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Louise's Column - Collaborative Hiring

Collaborative hiring is an innovative approach used by organisations such as Apple, Google and Pret A Manger as part of a more engaging and attractive hiring recruitment strategy.

The merits and challenges of this approach were explained in a new TV programme on BBC2, “Who’s the Boss”.

By moving away from relying solely on the traditional interview and towards more job related testing employers are able to assess who is the best person for the job by asking existing employees to feedback on each candidate.  Hirers gain more insight and are much more likely to make the right decision.

 Collaborative hiring also benefits the candidate. As an applicant you want to get a sense of the culture and values of the organisation.  Engaging with the people that already work there during the selection process must help to build a good picture of the business and how likely you are to fit in.

Businesses also get the benefit of empowering their existing teams and encouraging collective responsibility.  Kevin Green Chief Executive of the REC who was the expert adviser for this BB2 programme reported that “A good fit with the team can make a new starter up to 30% more productive.” Part of this is because employees who have played a role in hiring a new starter are more likely help that person be successful.

Their involvement may also increase retention because employees will be asked during the process to sell the business reminding them why your organisation is so great to work for.

On the downside if the whole process takes too long there is a real possibility of losing a top candidate to a competitor, the other difficulty is that not all employees are trained in the recruitment process.

Many will argue that it’s a manager’s job to do the hiring. However despite the drawbacks those who use collaborative hiring have found that if the timescales are right and the staff are trained properly then the benefits can considerably outweigh the risks.

Louise Hewett

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