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Collaborative Hiring 101: 4 Hidden Benefits of Building a Hiring Culture

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Collaborative hiring isn't a pipedream. Collaboration has become central to the way that many forward thinking companies assess candidates and make hiring decisions.

This is a pretty important change:

Recruiting is traditionally a top-down operation, the managers own the process and are the ultimate decision makers. They might listen to other opinions, but they're the ultimate decision maker.

Opening the assessment process up, and involving different team members can have a pretty big impact. Here are 4 pretty big benefits to collaborative hiring that you may not have considered:

1. Better hiring decisions

Every hiring decision is huge.

The potential downside is massive whenever you pull the trigger: a bad hire can cost your company as much as $50,000!

Making hiring a team game, and involving different team members from the outset, will give you a range of diverse opinions on each candidate, and ultimately a more complete assessment.

There are a few different ways to make team hiring decisions:

i) Total democracy

Want to give every employee a fair say on each hiring decision? Some organisations put each new hire to a company vote...

For example:

Popular snack and sandwich chain Pret a Manger asks candidates to spend an entire day in the store, and lets team members vote on whether to offer them a job after they leave.

ii) Hiring by committee

Make the final stage of your assessment process a hiring committee.

This should be made up of different managers and employees that will interact with the new hire on a regular basis. Try to include someone who is either currently working, or has worked in the role that you're hiring for. If this is not possible, include someone who has worked in a similar role.

Each member has the right to impose a veto on a new hire, and you should aim for a unanimous sign off on every candidate.

iii) Better planning

Even if you want your managers to make the final decision when it comes to new hires, you can use collaboration to significantly improve the way that you plan your hiring strategy.

If you can get other team members involved in the scoping out job requirements more thoroughly, and spend more time with both hiring managers and other employees who understand the needs of the role that you're trying to fill, you'll see a big impact on candidate acceptance rate.

Outlining requirements more thoroughly in advance might be time consuming, but it ultimately saves resources down the line as everyone is clear about the kind of candidates that your role _really _requires.

2. The benefit of employee advocacy

Your employees might just be your most effective company advocates.

Candidates trust your employees. They understand that your team live their job day in, day out, and as a result, anything that they say about your brand or working environment is seen as more genuine than the corporate message that your employer brand team promotes.

Take advantage of this, and collaborate with your employees throughout the hiring process.


  • Letting candidates speak to someone who currently works in the role they're applying for
  • Using employee testimonials on your website and in your promotion materials
  • Promoting your brand with authentic, employee generated content
  • Providing a "warts and all" look at your working culture

3. Making hiring a business priority

"I'm convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not strategies" - Larry Bossidy, Former CEO of General Electric

People are the lifeforce of your company. Make the wrong hiring decisions and everything starts to crumble before you know it.. Despite this, because recruitment is not a revenue generating function, it often gets overlooked in terms of business priorities.

Building a hiring culture, and making it clear that recruitment is a team responsibility, not just the remit of your recruiting team, is a great way to establish the people function as a true business priority for your company.

If you want to get your whole team to collaborate and get invested in the importance of hiring, you need to take time to articulate your companies hiring goals and ‘big picture’ recruiting strategy to everyone.

This helps people see how important their contributions are when it comes to referrals and assessment, and keeps recruitment front of mind.

Pro tip:

Try increasing transparency around hiring by circulating monthly progress reports to your team. These reports should provide a basic breakdown of hiring activity for the past month, and show whether your team is on track to hit their goals or not.

4. Increasing referrals

Increasing employee referrals might be top of every Head of Talent's wish list.

Not only are referrals more cost effective, but they have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate (only 7% apply, but this accounts for 40% of all hires!)

A successful referral strategy relies on heavily on your employees. It's one area where hiring collaboration is totally crucial - you need everyone to pitch in and recommend relevant connections, otherwise referrals are a non-starter.

An easy way to boost referrals is to hold sourcing marathons. These are simple events where your recruiters comb through each employees online networks with their assistance to try and find people that are relevant for open roles. We recommend making these events light hearted and ordering some food and drinks.

They're not only a great way to encourage referrals, but they're fantastic at getting everyone involved in hiring.