Why You Need to Make Recruiting and Hiring a Team Sport

March 8, 2016 at 12:34 PM William Clarke

recruiter hiring manager collaboration

Hiring stellar talent takes planning, constant communication, and solid execution. You can’t just send recruiters into the fray with a job req and expect good things to happen. No individual can know it all. That’s why the best hiring occurs when everyone is on the same page and working together. Here’s how to jumpstart your hiring with a healthy dose of teamwork.

3 Tactics to Boost Collaboration

Good communication reduces friction, creates consistent team goals, and manages ongoing expectations. Without it, hiring managers and recruiters are at cross purposes.

For every open role, establish priorities, delineate workflows, and identify decision makers. Otherwise, the hiring process slows to a crawl, costing time, money, and good candidates.  

Here are three tactics to get your hiring teams on the same page:

  1. Have hiring managers outline the job description and come up with a list of key skills and experiences
  2. Create multi-tiered lists ranking qualified candidates before scheduling interviews
  3. Debrief hiring managers and recruiters after interviews to analyze whether candidates met expectations

But teamwork is also about creating a culture of trust, honesty, and integrity. That happens when everyone is synced up. Make that a reality by mapping out team and individual goals, roles and priorities every week so that everyone knows where to focus their time and energy. That keeps the collaboration humming along.

Keeping Your Referral Program at the Forefront

Referrals are a can’t-miss tactic for improving your candidate pipeline. Leverage your team’s networks to tap talent pools with whom you have a mutual connection. Then you can easily connect with candidates through a warm introduction.

Many companies use incentives to motivate employees to get involved. 

Others don’t. Google’s referral program is a prime example of that. According to Laszlo Bock, head of Google’s people ops, doubling employees’ referral bonus didn’t increase the number of referred candidates in their pipeline. Instead, “nudging” employees and asking specific questions like “Who is the best finance person you ever worked with?” and “Who is the best developer in the Ruby programming language?” encouraged employees to search through their networks for top fit candidates. Googlers also participated in “sourcing jams” (we also do this) in which 25 employees scanned through their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, passing along viable candidates to recruiters, who then promptly reached out. 

Either way, if you already have a program, kick the tires. Are referrals your worst performing source of hires? Are the incentives are stale or vague? Ask around to see what your staff thinks of them. Maybe they need a refresh, or perhaps not enough people know about them in the first place. Regularly share open positions to keep your staff thinking about referrals. Hiring is an ongoing process, so keep your referral program at the forefront so your pipeline stays fresh. 

Phenomenal Feedback Loops

Is your team learning from their mistakes and successes? Try this out. After every stage of the hiring process, your team should have a short debrief. Even just a quick 10-minute conversation can reveal important insights. Suss out what went well and what did not. This helps you avoid repeat mistakes and keeps track of what works at every stage of the process. Make sure your whole team knows what success looks like. 

Don’t stop there. Ask yourself if your systems and tools are working for you. Useful questions include the following: Can you streamline your tools? Do they offer helpful integrations or automate tasks? Have they led to improved performance? If the tool isn’t making a difference, it’s either not right for you, or perhaps you’re not using it correctly. The bottom line is that you have to optimize every tool at your disposal and focus your resources on those that move the needle.

How does your hiring team leverage effective teamwork to hire recruit better? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments to keep the conversation going.

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