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3 Top Qualities of Collaborative Recruiting Processes

In Hiring Strategy — by Erin Engstrom

collaborative-recruiting-processesWhen it comes to staffing, one bad hire is expensive. In fact, 41 percent of respondents reported that it costs more than $25,000; another 25 percent said it exceeds $50,000. Traditionally, hiring has been handled almost exclusively by the HR and recruiting departments. Department leads get involved only at the end of the process. But this siloed approach isn’t the only way to hire, and often isn’t very effective. A more collaborative recruiting process may very well be the key to your hiring woes.

Assigning and Delegating

Candidates’ resumes reflect the growing diversity in the talent pool’s education and skill sets. Still, the national turnover average hovers around 46 percent, suggesting that simply identifying qualifications on paper does not equal a great hire. Personality that mixes well with corporate values and your existing team can be just as important to the success of a candidate. Collaborative recruiting creates an opportunity for team members to take part in the hiring of new employees. “Too many cooks in the kitchen” is a valid concern, and you don’t you certainly don’t want to add too many steps to your hiring process. But inviting a few key employees with strong knowledge of the position to participate could slow a speedy turnover rate.

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Collaborative recruiting demands a thorough strategy. Before posting a job, determine which members of the department are most familiar with the position and team culture. Bring in the key individuals, create tasks that should be upheld throughout and assign the different stages to each member. When an applicant comes through, each person will have a clear idea of what their responsibility is to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.


Staying organized in human resources and recruiting can be difficult. Often, the fast pace and necessary multitasking makes it difficult to keep track of all candidate information. Of course, what works for one person may not work for the next. While the head of HR might need a paper calendar with different colored ink pens, a recruiter might be more accustomed to a digital one that can be accessed via mobile.

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This can pose a challenge when it comes to collaborative recruiting, where quite a few documents need to be organized and tools need to be simple, accessible and understood by those involved. Whether your candidates are coming from job postings, a career site or referrals, all should end in the same place. A digital system with cloud-based backup and accessibility is a great idea, as it allows collaborators to easily upload documents, edit information and review files.

Communication and Feedback

Communication and teamwork is important to the collaborative recruiting environment and is the biggest step in creating a successful process. Employees value these aspects in the workplace, too: 39 percent of surveyed employees worldwide say there just isn’t enough collaboration in their organization.  Workers are willing to learn how to cooperate with each other to build a better company. When it comes to hiring a new team member, there is no denying effective communication and collaboration skills are necessary.

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When an applicant fits the basic needs of a position, the recruiter passes on the information to HR for next steps. In this part of the process, include department contacts so they can offer feedback. Encourage those individuals to discuss positives of the resume as well as the negatives. When candidates are selected for interviews, schedule so the department leads can at least introduce themselves. That way, no single person’s first impression is the only impression. Johanna Rothman (@Johanna Rothman), of Rothman Consulting Group, Inc., says:

“We often think about this laundry list of technical skills that we need, but it turns out that our ability to collaborate with each other or to problem- solve together or alone … are the things that really matter when you’re thinking about what kind of a person we need and when we need them.”

Organizations that strive to learn effective communication are nearly five times as likely to retain the best employees. If the human resources and recruiting departments are the only ones touching the hiring process, you could very well be exposing yourself to avoidable challenges. Collaborative recruiting processes creates a system of checks and balances, mitigates individual burnout, ensures company culture is equally represented and reduces the chance of bias.

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