How to Involve Employees in the Hiring Process

You depend on your small business team for input on other vital matters, so why not consider involving them in the hiring of new employees? Because they will work alongside new hires, staff members have a vested interest in finding awesome candidates. Likewise, their intimate knowledge of company culture provides them a great sense of who might fit in well at your workplace.

Current employees also can be your best salespeople. Who better to answer questions and sing the merits of joining your establishment than the people with firsthand experience? And when a new hire does come aboard, fellow workers may go to extra lengths to welcome the individual and get him up to speed because they feel responsible.

Collaborative hiring, however, can quickly turn chaotic if not approached correctly. Use these tips for involving employees in the hiring process in a productive manner.

Create a stellar job description.

Solicit input from employees to craft job ads that truly gets to the heart of what it is like to work at your small business. Ask employees with job titles similar to the one being advertised for to help pen the description. Their insight into daily activities and the qualifications necessary to perform them well can attract a promising pool of potential matches.

Keep interviews structured.

Extra eyes and ears can be valuable when interviewing job candidates. Team members may pick up on things you missed or offer different interpretations of responses. This added input can lead to better hiring decisions. You will also get a sense of how well the applicant will fit in with your close-knit staff.

A group interview, however, should not turn into a free for all. Use input from those involved to  develop a list of pertinent questions to ask each candidate. This forethought ensures discussions remain focused, interview length doesn’t become outlandish, and all candidates get judged on the same playing field. Likewise, sticking to predetermined questions reduces the risk of someone inadvertently venturing into illegal territory (age, race, sexuality, etc.) that could land your small business in hot water.

Treat feedback seriously.

Collaborative hiring takes employees away from other tasks they could be doing to help your small business grow, so make sure their involvement is genuinely time well spent. They should not merely be rubber-stamping a decision you have already made. Their thoughts, opinions and concerns should actively play a part in your hiring decision.

Some leaders commit to arriving at a group decision. Others prefer to make the final choice themselves after taking staff input into consideration. If the latter, be prepared to explain your thought process if your decision does not match the preference of the group (or of a passionate individual team member). Hard feelings arise when people feel discounted, especially when you sought their contribution. Let them know how much you value their time, insight and dedication to creating a great place to work.


Want more advice and resources for building your small business? Learn about the essential elements of a standout recruitment strategy


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