When it comes to hiring, employee input is a lot more essential than you might think. At a certain point in the recruiting process, it makes sense to bring other team members in to interview your prospective hires. They’ll be the ones working alongside this new person, so it’s only fair they have a say on who it is.
Unfortunately, a lot of the people that would provide valuable employee input likely lack interview experience. Letting them loose with no guidelines or training could just as likely ruin your recruiting process. It could make your company seem amateurish or unprofessional to the applicant. Even worse, an overzealous team member might cross some lines and end up infringing on the interviewee’s rights. You can’t let that happen, especially when you’re likely already far along in the interview process at that point. You really don’t want to scare off that strong candidate who you were obviously coveting.
So how do you utilize employee input during the hiring process properly?
Preparation is Essential
First of all, it’s very important that you do everything in your power to make the process run as smoothly as possibly. That means preparing your employees, setting guidelines and expectations, and creating a comfortable environment.
Preparation is essential for any hiring process, especially when your employees are involved. Make sure everyone knows what’s happening, that includes both your employees and the interviewee. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
Lay Out Expectations for Employee Input
Right off the bat, you need to lay out expectations for your employees. Remind them that this interview is not to check out the person’s qualifications or to scrutinize their experience. Those are things you’ll spend plenty of your own time doing.
Instead, tell them to focus their employee input on cultural compatibility. Get them to touch on workflow processes, attitudes towards delegating work, and even things like lunch preferences. This might all sound trivial, but this is the only chance you and your employees are going to get to weed out people you all might end up clashing with.
Get Employee Input on Their Online Presence
In days like these, it’s also a very beneficial idea to have your employees do a little digging around LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform to gain a better idea of who this applicant is and what they value.
During this social media “investigation”, challenge your employees to find areas of concern and formulate questions to ask during the interview that address them. These can be questions like how they’ll make up for lack of experience in certain areas or why they’ve changed jobs so often.
One little trick is to jot down questions on a copy of the resume as you go through this process. Then, go back and number each question in the order that you’ll ask them. This ensures that you have time to ask them all.
Make it as Relaxed as Possible
Getting employee input during the interview process can be stressful for everyone. It’s important that you do everything you can to make the process as pain-free as possible. Chances are, your employee will be almost as nervous for the interview as the applicant.
It’s up to you to make everyone as relaxed as possible. This could even mean hosting the interview outside or at a coffee shop. If that helps, then do it! Of course, if you’re hiring for a senior role, you might have to skip the Starbucks, though, and use your office or the boardroom.
Involving your employees in the decision is an important step in the interview process. Sometimes you can become so enamored with a candidate’s education and experience that you’ll miss some serious personality shortcomings. If you involve your employees, though, they’ll certainly catch them.
Do you get employee input when hiring? Let us know in the comments below.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.