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Who Should Be Involved in the Hiring Process?

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When hiring a new employee, it can be beneficial to get input from others. The question of who to involve in the hiring process is one of both feasibility and desirability. Every organization is different, but there are generally similar advantages and disadvantages to involving multiple people in the decision-making.

As this Harvard Business Review article notes, companies sometimes end up relying on one person’s personal preferences to make hiring decisions and do not have a clear, validated process. Input and assistance from others is one way to avoid making important decisions based on poorly defined feelings and ideas.

Supervisors, managers, and the employee’s future peers can all give you valuable information. At the beginning of the process, they can share ideas about the skills and traits needed for the position. Through experience, they will have gained a better understanding of how personality affects performance. Discussions with them will help you construct your job postings and prepare for interviews.

It is essential that interviewers collaborate on finding the right person. Working with others makes it easier to separate useful information from subjective reactions.

No one person should have complete veto power over hiring. Instead, feedback should be collected from each interviewer in an objective manner. Consider the key expectations of the position and be careful to not accept feedback that is not backed with evidence. Examples of this kind of feedback are phrases such as “I liked this candidate” or “I am not sure this person can do the job.” The HBR article cited above notes that a surprising number of hires are made due to “gut feel” reactions like these. It is critical to always answer the question of why someone feels this way and ask what evidence they have to support their view.

During interviews with other team members, it may be standard for a hiring manager to sit in the process. This can improve the chances of finding the right candidate. A hiring manager should have finely-tuned listening skills that will help them ask the right follow-up questions. In other cases, the hiring manager is only involved behind the scenes. In either case, the interviewers will benefit because they will have multiple perspectives on the candidate.

Recruiters and recruiting firms are also major potential participants. Some companies choose to engage recruiters because they do not have the time or resources to perform an extensive hiring search themselves. Others are simply dissatisfied with the results of their own recruiting.

A bad recruiter can leave you with regrettable hires, but a good one can find you amazing candidates and greatly reduce the burden on your own talent managers. Be sure to choose a recruiter who will work with you to find the best candidates possible.

The more people who are involved in the hiring process, the more opinions and ideas you must sort through. Yet having multiple perspectives can be invaluable. They can help you narrow your list of requirements to the most essential traits and qualities. They also allow you to discover red flags or qualities that have consistently caused trouble.

Who you choose to involve in the hiring process is a decision that can be constrained by structure and qualified interviewers. The most important consideration is to choose those people who have the most relevant information and the most object viewpoint, whether they are internal employees or work for an outside organization.