How to make staff recruitment a team activity

Recruiting the best talent can be a real struggle if you’re a one man/woman show. When all the staff recruitment tasks- from sourcing candidates to making a formal offer- fall on your shoulders, it’s easy for processes to start fraying at the edges. On your own, you may find it challenging to meet hiring deadlines and the pressure will only continue to mount.

Collaborative hiring can be a great solution for one-person and small recruitment teams. Collaborative hiring is a recruitment strategy that has been championed by leaders like Apple and Google. In this strategy, staff recruitment is lead by the recruitment team, but screenings, interviews, evaluations, and trial days are conducted by team members. There are many benefits to having your team involved in the process, but when it comes to getting your team more involved in staff recruitment, you may feel paralyzed with the following questions:

How can I get them to take time out of their work to participate?

What if they’re not good interviewers?

How can I make sure they’re consistent and give a good impression?

Will they look for the right information, experience, and skills?

Collaboration starts with buy-in

Many who start on the path towards embracing collaborative hiring methods can face a number of objections: your colleagues are too busy, shouldn’t have to be responsible for hiring, or don’t have the right skills. This is why the journey toward creating a collaborative staff recruitment process always starts with gaining buy-in from your intended hiring team.

Use data to generate buy-in

Typically, others in your business- the people you need to be involved in the hiring- will have reservations about getting involved in the hiring process. But there are a few pieces of information that can help you generate buy-in:

  1. Opportunity costs of delayed hires: Gather data on the opportunity costs presented by delays in the hiring process for key roles within your business’s teams.
  2. Overview of your talent pipeline: Show them your talent pipeline with the volume of roles you are managing and applications you are receiving- all of which need responses, screenings, evaluations, etc.
  3. Time to hire statistics: Give them a deep dive into the elements impacting your time to hire, which may cause issues including your availability to interview multiple candidates.
  4. Showcase the benefits of collaborative hiring for teams: Offer an overview of the extensive benefits collaborative hiring can offer when it comes to employee engagement, quality of hire, cultural fit, and improved time to hire.

Gaining team buy-in to participate in the hiring process probably won’t happen overnight, and the right methods will vary from organization to organization. But communicating a consistent message that hiring the right teams is important for everyone is an important step along the way.

Interview training for staff recruitment

Even once your team embraces the importance of getting involved in staff recruitment, you still may face one last objection: “I’m not a trained recruiter” or “I’m not really good at interviews”. This is the perfect opportunity to conduct a crash course in screening, interviewing, and hiring!

Depending on the size of your team, you can hold this over the course of a couple hours, a day here or there, or different “modules” over the course of a year. Treat it as an opportunity to share your recruiting experience and knowledge with your team.

Your course should be tailored to your organization, but there are a few elements it should include.

Prepare for an interview or screening

This is the first step for any interview, but it can often be left behind in preference for “winging it”. It’s important that those involved in the interview process always come prepared when face-to-face with a candidate. This means:

  • Familiarizing themselves with the official job description;
  • Reviewing the candidate’s CV;
  • Being briefed on any previous communications with the candidate;
  • Reviewing any standard interview questions for the role;
  • Being able to sell the perks and benefits associated with the role.

Sometimes making a set checklist to review prior to interviews or screenings can help with this process.

Provide an introduction to (structured) interviews

Knowing what to ask, how, and when, can be one of the greatest concerns for those who are not seasoned interviewers. Structured interviews can provide relief to nervous interviewers by providing a predetermined question set to ask candidates in an interview or screening. Usually, they will be tailored to the role competency or even the individual vacancy. They’ll test candidates on skills required for the role, industry knowledge, motivation, and cultural fit.

Give your team a small presentation or workshop on how a structured interview works with a few best practice guidelines. In addition to introducing structured interviews, you may want to cover interview issues like:

  • Addressing unconscious bias;
  • Use of positive body language;
  • The differences between open, closed, and leading questions;
  • The design of cultural fit questions.

Overview of the company culture, values, and mission

One of the primary benefits of adopting a collaborative approach to staff recruitment is that these team members are sometimes able to convey the company culture, values, and mission more accurately (and authentically) to candidates. However, this requires a coherent and consistent message to be shared by your team.

Make sure to give your hiring team a refresher on your company values and mission. Company culture, of course, is, to some extent, organic and should be left to the employees to communicate (each team’s culture could also be different). But do make sure they know that this is an important value-added to every candidate and that during the interview process they should communicate this whenever possible.

staff recruitment starts with training
Training your team can take place in a traditional classroom setting, one-to-ones, or practical learning sessions.

Train on ATS

Your team should have an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in place, but if your whole team doesn’t have access to it, you’ll be in trouble. Collaborative hiring should include virtual collaboration. This way, you can avoid data silos that kill your recruitment growth. Keep all the crucial information in one place, and keep it organized.

Introduce HR technology (and get them to use it)

Technology is often the first thing that employees are resistant to. Change is difficult in organizations, especially when it includes learning a new system. In order to facilitate a change in tech use for non-recruiter employees, you must make sure that the ATS you have in place is two things:

  1. Easy to use
  2. Beneficial to them

People simply will not want to learn something that is difficult and provides no immediate benefit to them. Give them some motivation by choosing a user-friendly ATS in the first place! One that allows for unlimited users is crucial, as well. The interface, then, will likely be more collaborative, allowing for the interactive process your hiring craves.

Go over the basic ATS functions

Ensure that your entire team is briefed on:

  • Submitting CVs;
  • Adding commentary;
  • Evaluating candidates;
  • And scheduling interviews.

Make it easy for them to add to the hiring process, and they will! The benefits are clear, as well. It shows camaraderie and allows them to put their own input into who is getting hired. This boosts morale and gives employees a sense of autonomy (which is a very important motivator!). Not to mention, this ups the quality of your new hires dramatically.

Educate on employer brand

If you’re going to recruit as a team, you need to represent as a team. Employer branding is as important to staff recruitment as every other step in the process. It may seem a given that your employees will want to represent your company accurately, but they may not know exactly how to do so. Make sure they know exactly what you are trying to convey to potential talent before throwing them into the hiring process.

Outline crucial company messaging

Even if your staff seems on board with your company message, there may be some brushing up that needs to be done. Make sure that your employees remember, as well as take seriously, your company values. This can start as early as the creation of your business, so we go in-depth on how to establish your employer brand in another blog post. For staff recruitment, you’ll need to remember these key steps when outlining company messaging:

  • Make your company messages clear and memorable.
  • Hire from the start with the intention to bring on people with similar values and goals.
  • Brief the team on voice and tone. Make a document for reference.
  • Tell them what you want to portray in an interview setting, as well as what type of candidate you are looking for.
  • Make sure that the culture you are representing is felt across the board (not just proposed).

Align on company values and goals

If the team doesn’t reflect the employer brand that you portray online, it will be painfully obvious to potential hires. This last step to making staff recruitment a team activity is arguably the most important, as well as the most difficult. It needs to come from a genuine place. You can’t force a positive company culture! Then, you may ask, how do you create one?

It’s easier than you may think. Follow these steps during your hiring crash course to ensure your team is ready to hire like-minded people:

  • Don’t force participation in the hiring process.
  • Give team members the option to do so, and reward the top participants.
  • Use team candidate evaluations.
  • Don’t leave anyone out.
  • Get an ATS that enable collaborative hiring with unlimited.
  • Most importantly, communicate, and have fun!

Transparency and rewarding positive behavior will go a long way in getting your team on board with collaborative hiring. Subsequently, this will boost the chances that top talent will want to join your company! When they see how well you work together when hiring them, they’ll be more likely to want to be a part of your team. Let’s make it happen – together.

Maybe you'd like these too

Talent acquisition

Recruitee x OpenUp: Supporting mental health at work

By Sim Samra

Talent acquisition

Why positive work cultures are more productive

By Kelly Lowe

Talent acquisition

9 tips on how to handle employee layoffs

By Thomas Glare