Are you looking for a practical, efficient, more enjoyable and meaningful way to hire? Then it's time to talk about collaborative hiring.
Many companies are turning to this team-based approach to hiring as more participation and input from team members, more clarity around roles and tasks and better communication in general lead to a more streamlined and successful hiring process. Think of it this way: if a football player wants to score a goal ⚽︎, do you think it’s easier for a person to do that on their own or with the help of their team?
You guessed it. Teamwork makes the dream work.
In this article we’ll delve into the numerous benefits of the collaborative hiring method, as well as how to implement it within your own company.
If it sounds daunting to get multiple people on board for hiring and you're afraid things could get messy, fear not. We use the collaborative hiring method (and have found success with it!) here at Homerun and we've got plenty of practical tips on how to go about it.
Table of Contents
- <a href="#collaborative-hiring">What is collaborative hiring?</a>
- <a href="#reasons">10 reasons to get started with a collaborative hiring process</a>
- <a href="#how-to">How to take a team-based approach to hiring</a>
- <a href="#win">Collaborative hiring for the win 🏅</a>
<div id="collaborative-hiring">What is collaborative hiring?</div>
Collaborative hiring – also known as team-based hiring or collaborative recruiting – is a hiring method that includes multiple members of your team. Instead of the hiring manager and/or a recruiter handling all of the hiring tasks, team members who will work directly or closely with the new hire also pitch in and participate in the hiring process.
Colleagues can be involved in key activities such as:
- recommending candidates
- choosing job application questions
- designing job posts
- reviewing applications
- providing feedback
This takes a significant amount of pressure off the hiring manager (who is typically managing the hiring process alongside all the other tasks of their job) and allows you to utilize the strengths of individuals on your team to hire an amazing candidate.
And it doesn't stop there. Let's take a look at the many benefits of collaborative hiring. 👀
<div id="reasons">10 reasons to get started with a collaborative hiring process</div>
1. It makes hiring a team sport ⚾️
As we said before, hiring managers often carry the bulk of the responsibilities related to hiring, but that doesn't mean this is the best way to do things. In collaborative hiring, team members can help with creating a job application, screening applicants, creating or choosing assessments, participating in interviews and much, much more.
When you engage in collaborative recruitment, hiring becomes a team sport. It provides a great opportunity for your team to work together to successfully meet a shared goal: finding a fabulous new teammate!
2. It creates a candidate-first experience 😃
A collaborative hiring process allows more team members to meet your candidate, which gives everyone opportunities to share what it's like working at your company. Not only will candidates feel valued and appreciated, they can better manage their own expectations when they have an idea of who they'd be working with and what the company culture is like.
And when you’ve got a structured process in place – including clear communication and expectations during all stages of the hiring process – it creates a more refreshing, insightful and enjoyable experience for the candidate.
3. You can give a more accurate impression of your company and team 🌟
Working with colleagues in different departments is important when it comes to sharing your values and employer brand. Whether it’s asking your content team to help pull together team-focused content or hitting up a marketing colleague for images of your office and team for your career page, it’s essential that you work together to make your company's culture, mission, values and goals as clear as possible for applicants.
In a recent recruitment survey, 73% of job seekers said they will not apply to a company unless that company’s values align with their own, so be sure to display them on your career page and take time later to talk about them in interviews!
4. You'll save time hiring ⏰
There are a couple ways the collaborative hiring method can help speed up the hiring process. First off, if your team members tap into their existing networks, it can make it easier to expand your talent pool and interview more high-quality candidates. (You just want to be sure to avoid cronyism. Hiring should not be based on who you know, but what the candidate can do and their potential.)
Another benefit of collaborative recruitment is the fact that hiring tasks can be delegated and completed in a more efficient way. Working together can end up reducing your time-to-hire – meaning you'll be freed up to work on other projects and/or start new ones with your new hire!
5. You can work together to keep biases in check ☑️
Hiring bias can seep into any process. That's why it's so important to stay vigilant and hold each other accountable as a team.
Involving multiple relevant team members in interviews, maintaining a structured interview process and discussing possible biases before and after speaking to a candidate helps reduce the chance of unconscious bias influencing your team's decisions. Using scorecards and focusing on a candidate's abilities and skills will also ensure a fair and unbiased hiring process.
📣 Need more tips on structured interviews? Check out our guide on how to conduct a job interview.
6. Hiring together improves team dynamics 👥
Tony Myer, Principal Technical Recruiter at Mercari, believes in collaboration as a means to successful hiring and improved team dynamics. In his words, “You have to have the hiring team involved, ready and prioritizing hiring as part of their everyday. Leadership has an ‘everybody is a recruiter’ mindset. It leads to a more interactive experience.”
This is especially important for the people who will be working directly with the new hire. Pitching in, sharing feedback and successfully hiring a candidate builds trust and collaboration between team members and creates a more cohesive team – including the person that's about to be hired.
7. It helps you decide as a team who would be a good culture add ➕
Yes, we said "add" and not "fit" because the term "culture fit" is subjective and frankly a bit counterintuitive if you're dedicated to fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace. Every person is different and can add something to your company culture which will make your team even more special and unique!
When multiple team members have the opportunity to assess candidates, together you'll get a clearer picture of what they might bring to your business and how they can challenge your team to grow and improve. Each member of the hiring team can approach this from their own perspective and share their thoughts on how someone might be a good culture add.
8. It improves the decision-making process 🧠
Collaborative hiring allows for more well-rounded discussions and debate around potential candidates. When you involve different stakeholders in the hiring process, you are able to assimilate various viewpoints and insights.
Bottom line: Talking (or sharing notes) with colleagues about a candidate's qualifications, values and potential contributions results in a more comprehensive evaluation and will help you as a team to make better hiring decisions. Just remember to share your thoughts after everyone on the hiring team has completed their interviews and scorecards to avoid groupthink bias.
9. It makes onboarding easier 🤝
Collaborative hiring can also help new hires with their onboarding experience as they will already have met multiple team members they'll be working with. The people on the hiring team can help prepare the new hire for their role and ensure that they have a smooth onboarding experience – supporting them and setting them up for success.
10. It reduces the chances of a mis-hire 💸
We all want to avoid mis-hires. They're painful, costly and demoralizing for everyone!
In collaborative hiring, candidates are evaluated by multiple team members – meaning with all that interaction, feedback and reflection there's a much higher likelihood of finding a good match between the candidate and the company. This leads to improved retention rates and lower turnover.
<div id="how-to">How to take a team-based approach to hiring</div>
First off, let's be clear that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to collaborative recruitment. Companies will do this differently based on their size and the amount of time and resources everyone has to contribute.
In general, it makes sense to put together a small but mighty hiring team that can share their talents and input to make an amazing hire. So this might include:
- a hiring manager
- someone from Human Resources
- an external recruiter (depending on the role)
- any other stakeholders who will be working directly with the person being hired
You can also get help from a copywriter and/or designer to put some sparkle on your job posts. ✨ (Or use one of our many hiring templates to get started!)
If you think about it, lots of people in your company can find ways to contribute to the hiring process (referring candidates, sharing job posts, etc.). They may not be part of the core hiring team, but they can certainly have an impact on hiring.
How to implement collaborative hiring at your business
- Make hiring a project – Hiring is real work, so give it the status that you would any other project at your company. If you usually do a kickoff, a standup or a retrospective, then do that for each job opening. When you make hiring a team project with allocated time and a clear beginning and end, your team will be motivated to give it the energy and dedication it deserves.
- Create a job brief – Putting together a job brief gives you and your team a solid understanding of what the role will entail, what types of candidates you're looking for, what you can offer and the actions everyone needs to take in order to successfully hire a new team member. New to job briefs? Then have a look at our Guide to Hiring Process, which includes a job brief template and an example of a filled-in job brief to get you started.
- Come up with a structured and customized hiring workflow – Develop and write down your hiring plan for this particular role, which can be modified and iterated in the future. In your job brief you've already listed the skills and traits you're looking for. Now figure out how you will evaluate the candidates on these as a team. What will you ask in the application, in the interviews and assignments? How many interviews and assignments will there be? Who will be present in each interview? You can learn all about new hire workflow best practices in our guide.
- Set guidelines and assign clear roles and tasks for the hiring team – Be very explicit about the tasks that belong to each role and when they need to be done. Does the copywriter just write the job description or also publish it? Does the hiring manager make sure everyone has given input about each candidate or is that someone else? Also, be sure to appoint one final decision-maker to avoid confusion about who has the final say.
- Provide clarity on what you're evaluating candidates on – Without clear guidelines, team members may only evaluate from their own perspective. They might become hyper focused on the candidate's skills that will help their projects along even though the role will go beyond those projects. Solve this by creating scorecards that clearly list the traits, values and skills (hard and soft) that the candidates will be evaluated on. To find out how to create a scorecard, have a look at our guide on how to conduct a job interview.
- Prepare and share interview questions and materials – Sending helpful docs and resources the moment your hiring team needs them is a big help. For example, share your agreed-upon interview questions, virtual interview tips (if the interview is online) and a reminder to keep biases in check the day before your team member has an interview planned with a candidate. This way their focus will go toward prepping a great interview instead of researching best practices. P.S. you can use our collaboration interview questions template to help you assess candidates' teamwork skills.
- Create a positive and engaging experience for candidates – From beginning to end, you want to leave a lasting impression on the candidates. This means you want everything – your job post, application form, career page and the interactions candidates have with each one of your team members – to be outstanding. It's good for the hiring team to check in with each other and share feedback about how things are going. If you feel something's not working, you can find ways to fix it together.
- Use collaborative hiring tools to communicate – A huge time sucker and energy drainer is the simple act of searching for stuff like CVs, email convos and notes on candidates. A good collaborative hiring tool will help you keep everything in one place, communicate with your hiring team and get stuff done!
With a hiring software like Homerun, your team can perform tasks like:
- Creating job posts and apply forms
- Reviewing applications and documents
- Emailing candidates using templates
- Evaluating candidates on assignments and interview rounds
- Messaging the team about candidates and tasks (team notes and to-dos)
The right hiring software helps you stay organized, collaborate with your team and connect with candidates. Overall this makes your collaborative hiring process smooth, streamlined and easier to scale.
- Keep your team in the loop – Hiring a new team member is exciting for everyone involved, so share the fun. And not just with the hiring team! Let the whole company know how many qualified people applied, when candidates are coming by for interviews and when you're getting close to a hire. This helps to build it into your company culture that hiring is a shared responsibility. Team members that are not involved in one hire will get excited to be included in the next one.
- Celebrate a successful hire – Once the candidate you've chosen has accepted your offer, don't forget to celebrate! 🎉 This is a big accomplishment, so pat yourselves on the back, high five each other, have an impromptu dance party…whatever feels right. You may also want to do something special for the hiring team, like treat everyone to lunch. Whatever you do, remember that you've learned a lot through this process and you'll get even better at it with time.
<div id="win">Collaborative hiring for the win 🏅</div>
As a company dedicated to helping small businesses make meaningful hires, we can tell you that this is not just our preferred way of hiring – for us, it's the only way!
Collaborative hiring enables teams to work together efficiently, gain a deeper understanding of the candidates and collect more useful information for future stages of the hiring process. When you have structure in place, buy-in from your team and good communication, this results in better hiring decisions and a much better experience for you and your candidates.