Since Steve Jobs first implemented it, the collaborative hiring process, sometimes called team-based hiring, spread first throughout Silicon Valley and then everywhere else. It's an evolution from the traditional hiring and recruiting process, and since everything is becoming more agile, the recruitment processes are too.
A collaborative hiring process became the pillar of stable company culture and a helpful tool to battle employee turnover. But what exactly is a collaborative hiring process? What are the benefits, and how can you use it in your company?
What is a collaborative hiring process?
A collaborative hiring process refers to a process where other team members help the hiring manager hire a new employee for a vacant opening in the company. This can happen for multiple reasons, and there are many things you can achieve by doing so, such as:
- Creating good employer branding. A collaborative hiring process creates a unique employee experience and represents the company culture better than if just a single person was involved in the process. This way, the candidate can meet a lot of people from different areas and teams of the company and get a better understanding of what’s it like to work in that company. This, in turn, creates a positive company image and establishes good employer branding.
- Establishing unbiased recruiting. You will inevitably encounter biases when you only have one person (a hiring manager) doing the entire recruiting process. They can vary from the halo effect, confirmation bias, racial and gender bias, to affinity and unconscious bias. Biases are detrimental to the recruiting process as they can lead to good candidates being unfairly passed over, which can further lead to a lack of diversity in the workplace. Collaborative hiring can help eliminate bias and improve the hiring process. Pre-employment testing can also help to create a more objective and bias-free process.
- Improving candidate experience. Companies often forget that they’re not the only ones choosing a candidate— a candidate is also choosing them. Therefore, providing a positive candidate experience is essential, and a collaborative hiring process does just that. A big reason employees quit in the first six months is that they have problems with the general working environment and management. By using a collaborative hiring process, the candidate can get to know other teams and people they will work with in the future. This establishes better expectations from the candidate toward the company and increases retention.
What are the key activities of a collaborative hiring process?
A collaborative hiring process has six key stages that enable it to work properly. You need to implement certain elements in each of the stages for the collaborative hiring process to work. Here are the six steps:
The preparation stage involves creating a really great job description, crafting the perfect candidate persona for the job, and advertising the position. In traditional recruitment, all of this would have been done by the hiring manager.
In a collaborative hiring process, the team members in the hiring department will help the hiring manager craft the job description. This is highly beneficial, as the team members are likely to know the ins and outs of the vacant position far better than the hiring manager, who is often somewhat removed from specific department ongoings.
The team members will also help create the right candidate persona because they will know better who they need in the team than the hiring manager. The team members will want someone capable, qualified, and an excellent cultural fit for the team.
Last but not least, you can ask the team members about the best thing about their job— and then use that for the job ad!
This is a great opportunity for an employee referral program— they can share the job ad with their networks or reach out directly to a person they think would be a perfect fit.
According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, employee advocacy helps share the message and results in bringing in five times more web traffic and 25 percent more applications than regular marketing efforts.
It's not enough to just find candidates; you will need to attract them to your company. Here, you can use your current employees to represent what's it like to work in the company.
Whether it’s in team photos and video testimonials, blog posts written by team members, or something else entirely, your employees can showcase how great it is to work for your company and help to attract the right talent out there.
When it comes to selection, you will need to establish a high standard and hiring criteria for selecting the right candidate. The collaborative recruiting process delegates analyses of different skills of the candidate to appropriate team experts.
It’s also essential to evaluate soft skills, such as communication or attention to detail, and look at culture add. This is another area where different members can look at different things. One thing to remember is to ensure your process stays transparent and objective.
Once you've done with the selection, it's time to hire the candidate. The advantage of a collaborative hiring method is that multiple people have evaluated different facets of the candidate's skill set so they can share their perspectives and opinions with you.
According to McKinsey, companies with an ethnically diverse workforce are 35 percent more likely to perform above their respective national industry medians. Add in gender diversity, and that adds a further 15% above the median as well. This diverse perspective will help you make the best possible hiring decisions for the team and the company.
This is a delicate stage of the collaborative hiring process. The new hire will need to get to know the entire team, their new position, the new working environment, and the company culture. Here, it’s crucial to have the smoothest onboarding process possible, and you can do that with a simple checklist.
There are 12 key steps that you should follow during onboarding, such as collecting personal data, having the paperwork ready, providing the employee handbook, and making an agenda for the first week for the new hire. Take a look at how a checklist can improve your hiring process.
The benefits of a collaborative hiring process
The collaborative hiring process has many benefits for companies and recruiting teams. Once the process is implemented, four main benefits will bring in the biggest return of investment. They are:
- Removes additional stress from the recruiter. Your HR teams don’t have to do everything by themselves. The team members will help out with hiring process tasks so that the recruiter can better oversee the entire process. This, in turn, will remove additional stress from the recruiter.
- Increase the chance of getting a cultural fit. When the team is involved in the hiring process, it increases the chances of eliminating the candidates that do not share the same values. Also, it increases the chances that they will find a person who will be a good fit for their team as well as the company.
- Improves talent pipeline. This is a two-fold benefit. The first one is that it removes bias from the hiring process. You can’t have a hiring manager constantly disqualify a certain group of people from the hiring process without anyone noticing. With the bias out of the way, you will get a more diverse workforce that will solve problems easier. The second benefit is the increase in the resources and network provided by the members in the collaborative hiring process. You will find the right candidate easier because you will have a more extensive reach with all the people involved in the hiring process.
- Cuts down the hiring time and makes your hiring process more agile. A collaborative hiring process is an agile process, and it’s faster than traditional hiring. More team members divide the tasks between themselves, and they improve the reception of new hires to the team since they already get to know them during the hiring process. This makes the entire process faster and more cost-effective.
How can you make the collaborative hiring process work for your organization?
When it comes to implementing the collaborative hiring process for your team, you will need to do three things:
Create guidelines for all parties involved
For a collaborative hiring process to work, everyone in the team will have to know what they need to do. To achieve this and ensure minimal hiccups, you should create guidelines for the process and instruct the team members on what they need to do.
Use the right tech
Using the right technology can make your collaborative hiring process fast, efficient, and cost-effective. Using scorecards, having an app where you can easily share the info about the candidate, receiving necessary data by using pre-employment tests and sending automated emails are just a couple of examples.
Train the people involved
Last but not least you will need to train the people involved. The interview process might seem easy to team members, but you will need to ensure they can recognize their biases and stay objective. Everyone who will participate in the collaborative hiring model needs to receive proper training ahead of time. Interview preparation tasks can be a great way to do this.
We’ve seen why the collaborative hiring process is becoming a staple in the hiring process. With the war for talent going on, every employer will need to improve their hiring process. And that includes creating a solid employer brand and providing a good employee experience during the hiring process.
Wondering what to do after implementing a collaborative hiring process? Learn how to hire A-players for your team!