Assembling hiring teams is a growing trend among many of the world’s largest companies today. They offer unique benefits for companies, allowing them to hire talent by committee rather than based on individual preference or, potentially, bias. This helps to ensure that new hires are good cultural fits and will mesh well with their future teams.
But, hiring teams bring with them their own set of obstacles to overcome. Most notably, effective hiring team communication can often be an issue among companies just starting out with this framework.
Hiring team communication is critical to success when recruiting collaboratively. To be successful, many companies rely on common frameworks and processes unique to them to get the job done.
In this article, we’re going to look at five companies that use hiring teams as part of their recruitment strategy and examine the philosophies and processes that make them work.
But first, let’s look at some common tips for creating and maintaining effective hiring team communication.
Tips for managing hiring team communication
Like with any internal communication strategies, no company’s framework will be the same as another’s.
You need to figure out what works and what doesn’t for your organization and hiring teams and create a process that you can rely on going forward.
Here are some tips that your hiring teams can use to maintain effective communication:
1. Make the effort.
This may seem blunt but, in many cases, poor communication comes down to a lack of effort.
Hiring teams are made up of people from different parts of the company. They’re not going to necessarily communicate the same way you do, understand the industry-specific terms that you do, or work in the same way as your direct colleagues.
In these cases, it’s important to maintain an open dialogue with everyone on the team to ensure that they’re clear on what is required, and what the goals are. That takes effort, and it takes commitment from everyone on the hiring team.
2. Don’t rely on email.
Often, hiring teams will use email as a stand-in for real communication. This can create passive engagement and shallower collaboration between team members.
Instead, make an effort to meet with your hiring team face-to-face or on the phone. This will help you create a rapport with your hiring teammates that will serve you well in the long run.
This type of personal communication is also known to enable more effective and creative problem-solving.
3. Don’t over-communicate.
Prioritizing what is important to your team, and only communicating when it’s necessary and valid, will help to avoid oversaturation of information.
Know what type of information is relevant to each member of your hiring team, and share that information when it’s needed.
4. Encourage open feedback.
Hiring teams, like any other project group, are works in progress. They’re not going to be perfect out of the gate.
To ensure that your team is able to identify shortcomings and address them efficiently, it’s important to establish an open feedback policy at kick-off.
This means that everyone on the team, regardless of role, is encouraged to provide feedback on what’s working, and what isn’t.
5. Use the right communication tools.
Email might seem like the easiest way to communicate with colleagues, but it’s very difficult to get full collaboration amongst a team.
Now that we’ve covered some tips for how to communicate effectively, let’s look at some examples of companies that rely on hiring teams for their recruitment strategies.
5 companies who are nailing hiring team recruitment
Hiring teams and collaborative hiring can take many forms, both conventional and a bit off-the-wall.
Here are five companies that have fully incorporated collaborative recruitment into their hiring strategies.
Facebook, of course, needs no introduction as a company. This social media juggernaut has long been known as a top tech employer around the world, and a haven for high performing workers.
What’s less known about Facebook is their usage of collaborative hiring to build this high-performance workforce. In fact, hiring teams have been a driving force behind Facebook’s growth over the years in Europe and have been integral to helping them find and select top talent.
The Facebook EMEA recruitment team works closely with their individual business units when filling positions, and stack their hiring squads with program managers, recruiters, coordinators, and sources for each new requisition.
Additionally, Julie Zhuo, Head of Design at Facebook, has created a hiring framework where candidates work with several other designers during the hiring process. This helps to evaluate team dynamic and social interaction amongst candidates. Then, those candidates are encouraged to evaluate and critique each other’s work, which helps to identify how well they’re likely to work together.
Google, another company who needs no introduction, takes a more traditional approach to hiring by committee.
Candidates go through a series of interviews that include meeting their future boss, somebody who would work them, and somebody with no connection to the job. This creates a full, 360-degree interview experience that allows Google’s hiring team to evaluate the candidate outside of one person’s perspective.
“This sends a strong signal to candidates about Google being non-hierarchical, and it also helps to prevent cronyism, where managers hire their old buddies for their new teams,” explains Laszlo Bock, Google’s former SVP of People Operations.
Apple is a well-known pioneer in the field of collaborative hiring. Steve Jobs famously once said: “When we hire someone, even if they are going to be in marketing, I will have them talk to the design folks and engineers.”
His reasoning? This type of cross-functional hiring and communication leads to a consensus across all departments when hiring a new employee, rather than relying on the opinion of someone who is close to the position.
This philosophy has become a mainstream technique that many hiring teams use around the world. The idea is that, as you get more people with different perspectives involved in the hiring process, the better idea you’ll have about whether or not that person is truly a good fit for the company.
Zappos is a perfect example of a company that goes to great lengths to ensure that they hire candidates that are a perfect cultural fit, and they do so by leaning on their entire workforce to make that decision.
To give you an idea of how committed Zappos is to cultural fit, they actually offer new hires $3,000 to leave the company at the end of their training. This helps to ensure that only the most dedicated people stay on long term.
To screen potential candidates, Zappos begins by using hiring teams to stage collaborative interviews to gauge general qualifications. If they make the cut, candidates are invited for a “social” test, where they visit the company campus, sit in on meetings and lunches, and attend after-hours events.
All of this is designed to see how the candidate interacts with their future colleagues. If the Zappos team likes what they see, that person is chosen as the new hire.
5. Menlo Innovations
Menlo Innovations is a software development company that does things a little differently with their workforce. Instead of the near-unanimous style of work where everyone gets their own computer, Menlo programmers are teamed up in pairs on one workstation. This unique style of working requires a high level of collaboration, and it’s something they test for extensively when screening new hires.
During the interview process, candidates are given a work environment simulation that requires them to work in pairs for 20 minutes, before switching to a new partner. They’re asked to complete a task collaboratively with each teammate throughout the process.
As the test unfolds, a hiring team composed of future co-workers observes these interactions and results. This team then comes to a hiring decision by committee. In the end, the rank-and-file teammates are who make the ultimate hiring decision, rather than the managers.
As you can see, hiring teams come in many shapes and sizes. No one style of collaborative hiring fits all. Developing effective hiring teams at your company requires trial and error, and active, open communication.
When done right, hiring teams have the potential to dramatically transform how you recruit, and how your company thinks about talent.