you value collaboration in your business in other areas. It demonstrates a willingness to listen to and engage with employees, and sends the message that their opinions are valued. It also fosters a culture of openness and helps to create a forward-thinking brand image.
There are many different ways that you can approach hiring and different positions you can take with your current staff. You can be completely open with them, or you can keep some of the facts under your hat. It's your business, so it's completely up to you.
What can FSB do to help? Well, we can't find the ideal candidate for you, but we can offer you access to employment advice when you become a member of FSB. If you like to find out more visit our join portal or view the FSB Employment Advice page.
A wealth of important information and advice, available online in-case you face dismissal or discrimination claims and employment tribunals.