Avoid the Catch-22 of Collaborative Hiring

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Get the value of a collaborative hiring process without the HR management burden

Recruiting and hiring has a lot of moving parts — applications, screenings, background checks, interviews — the list goes on, and because of new trends in HR it’s getting longer. Then add to this mountain of work even more responsibility, as HR teams are being measured by the quantity and quality of new hires. The reality is a bad hire can cost a company upwards of $50,000, according to a recent Fast Company article. That’s a lot to contend with on a daily basis.

So, what does the market do? It reinvents the approach. In an effort to make the hiring process work better to gauge cultural fit and engage more employees in the vetting process, the collaborative hiring model has emerged as a major HR trend and today’s progressive employers in public and private sector are rallying around it. And it’s quite successful. So can HR breathe easier? Not quite. The collaborative process solves one problem, but can create another.

Everybody’s in, but who’s on first?

Gone are the days of the top-down structure with hiring managers solely in the driver seat. Interviews are conducted by team members across the org chart, thereby increasing employee involvement and investment and helping both sides of the table better understand each prospective employee’s potential. The benefits are great, which is why Google, Apple and the like are big fans of this process. We don’t disagree. (Those guys are hard to argue with.) But what is the impact of collaborative hiring on the HR department?

While effective, collaborative hiring introduces yet another set of moving parts for HR professionals to wrestle with on top of their existing processes. As the process takes on new life and many more drivers take the wheel, it can be difficult to accurately record feedback and capture a universal means of evaluating candidates, thereby increasing the workload on an already stretched-thin HR department.

Consider the way the process breaks down:

collaborative hiring = 1 position x 100 applications x 4 people to review

How is each comment quantified and recorded for each application?

How do HR teams determine agreement among the groups of employees involved in the hiring process in order to move forward with a smaller pool of candidates?

For many HR departments in colleges and universities and private companies alike, there are limited resources to deploy but countless departments to serve. The task can be quite cumbersome — but shouldn’t all HR departments, regardless of budget or size, be able to tap into the benefits of the collaborative approach without the burden?

That’s where technology helps HR departments streamline and get the best value out of collaborative hiring without the added stacks of paperwork and cumbersome tracking. Applicant tracking software can increase productivity for these activities and help HR departments find talented employees who embody the right values and meet the required criteria.

The Key to Gaining the Full Benefit of Collaborative Hiring

What to look for in a Technology Tool:

    1. Control the Process from Posting to Onboarding: The right tool provides the ability to manage the entire process more efficiently, reducing the paperwork from the beginning all the way through onboarding and all the communication from all the parties involved in the stages in between.
    2. Manage Communication in a Single Interface: There has to be a central repository that captures communication and allows HR to keep all new hires in one place so you know where everyone stands at a single glance. The interface can also capture notes from all stakeholders involved in the process so information can be easily shared among them.
    3. Score Applications: Modern tools provide teams with the ability to create custom scoring systems to unify the review process with a common language — making it less subjective.
    4. Applicant Tracking: Determining where a candidate is in the process can be difficult, particularly with so many people involved. Applicant tracking tools enable HR teams to move each applicant through the process, one step at a time and always know where they are, where they’ve been and what’s left to do.


The Results

Customers who use these tools in a collaborative process have been able to reduce the average hiring time by two to three months and on the front end save up to four hours posting each position. 

In the end, the collaborative process has a positive impact on the quality of new hires and the overall experience for existing and prospective employees. Likewise, it’s important to listen to HR experts who have designed and developed these robust tools to manage all the moving parts in the process and reduce the burden on HR teams. Applicant tracking tools are surprisingly cost-effective, some starting at $99/month with user interfaces that require minimal training time to be up and running.  With this in place, HR gains much-needed administrative support without a significant time investment and can get out of the Catch-22 cycle and go back to being the hero. 

Faith Bliga has nearly 30 years of experience in recruiting management. She successfully designed and implemented comprehensive recruiting and training programs for technical, engineering and scientific consulting firms. Faith is the National Account Manager for ApplicantStack, a web-based applicant tracking system.

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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