Collaborative Hiring: The Complete Guide

Collaborative hiring

In an oversaturated employment market, businesses are starting to realise that traditional recruitment models are unfit for purpose. As well as being expensive, recruitment agencies rarely deliver the best fit for an advertised position. Even if you’re handling recruitment in-house, it’s not always easy for an overwhelmed hiring manager to identify the best fit from a huge pool of candidates.

Tired of high turnover rates? It’s time to say goodbye to conventional recruitment methods and implement collaborative hiring instead.

What is collaborative hiring?

With traditional recruitment, only a hiring manager and recruiter tend to be involved. By contrast, a collaborative hiring process brings together a bigger team to help with talent acquisition. Any team member who’ll eventually work alongside a new hire can be involved at every stage. This can include helping create compelling job descriptions and drafting questions for the pre-screening of potential candidates.

They can also play a role in candidate selection, such as reviewing incoming CVs. Other times, they may recommend employees currently working within the organisation. Once a candidate has been chosen, team members can be involved in the interview process and are encouraged to provide feedback to hiring managers to help fill an open position.

As well as alleviating pressures on overworked hiring managers, collaborative hiring methods mean businesses can utilise the expertise of existing employees. With broader insights, the odds of landing a first-rae hire and securing a long-term staffing solution are significantly increased.

Who takes part in a collaborative hiring process?

The makeup of a hiring team can vary, even within the same organisation. For a clearer picture of who’s involved with the collaborative hiring process, you need to establish what’s required from a hiring team in each scenario. The first step of hiring is sourcing and screening candidates. After numerous interviews, someone then needs to make a final hiring decision. Following that, other employees are then brought in to take charge of onboarding and supervise training.

No single employee wears that many hats, which is why a hiring team needs to be represented by several key roles. Teams are expected to work alongside HR during the recruitment process, but it falls to a hiring manager to lead the team itself. As it’s the hiring manager who initiates the recruitment process, they need to have a clear understanding of the role and be able to produce a relevant job description.

Recruiters work alongside hiring managers, serving as a middleman between them and applicants. In companies with established recruitment departments, recruiters are often involved in designing and deploying tailored recruitment strategies.

The rest of the team can vary considerably, with everyone from junior employees to C-suite executives free to participate. However, everyone involved should hold a role that’s relevant to the advertised position. This ensures everyone can provide valuable insights and give meaningful answers. If candidates are asked to attend multiple interviews, hiring team lineups can change. As well as being practical, this gives candidates a firm idea of company culture and allows for early introductions to future colleagues.

What are the advantages of collaborative hiring?

Collaborative hiring sets the stage for real conversations about recruitment. Discussions ensure the right roles are being advertised and key skills are represented. Tailored job descriptions streamline sourcing and screening, while the entire recruitment process can be refined. Eventually, these recruitment conversations allow companies to establish new hiring frameworks and strategies. Ideal if you’re overly dependent on agencies and want to embrace an in-house hiring or collaborative recruitment model instead.

More perspectives lead to better hiring decisions

Instead of a too-many-cooks situation, collaborative hiring teams can make better decisions when it comes to selecting the most suitable candidates. When recruiting, having more perspectives is always a good thing. What’s more, it makes sense to involve more people with relevant expertise during the interview process. Long-serving employees can answer role-specific questions, while a department head can help with finding the best cultural fit for your business. Everyone brings something unique to the table, ensuring no stone is left unturned as you evaluate the candidate.

Collaborative recruitment reduces bias

Additionally, having more people on board means bias doesn’t have to be a problem. Someone’s opinion is just that and, in a lot of cases, can be misguided. This can lead to ideal candidates being turned down for a role they’d actually thrive in. Team-based recruitment forces everyone to back up their opinions with actual evidence. Hiring teams can also help you sift out undesirable candidates. The more diverse an interview panel is, the more likely it is you’ll be able to flag problematic attitudes in responses from candidates.

Foster meaningful connections with candidates

When executed effectively, collaborative hiring can be an enriching experience for potential hires. Candidates feel a sense of connection with a company before they’re even offered a job. Long before the onboarding process begins, they’ll have a clear idea of what the role entails, insights into company culture, who they’ll be working with, and more.

What is collaborative hiring

How to implement collaborative hiring?

The composition of a collaborative hiring team and overall strategy can look different from one company to the next However, broad strokes can be applied if you want to ditch the traditional approach to recruitment and embrace collaborative hiring instead.

1. Outline why collaborative hiring is right for your company

To kick things off, someone needs to make a case for a collaborative hiring model. Focus on the shortcomings of your current approach before introducing the many benefits of collaborative hiring. A shift to collaborative hiring hinges on a top-down decision, so you’ll need to bowl over the bigwigs at the C-level first.

2. Define a collaborative hiring process specific to your organisation

Once senior stakeholders have been convinced, recruiters can get together to iron out the specifics of the collaborative hiring process. What unique requirements does your organisation have? What stakeholders will be involved? Answering questions like these will make it easier to outline a recruitment structure and define processes that can be rolled out time and again.

Although no two recruitment journeys are going to be identical, you can still draw up workflows that can be used any time a new position becomes available. Now’s also the time to put together guidance on how to form hiring teams, along with a list of HR tools and resources you’ll need to manage recruitment tasks.

3. Decide how you’ll select hiring team members

The beauty of collaborative hiring is that more of your employees can be involved in the process. However, success depends on selecting the right people so you’ll need to carefully consider what roles you’d like represented by a typical hiring team lineup.

At the bare minimum, essential roles should be covered, although nice-to-haves can be considered. Ensure you’re underlining what everyone will be bringing to the table and what’s expected from their participation. This guidance isn’t a rigid framework you have to adhere to. Instead, it can be tailored to each hiring scenario and refined over time as you explore new recruitment strategies.

4. Craft compelling interview experiences for every candidate

With so much focus on putting together a hiring team, it’s easy to overlook the candidate. However, you need to create a rich and rewarding interview experience as you assess the candidate. Collaborative hiring generally involves multiple interviews, but you’ll need to determine exactly how many are right for your organisation. Ensure each one has a valid purpose and draw up a list of who’ll be involved at each stage. Consider whether you want to maintain a formal approach throughout, or adopt a more casual tone at certain points.

To get the most out of collaborative hiring, look for ways you can introduce your company culture to candidates. Involving team members who’ll ultimately be working with successful candidates is a good idea while having leaders and managers present provides jobseekers with a clear sense of organisational structure and hierarchy. Whatever approach you take, just make sure you’ve created a scalable interview process that can be replicated many times.

5. Remember to train hiring team members

Any hiring team needs some degree of training to be able to do their job effectively. Creating a structured interview process can simplify this. Use standardised questions to take bias out of the equation and consider using scorecards to weigh up the suitability of each candidate. Hiring team rosters are subject to change. Therefore, you’ll need sufficient training materials in place so you can quickly onboard any hiring team newcomers.

Collaborative hiring, what is it?

How to improve collaboration with hiring managers?

To ease collaboration with hiring managers, you’ll need to open lines of communication early. This can occur when ironing out the requirements of a new role. Discussing timelines and job description specifics makes for an exhaustive conversation, but it saves miscommunication down the line. Once that initial discussion is out of the way, recruiters and hiring managers should continue to liaise regularly. This can take the form of a simple status update or a more in-depth conversation if recruitment progress has stalled.

The relationship between recruiter and hiring manager can sour if the latter is constantly being presented with second-rate candidates. Recruiters should only be putting the most suitable applicants forward for interviews. Anything less is only going to infuriate hiring managers and waste precious time and resources.

Another major disconnect can occur much later. Should an ideal candidate be discovered, a hiring manager may be eager to offer them the position. However, in a jobseeker’s market, many candidates may feel confident enough to negotiate for better terms and a higher starting salary. A hiring manager may feel unable to make the call on whether a salary can be increased or benefits can be extended. Recruiters and hiring managers need to work together to decide how much leeway they have when entering counter-offer territory.

How talent acquisition software can help with collaborative hiring

Ready to reap the rewards of collaborative hiring? If you’re serious about succeeding with this innovative approach to recruitment, you’ll need the right software at your disposal. With recruitment software like Teamdash, you have all the features you need to ensure collaborative hiring works for you.

Designed by talent acquisition experts, Teamdash delivers everything that recruitment professionals need to make the right decisions when sourcing and hiring. There’s plenty of scope for customisation here, allowing you to tailor things to your recruitment processes. Perfect if you’ve created hiring workflows for different departments and key roles within your company.

Teamdash even helps you cut bias out of the equation. You can create scorecards to assess the merits of every candidate fairly. What’s more, you can remove identifying factors to guarantee that every jobseeker is judged on their skills and performance, rather than anything else. With real-time updates ensuring every member of a hiring team is on the same page, it’s easy to make data-driven recruitment decisions with Teamdash.

Keen to see what else this superior recruitment software can do for you? Why not book a demo today?

Marie Evart

Co-founder & Community Manager

Read about author
Next up

Candidate Screening: What is it and How to Do It Right

Read more
Candidate screening