Hiring is a team sort and involving a broader range of people than is typical in many organizations is the way to hire more of the right people.
But when you include more people in the process, you have to be careful about how you do it…
An unusually diverse hiring team
A diverse hiring team in terms of background and in terms of relevancy and seniority to the role in question is extremely valuable. But when you introduce diversity into the hiring team, it’s an absolute requirement that everyone is in agreement on what the business is looking for, and that everyone on the team has an agreed set of criteria to evaluate against.
Without this alignment, the process is almost a complete waste of time.
Consistency in the hiring process
Different perspectives and opinions are extremely useful, different evaluation criteria isn’t. Candidate scorecards are a powerful tool designed to help hiring teams with objective decision-making at any stage of the hiring process.
You want the variable in each process to be the candidate—not the environment, not the interviewers, not the questions, and not the amount of time spent with the candidate.
It’s totally fine (and somewhat encouraged) to:
Have different hiring workflows/processes for different roles, departments, and locations.
But it’s not fine to:
Have big variability in the process different candidates go through when applying for the same role.
Whilst it might seem laborious to put every candidate through the same process and ask them the same questions (even when you may have different levels of prior information on them, they may be internal candidates, etc.), it’s far fairer to candidates, and the quality of the data and insights you’ll gather from putting them through the same process will be much stronger.
One of the most important things is to ask the same questions and record the responses
It’s absolutely fine to deviate and probe further if a candidate gives a particularly strong/weak answer, but make sure you have a list of standard questions and use those as a baseline so you have broadly consistent input across the board.
How do candidates behave outside of the interview?
Assess candidate interaction outside of when they’re ‘being watched’. How did they treat the receptionist? Were they pleasant to everyone throughout the process? A technology business that flew people in for interviews famously got their airport pickup drivers to provide structured candidate feedback.
Remember that there’s more to the qualification process than “hire” or “don’t hire”. You’ll often meet a number of candidates, several of which would be a great fit for the role or your broader organization.
Build a talent pipeline
You may only have the capacity to hire one individual at present, but don’t just lose the other qualified candidates into the ether because you couldn’t hire them immediately
This is what the talent pipeline is for.
Communicate with them
Be transparent about where you stand right now, but make it clear you’re definitely interested in remaining in contact with them if you’re confident there may be a role for them in the future.
Ask if you can add them to your talent pipeline
And capture sufficient information on them so when you next recruit for a similar role, you can reach out to them directly, ahead of going out to the candidate marketplace.
Make sure you use this opportunity to give them any feedback
That they can work on in the interim so if/when you next reach out to them, they’re an even better fit for your organization from both a culture and competency perspective.