You are making a big mistake if you aren’t involving your team members in the hiring decision of new employees.
Regular readers of my blog will know that over the last several weeks I have been knee-deep in the process of hiring a new team member (using my ten awesome interview questions as part of the process). Although I believe hiring a new employee is one responsibility a leader can’t delegate, I would be stupid not to lean on the incredible discernment and wisdom of my team members to help me make the decision.
I’ve found there are five key benefits of involving my team in the decision of hiring new employees:
1. It makes team members feel valued – Team members consistently tell me how much they appreciate being asked to participate in interviews and give their feedback on each of the candidates. By letting your team members have a voice in the hiring process, it signals that you value them, respect their feedback, and want the hiring decision to be a collaborative process.
2. It provides interviewing and decision-making experience for future leaders – Some of your individual contributors today will be your supervisors/managers of tomorrow. Having them participate in the hiring process now gives them training in interviewing techniques, experience evaluating candidates, and insight into how hiring decisions are made that will benefit them when they move into leadership roles. I’ve had it happen in my own team over the years and it has improved our success in hiring quality people.
3. It creates a sense of ownership in the success of the new employee – I’ve found team members take the responsibility of selecting a new teammate seriously. Because they are staking a bit of their reputation on the selection, they tend to be more invested in the success of the new employee and will work extra hard to prove they made the right decision.
4. It gives you a broader perspective on candidates – Hiring people is risky business. No matter how extensive the interview process, there is only so much you can learn about a candidate prior to him/her joining your team. Having more people involved in the interview process gives you a broader perspective and more insight into the candidate. Inevitably some of my team members see things in people I don’t, and likewise, many times they confirm the positive/negative qualities I’ve observed. Some of the worst hiring decisions I’ve seen in my career are those where the boss independently hired someone he/she was enamored with and didn’t seek the input of others. Leaders often aren’t aware of their blind spots, and getting more people involved helps prevent that problem.
5. It gives the candidate more insight into his/her future co-workers, team, organization, and culture – I view the hiring process as a two-way decision: I’m choosing a person to join my team and the candidate is making a choice to join my team/organization. Having exposure to more teammates allows candidates to get a broader taste of the type of people they’ll be working with and the culture of our team and organization. Candidates need to make an informed decision when joining an organization and interviewing with their future teammates is invaluable in that process.
I wouldn’t hire any new employee without the input of other people on my team. I pride myself on being a pretty good judge of character and talent, but I know better than to trust my opinion alone when making such a significant decision. I’ve found that involving my team in the hiring process has proven the truth of the adage that “no one of us is as smart as all of us.”
Hi Randy, I like your articles about hiring a lot; not only because we seem to share a similar view on this subject. I am rather in favour of letting your team participate in the hiring process when you invite a candidate for the second time. As you say it makes the team members feel valued and if they really come to a consent there is a good chance that your “newbie” will be a good addition to your staff. As a con I just wonder if you ever experienced that half of the team voted for candiate a and the the other half was in favour of b? Given you are the boss you certainly have the right and the power to the final word. What do you do in such case to keep your team spirit high?
Looking forward to your feedback I wish you a great week.
Hi Brigitte! That’s a great question. I have had situations where the feedback from the team was mixed with some liking one candidate and other part of the team liking someone else.
I try to handle it by having a robust discussion with the team about the pros/cons of each candidate. I typically have my team interview the top 3 to 4 candidates in a second round interview, and by the time we get to that point, the final candidates are all usually well qualified. Sometimes it comes down to the smallest of differences between the candidates and the team generally understands that any of the final candidates would be good choices.
How have you handled it?
So far I did not have the situation since I mostly manage projects and deal with matrix organisations and the choice is more limited. It is normally less critical since you have people for a fixed and limited period of time and once we have the core team it is not too diffictlut to pick the people that suit best. Typically, people trust me and we get along fine. With a “robust discussion” as you call a lot of issues can be solved and almost always did. I only once had a team member who was technically skilled but unable to work in a team. Since no other person with the required technical skills was available I had to kind of separate her from the team and only entrust her with very specific technical tasks in order to protect the team spirit. My summary of this experience is: No matter how skilled someone is, there is no room for prima donnas. :-).
Have a wonderful week.
Pingback: From Hiring to Firing: Tips and Resources for Every Stage