Should You Consider Collaborative Hiring? Ryan Ayers

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In a leadership role, the responsibility of vetting and choosing new hires will more often than not fall on your shoulders. While that allows you to have a huge amount of control over who joins your team, it’s also a huge responsibility. A bad hiring decision can cost a company big. How much? That’s not always clear. There is an immense range of estimates in the figures experts say are the real costs of hiring and onboarding an employee—costs that are for nothing should an employee resign or be fired quickly. All agree, however, that turnover is costly. In one eye-opening example, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, has an idea of how much bad hires have cost his company: over $100 million over the years. Not only are bad hires expensive, they can also have a negative impact on morale, engagement, innovation and productivity.

So how to minimize these costs? Could it be that bringing other people in on the hiring decisions (your employees) could help reduce turnover rates, save money, and improve the team overall? If you’ve ever considered collaborative hiring, here’s what you need to know.

Collaborative Hiring: The Benefits

There’s a lot to like about collaborative hiring. Many job seekers have noted a positive experience when the team is involved in the hiring process. First, who knows what it’s like to do their jobs than your team members? Sure, you may lead or manage your team, but they’re in the thick of everyday work, and know what it takes to get the job done. This not only helps you get to know the candidates, it helps candidates see what it’s really like to work at your organization on all levels.

In addition to knowing the company and culture on a different level than you, your employees will only give the thumbs up to people they can see liking and getting along with. Culture fit is so immensely important, especially when you’re trying to build an innovative company. Sure, you team members don’t all need to be best friends with one another, but they’ll need to get along for teamwork and collaboration to happen.

Potential Challenges

One notable feature of collaborative hiring is having multiple opinions and point of view on your side as you make hiring decisions. This can both work for you…and against you. Not everyone is going to have the same opinion, and if your team members disagree during the hiring process, you may need to be the mediator. Additionally, depending on your existing team, collaborative hiring could help improve overall diversity—but it could also curtail diversity efforts. Most companies now realize how crucial diversity is to growth and employee satisfaction, but it takes concentrated effort to build a diverse team. Currently, only 27.3% of American companies have diversity plans, and incorporating a diversity initiative into a collaborative hiring plan is another layer that needs to be considered.

There are many different variables in the success of collaborative hiring depending on the personalities and backgrounds of your team members. There are also logistical challenges that come up with collaborative hiring—how will you design the interview process? Will the candidates be interviewed by several people at once? One at a time? Will each person ask standard questions? Some companies have taken a more hands-on approach to solve this problem, with Pret A Manger candidates experience a day in the store, and have the employees rate them afterward.

Tips for Making Collaborative Hiring Work

If you’re interested in the potential of collaborative hiring, then you might be wondering how best to incorporate the practice in your office. Employees are often suspicious of change, and they might not know how to participate in this new initiative. Fortunately, there are small ways to get started so you can ease into collaborative hiring and see if it will work for you.

First, ask your employees to think about their own personal network. Do they have friends and acquaintances who might be a good fit? We all have more people in our network than we think, and it’s a great way to find high-quality candidates. Next, think about assembling a hiring team. You don’t have to get everyone involved, especially if you have a large team. Being part of the hiring process will appeal to some more than others, and will suit some more than others. You should offer training to this group, since some of them will likely never have interviewed before. Don’t forget—make the process fun. You can even have the team write your job descriptions!

Should you consider collaborative hiring? It’s up to you, but if the high costs of employee turnover have you worried, it might be worth a shot.

From Failure to Fruition: A Guide to Maintaining a Leadership Role – Brooke Faulkner

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If you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with a true leader, then you know just how imperative this role is when striving toward a common goal. Leaders have the ability to spring a job into full gear by providing critical feedback to their team in a timely matter and remaining organized throughout the process. But leaders also have the ability to derail a project should they approach their team with anything less than expertise and respect.

How to Be Sure Your Leadership Skills Are Doing the Trick

As you know, leadership can come in many forms. Leaders can be quiet from a distance, leaders can scream in your face, and leaders can work closely alongside you. But what type of leadership works the best? Perhaps that isn’t for me to say, but I’m sure we can all agree that leaders need to possess an array of skills that allow them to be both empathetic to their team and effective in their field. Not only must they emphasize these skills, they must also work earnestly to improve them in order to maintain a consistent air of authority.

Knowledge

Seems fairly obvious, but every leader must possess the knowledge and skills associated with success in their given field, no matter what the field is. In order to be sure you possess an effective amount of knowledge, take on the mindset of a beginner. Imagine you know little about your field and actively work toward expanding your proficiency through research, conferences, trial runs and field studies. Again, this is just a mindset. Don’t approach a team member and tell them you don’t know anything, but remain humble to the opportunity for further training and growth wherever you can get it.

Build on Confidence

And this doesn’t mean just for yourself. This means for your entire team. Whether you have four people working for you or 40, every member of that team is crucial in the achievement of a goal and the success of the group. Rather than holding weekly performance reviews to remind your employees where they can improve, try focusing on the areas where they have shown immense value. Work on building the pre-existing positive traits throughout your company, instead of attempting to build a foundation for culture out of all the things you lack. It is important to think of your team members as wheels in a cog. If one wheel stops functioning due to failed tactics, the entire machine stops. Failure, or areas where you can vastly improve should be treated like oil. When applied carefully, the machine will run smoothly and with little error.

Know WHEN to Change Tactics

In other words, evaluate your approach to leading a group. Be open to constant change. If one method doesn’t seem to bring you closer to a goal, don’t be afraid to utilize a secondary strategy. How can you tell when a change is needed? Evaluate your team progress. Have you moved further in the last week than the previous week? Have you met your goals or exceeded your goals? Should you find yourself unsatisfied with the answer, employ a new tactic. Your team will appreciate the fresh air.

Being a leader is about so much more than bossing people around. Leading a group comes with its own set of challenges — some easy and some more difficult. The most important thing to remember about being a leader is the inevitability of change. Geography changes, topography changes, and one day leadership, too, will change. An effective leader will remain an effective leader so long as they bend with the times and continuously upgrade their current thinking to match the growth and expansion of the world around them.

Brooke Faulkner is a full-time writer and full-time mom of two.

She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader, and dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons creativity enough that she’ll get more than groans and eye rolls in response.

To read more of her work, follow her on Twitter @faulknercreek