Doesn’t the hiring process only matter to the person in charge? That’s where you’re wrong.
When you get to a certain point in the hiring process, it makes sense to bring in other team members to interview prospective hires, regardless if you are hiring a COO or a CEO. All of your current employees will be working with this new person in one way or another, so it’s only fair that they have a say on who it is. Makes sense?
Unfortunately, a lot of your employees likely lack interview experience, so letting them loose on your hiring process with no guidelines or training can give your business an amateur and messy look to the applicant. Even worse, an overzealous team member might cross some lines and end up infringing on the interviewee’s rights. You don’t want any strong candidates you were coveting to be scared off!
So, how do you let employees help with hiring without falling into any of these problems?
Lay Out Expectations in the Hiring Process
You need to do everything in your power to make the hiring process run as smoothly as possible. This means preparing your employees, creating a comfortable environment for the applicant, and, first and foremost, laing out guidelines and expectations.
Right off the bat, you need to lay out expectations for your employees. Remind them that this interview isn’t to check out the candidates’ qualifications or scrutinize their experience. You have already or will spend plenty of time doing that another time. Instead, tell them to focus on cultural compatibility.
“Communities share wins and losses and know they can rely on each other. It’s important to make sure each member of your team feels a sense of connection, not only to their work but to their colleagues.” – COO Alliance
Get them to talk about workflow processes, attitudes towards delegating, and even lunch preferences! It might sound trivial, but it’s the best way to find out if they’d get along with each other in the workplace.
Investigate the Candidate
These days, it’s a good idea to have your employees do a little investigating around the employees LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram during the hiring process. This helps you all to gain a more robust picture of the applicant.
Challenge your employees to find areas of concern during their social media investigation and formulate questions that will address them. This could include things like how they’ll make up for lack of experience in certain areas, why they’ve changed jobs so often, how they’re going to appropriately represent your company, etc.
One little trick for this is to jot down questions on a copy of the resume as they come up through this investigation. Then, go back and number them in the order you’ll ask them. This ensures that you have time to ask them all and that you won’t forget any of them.
Make it as Stress-Free as Possible
You want to do everything you can to make the hiring process as stress-free as possible to the candidate and your involved employees. Chances are, your employees will almost be as nervous as the applicant. It’s up to you to make everyone as relaxed as possible. If that means holding the interview in a coffee shop, so be it. There are no rules that say interviews have to take place at the office.
Of course, that being said, if you are hiring for a senior role, such as a CEO or COO, you might want to skip the Starbucks interview and use your office boardroom. This is a lot more convenient considering the candidate will likely want a tour of the workplace.
Involving your employees in the decision is an important step in the hiring process. Sometimes you can become so enamored with a candidate’s education and experience that you’ll miss some serious personality shortcomings, especially ones that will impede on your company’s culture.
Make no mistake, the people that are going to have to deal with this person every day will surely be the ones to take off your rose-colored glasses. Your employees are the ones that will know if the candidate is the right fit culture-wise, which is just as important as their ability to do the job. Get your employees involved in the hiring process!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.