With a career spanning over two decades, Roger Federer, the tennis legend, one of the greatest players of all time, and winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, says he owes a large part of his success to his training team. Federer credits his longevity to Pierre Paganini, his fitness trainer, who helped him stay fit and fast. To draw a parallel, team dynamics play a major role in talent acquisition too. Traditionally run by a single department, companies are realising that there are several benefits of adopting a team-based approach to recruitment.
Collaborative hiring streamlines the process with greater accountability and ownership. While the bottom line for hiring would largely lie with the talent acquisition team, the hiring process itself involves all the key stakeholders, such as recruiters, human resource managers, hiring managers, team leads, and co-workers. Unlike in traditional hiring, the final hiring decision becomes collaborative. Typically, collaborative hiring involves different interviews with several employees including peers. The business benefits from multiple viewpoints, while candidates have a transparent view of the work environment. Apart from these, there are several reasons that collaborative hiring works. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Benefits of collaborative hiring
Gain a wider perspective: Every team has specific expectations of employees. Collaborative hiring ensures that the diverse expectations of various teams are met, since every stakeholder will interview the candidate. Additionally, the candidate gets a clear picture of what is expected from the role. Collaborative hiring results in improved hiring decisions, based on candidate fitment for the role. This reduces the risk of bad hires which can prove to be expensive in terms of time and cost.
Improves candidate experience: As candidates meet a diverse set of people, they have a better hiring experience. Hiring collaboratively means that there are additional voices giving candidates the assurance that the organisation has a transparent and open culture. Every team indirectly sells the position to the candidate. Multiple interactions with employees at different levels including co-workers puts the candidate at ease. With collaborative hiring, talent acquisition is no longer a black box; all stakeholders are more involved, creating a sense of ownership to hire the best talent. Hiring to onboarding becomes a seamless transition.
Reinforces transparent culture: Collaborative hiring requires several employees at different levels to be invested in talent acquisition. Consequently, there is greater appreciation of the amount of effort that is required to hire good talent. Sharing rules, policies and the mechanics of hiring promotes an open culture.
Improves hiring efficiency: The greater awareness of talent acquisition procedures increases the likelihood of employee referrals, which in turn can reduce the time-to-hire and cost-to-hire. Hiring becomes a parallel and agile process, rather than progressing linearly, saving a significant amount of time. As there are multiple employees interacting with the candidate, the likelihood of cultural fitment increases. Speaking to several stakeholders during interviews also helps address candidate queries directly.
Improves hiring decisions: In collaborative hiring, every stakeholder’s opinion counts. By sharing scorecards and adopting consistent hiring practices, companies can take a more objective approach to hiring. Team-based recruiting also reduces the risk of unconscious bias, as there are multiple touchpoints for the candidate. Adding additional voices to the hiring process adds wider perspectives and improves candidate evaluation.
Best practices for collaborative hiring
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to collaborative hiring, it needs to be a well thought-out strategy to be effective. Here are a few strategies that you can adopt.
Relook at the hiring workflow: To start with, human resources (HR) and recruitment teams must create a job brief and design the collaborative hiring workflow. Identify stakeholders and put together a core team with clearly defined responsibilities and accountability so that there is a cohesive and streamlined approach to hiring. All stakeholders need to be given appropriate support by recruiters.
Share hiring criteria: HR and recruiters need to define the competencies and skills required for every job role. The job brief needs to be created and shared with all stakeholders. Equally important to share are the hiring objectives, and business values. Sharing this information will help eliminate conflicts. Objective evaluations are necessary in collaborative hiring to avoid any confusion and bias, so the hiring criteria needs to be very specific and transparent.
Build a talent pipeline: Hiring the best talent requires you to have not just a streamlined workflow, but also ensure that you have the best possible candidates to choose from. A framework for a talent pipeline or recruitment funnel ensures that you attract prospective candidates, and choose candidates who are the best fit for your organisation. It helps to match candidates to company requirements, select qualified candidates, eliminate bias and provide consistency to the hiring process. The latter is especially important in respect of collaborative hiring. As there are several people involved in recruitment and selection, a consistent process is crucial to successful hiring
Share assessment guidelines and feedback mechanisms: In line with the above, it is equally important to shares sharing documentation, dos and don’ts with the hiring team. is crucial to provide a consistent hiring experience. Recruiters should share indicative interview questions and resources, as well as talent acquisition policies and procedures with stakeholders. This helps to eliminate unconscious bias during interviews. Providing guidelines for conducting interviews, training interviewers and objective scoring sheets are some of the methods for ensuring consistency in assessing candidates. A standardised feedback system is necessary for people to be able share their feedback in a structured and objective manner, and encourages transparency and accountability.
Invest in automation: A hiring platform helps to streamline collaborative hiring with automated workflows, document sharing and approvals in place. HirePro’s online hiring solutions help mobilise talent acquisition remotely, and hire the best talent by offering pre-employment automated assessments, video interviews, and automated workflows, amongst many other features. A hiring platform can greatly simplify collaborative hiring workflows, and eliminate nightmarish scheduling conflicts. Video interviews can be conducted on the platform for initial rounds, and final selection interviews that can be done face to face. Various stakeholders can update their feedback on the system, allowing the hiring workflow to progress automatically, thereby reducing bottlenecks. Hiring platforms typically integrate with other systems such as Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and other HR Management Systems, making the process seamless for stakeholders and candidates.
Formalise employee referral programs: Collaborative hiring is a two-way street. As employees get more familiar with hiring policies and processes, they also begin to develop a sense of ownership. A structured and transparent employee referral program helps to incentivise employees to refer friends and ex-colleagues and bring them into the talent pipeline. Employees are motivated to refer good candidates, which helps to speed up the hiring process and improves overall efficiency.
Design a change management process: Transitioning from a traditional hiring model to collaborative hiring can pose various difficulties before it is fully embraced. Employees need to be made aware of the collaborative hiring model, various policies and procedures. Stakeholders may need to be trained on how to use the hiring platform, interview skills, recruitment workflows, feedback processes, handling conflicts during interviews, and so on. Sharing information on the company intranet, conducting awareness workshops, and specific training sessions would be required. There may be a resistance from some employees as they may not consider it part of their job role. The benefits of collaborative hiring need to be shared so that everybody in the organisation appreciates the value.
Collaborative hiring is the way forward, however, it does come with its own challenges. If not planned properly, it can result in several delays and result in a long drawn-out hiring process, increasing the risk of losing well-qualified candidates. Interviewers need to be well-aware of interviewing techniques and requirements, else the candidate may feel uncomfortable. Workflows need to be carefully designed so as to optimise hiring efficiency. A well-planned collaborative hiring strategy that uses technology as a backbone can mitigate such issues. Ensure that the hiring team comprises diverse individuals who are engaged with the hiring process, and aligned with organisational values.
With improved hiring efficiency and better candidate experience, collaborative hiring is a win-win for both the organisation and the candidate, and results in better employer branding.
As Michael Jordan famously said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”