The matching process is what recruiting is all about, but no one seems to have the answer to how we do it well. Maybe team-based hiring is at least part of the answer.
Recruiting is generally thought of as something one person does for another person - matching a candidate to a hiring manager. The better a recruiter can do this, the more successful s/he will be. It requires deeply understanding what skills the work requires, the personality of the hiring manager, the culture of the organization, and the economics involved. It is a complex process that involves many diverse skills and it is the rare lone recruiter who can do it all.
A better approach that harnesses the power of networks and communities can improve the speed and quality of the process. It is called team-based recruiting or sometimes collaborative recruiting.
Better Understanding of the Skills Required
The hiring manager is often not the right person to fully understand the work that needs to be done or the skills needed to do it. This may sound strange, but many hiring managers are not involved deeply in the day-to-day work and may have lost touch with the reality of the job. They may think in abstract terms about qualifications and experience, but those may not matter as much as other factors.
People doing a job on a daily basis know exactly what skills or ability they are lacking and need. That’s why getting them involved in everything from creating the job requirements to talking with the candidates and assessing them is useful - maybe even critical to success.
Even involving actual customers in the hiring process can be helpful in ensuring that the candidate has the personality and ability to deal with people effectively. This is especially true in customer service and sales.
Builds a Relationship with the Candidate
By including the team in the hiring process, the candidate gets a good sense of who they will be working with. The team members can showcase the benefits of working together and illustrate the culture of the company. This can be very helpful to a candidate who has to decide if s/he will be happy working in this organization and with these people.
Underlines the Organization’s Culture
As both the candidate and the team members have gotten to know each other a little, it will be easier for both of them to decide if this is the right person and team for them. Any glaring incompatibilities with the culture will be apparent.
By using the collective intelligence of many people, you can improve your success rate and the quality of the people hired.
Makes Onboarding a Breeze
Rather than walking into an unknown situation to work with people they have not met, candidates who have experienced a team-based hiring approach are already partly “onboard” though the experience of meeting the team and seeing how they work together.
Even though it may slow down the hiring process, it can significantly improve both the candidate experience as well as the quality of the people who get hired.
It Can Increase Referrals
Candidates who experience a personal approach and get to know the people they are going to work with are also more open to sharing the names of other people who might be good candidates. Referrals come from relationships and trust - both of which are enhanced by the team-based approach.
The primary negative things about using this approach are that it takes more time and effort to coordinate schedules and some hiring managers feel disempowered by giving up their decision making authority to the group. These disadvantages are greatly outweighed by the positives.