April 4, 2022

Hiring Managers, Recruiters & Employees: Why We All Need to Make Collaborative Hiring a Reality

recruiter vs hiring manager

Hiring might be the highest risk, highest reward activity in the entire business world. After all, the decisions you make in hiring could impact every single thing you do as a business, from the way you design your products and services, to the way you serve your clients. 

But unlike marketing, sales, or customer support, it’s not always easy to track how you’re doing when it comes to hiring, and the consequences of getting it wrong could be costly.

On the other hand, if you get it right, you could end up with the next business supernova on your team. But let’s not forget, today’s top talent has more leverage than ever before. It’s going to take an all-hands-on-deck effort to bring your best candidates from application to onboarding. 

In this article, we’ll explore the ways hiring managers, recruiters and even your existing employees can come together to collectively elevate your recruitment strategy and secure better hires, faster.

It takes a team to build a team

  • What is collaborative hiring?
  • Why is team-based hiring important for job candidates?
  • From recruiters to hiring managers: Who’s involved in collaborative hiring?
  • How to start hiring collaboratively

What is collaborative hiring? 

Would you trust one of your biggest business decisions to a single, burned-out HR professional?

In hiring, if you make a bad call based on “good feelings”, you could end up with thousands of dollars lost to blind spots like hiring bias, poor onboarding, and messy hire-to-fire recruitment processes that just don't work for anyone. 

In recent years, forward-thinking SMBs and Silicon Valley startups have been using collaborative (a.k.a. team-based) hiring as a way to cut through the red tape and get a real feel for the actual human person behind the tick-boxes.

With that in mind, collaborative hiring is exactly what you think it is. 

It’s the process of involving not only human resources, the hiring manager and the recruiter, but also your founders, department heads and existing employees in the hiring process to secure the best possible outcome for your team.

Why is team-based hiring important for job candidates?

We all know “hire to fire” is never cool. And for new hires, getting fired from a recently acquired job can feel pretty damaging to the way they view your employer brand.

Same thing goes for the 33% of new hires who quit within the first six months. How can you expect them to stick around, if they had no real idea whether the job offer was truly a fit for them to begin with?

Face it. In most organizations, employees don’t work in a vacuum.

To have any chance of succeeding in their day to day role, they need to be able to connect with, and get buy-in from, other team members and departments. 

A human-first hiring process is one that gives the candidate access to those people and teams so they can see the full picture of what it’s like to work for you.

Ready to wave goodbye to the days of hiring like your hair’s on fire? These 15 Problem-Solving Interview Questions can help you gauge a candidate’s approach to various scenarios and make sure your next hire stays.

The many mutual benefits of collaborative hiring

By introducing candidates to their potential future teammates, they’ve already done that critical (and often painfully awkward) first part of the onboarding process.

But the benefits don’t stop there. 

Team-based hiring also diversifies your workforce by widening the panel of hiring “judges” and putting checks and balances in place to make sure the main manager responsible for hiring doesn't hire a candidate just because they share a love of mountain climbing (or, more often, pass on a candidate with an exceptional skill set who’s less into climbing and more into cooking).

And if increased engagement and a more inclusive hiring process aren’t enough, how about the fact that collaborative hiring gives your business a competitive advantage by leveraging your relationship with your current employees?

Or, in the words of one of HR’s oldest and truest clichés: Your employees are your best salespeople. 😉

From recruiters to hiring managers: Who’s involved in collaborative hiring?

The specifics around who’s cool enough to join the hiring party will vary from company to company.

Generally speaking, collaborative hiring typically involves three different roles: the hiring manager, the recruiter, and your existing employees.

What is a hiring manager? And what role should they play.

Hiring managers usually have a lot on their plate.

These are the people responsible for running the whole hiring show, often in addition to their regular role as team manager or department head.

From determining if there’s an open position to creating a job description and formulating your interview questions, at most growing companies the hiring manager is the ringleader of the hiring circus. 🎪

Here are just some of the tasks the hiring manager is responsible for:

  • Identifying requirements of the open position
  • Getting funding and approval for the hire
  • Crafting the job posting description
  • Managing the hiring team and process
  • Scheduling interviews with candidates
  • Making the final hiring decision

Overwhelmed yet? That’s not all. 

Out of 500 US-based managers surveyed by West Monroe in 2018, 36% spent around 3-4 hours per day on admin tasks (e.g., replying to emails, submitting expense claims and all that other exhilarating stuff). 

Collaborative hiring has the potential to relieve a lot of the pressure hiring managers face and help make better hiring decisions as a group.

What is a recruiter? And where do they come in.

Recruiters are usually external partners a company hires to help them find candidates to fill their open positions.

Although, you might know them as the people blowing up your LinkedIn inbox with promises of fortune, success, and free coffee in the break room. 

But regardless of their reputation, many recruiters really know their stuff. They’ve used every piece of software in the talent acquisition suite and know what a solid hiring process looks like from end-to-end. 

Here are some of the responsibilities a recruiter will take on:

  • Find and attract applicants for open positions
  • Market the job opening
  • Review resumes 
  • Interview candidates
  • Screen your best candidates in
  • Negotiate offers

Truthfully, recruiters get a bad rap. While it’s true that some ethically questionable recruiters have been caught editing resumes and overlooking qualifications, there are also a lot of good apple recruiters out there. 

A partnership with a recruiter who really understands your company and the unique requirements of the role you’re looking for can be a huge asset to the hiring process.

In some cases, your recruiter could even be the reason you land your dream candidate. 🙌🏼

What’s the difference between a hiring manager and a recruiter?

If these two words sound similar, know that you’re not alone in thinking that.

In fact, many people use the terms “recruiter” and “hiring manager” interchangeably during the hiring process — but they’re actually two very different roles.

Basically, a recruiter is responsible for filling the pool of applicants that the hiring manager will later be selecting from. To ensure those applicants are high enough quality, a recruiter is usually the first point of contact for applicants during the hiring process. 

From there, the hiring manager is responsible for vetting the recruiter’s recommendations, and ultimately making decisions. 

Where do your employees come in?

As mentioned, the goal with team-based hiring is to give everyone a real flavor of what it’s like to work together so you can make better hiring decisions (and fewer costly mistakes).

In order for that to happen, your collaborative hiring process should reflect your real-world workflows and culture . And of course, bringing your existing employees into the recruitment fold is the best way to do this. 

Employees are great at proving to candidates that there is zero snake oil involved in your recruitment process .

They can actively demonstrate your culture, point out the hidden positives, offer a more accurate picture of what the job looks like, and in some cases, provide a more well-rounded view on candidates than hiring managers who may not be as deep in the weeds with the tasks included in your open position.  (When performance management hurdles inevitably roll around, you’ll be glad you didn’t skip this step.)

In a collaborative hiring process, employees are invited to sit with the prospect at some point during the interview process and weigh in on the final decision. This has a magnitude of benefits such as employees feeling more engaged and respected, increased team bonding, improving  culture, and reducing turnover rates.

How to start hiring collaboratively

By now, this collaborative hiring stuff probably sounds pretty great. But we have to be honest, it can also be a lot of work.

Under a team-based process, hiring managers reach out to different parts of the company to help with interviews, onboarding and more. 

Depending on your goals, your collaborative hiring process might involve your CEO, a test project or pilot program, some type of informal meet and greet, team voting systems and more. 

There’s no magic formula . No right or wrong way to go about it.

But opening this door does mean you’ll have to engage with (and trust!) your teams more than ever before. You’ll have to get senior leadership to latch on, and you may have to convince managers to let go. 

The good news is, the right applicant tracking system (ATS) can make this a whole lot easier on everyone. 

Breezy helps hiring teams get clear on candidates, interviews and hiring hiccups before an urgent need becomes a regrettable mistake.

Choose an ATS designed with collaboration in mind

Clearly, there’s a lot of moving parts involved in collaborative hiring. And as we’ve learned, hiring managers have incredibly full plates. 

The good news is, there are many non-clunky cloud-based recruiting solutions that can help make it easy to get everyone on the same page.

Here are some of the features to look for to help make team-based hiring easy:

  • Team scorecards
  • Video screening
  • Synchronized team scheduling
  • Structured interview guides
  • Secure group hiring conversations
Assign a hiring team to a position
In Breezy, it’s easy to assign a hiring team to an open position. Once everyone’s in, you can create tasks for members of the hiring team and use simple @ mentions to tag each other on important action items.

Build a high-performance partnership with external recruiters

Recruiters can be a great resource for ensuring that the right candidates make it to the top of your applicant list. But as an external partner, there may be some parts or the process you don’t want them to have access to.

If you'd like your recruiters to be able to submit candidates to positions but not necessarily have access to the full team hiring process, Breezy can help.

Under your position’s settings, you have the option to invite external recruiters without giving them full visibility into every detail around how you run HR. We’ll shoot them an email with instructions on how to add candidates directly to the position and voila!

Once you've got them set up in the system, you can check all the latest stats on your recruiters, including candidate volume and quantity.

You’ll be able to see your:

  • Total recruited candidates
  • Previous total (from whatever timeframe you choose)
  • Percentage of change in total from previous to current
  • Average score per candidate
  • Previous average score
  • Percentage of change in averages scores from previous to current timeframe
Candidate Recruiter section of the Recruited Candidates report
The Recruited Candidates report in Breezy makes it easy to track your success with external recruiters and make sure you have a collaborative process that performs.

Get the team involved

It’s great to have your team’s help in interviewing and reviewing candidates. But if you really want to up the ante, you can also make it possible for your employees to refer candidates. 

Employee referrals are known to be the best source of high quality hires and with a little help from Breezy’s employee portal, you can empower your team to directly refer candidates to open positions. 

From here, your employees will be able to:

  • Use a quick magic link to access the portal
  • Easily browse your open roles
  • Directly enter details for candidates they’re referring
  • Instantly get a sharable referral link to share with their network

Once the referrals start rolling in, you can access a full report of referred candidates. You’ll see which positions gain the most referrals, who’s referring the most qualified candidates (based on your set scoring system), and get the bird’s eye view on what’s happening with your referrals as a whole.

Candidate Volume History section of the Referred Candidate report
With the right employee portal, you can make it easy for employees to send you awesome candidates and track your progress with referred candidates. You can even automate an email to go out to employees each time a new position opens!

Remember this

Collaborative hiring isn’t about adding more people to your interview panel in the name of a glittering HR image. It’s about being more honest with your candidates.

By empowering your top applicants to engage with future teammates, you balance the hiring scales and let candidates judge for themselves whether or not they’ll fit with the culture.

And for so many of today’s job seekers, that’s an experience they’ll never forget.

When you’re ready to attract the best candidates for your team, get started with a free 14-day Breezy trial.