How to hire collaboratively – even remote

Hire like bees, not jaguars!

Would you associate yourself rather with a tiny, noisy insect or with an elegant predator patrolling the Latin-American forests? Unfortunately, the less sexy option applies. The reason why is exciting though: just like bees, humans are social animals, unlike the extremely anti-social jaguar species. It is therefore a characteristic of humans to live in societies. Within these societies we then gather into organisations. The actual definition of an organisation is, according to the Cambridge Dictionary (2020): “a group of people who work together in an organised way for a shared purpose”, for instance a company. This means that employees are as bee as can be: driven by their social instinct they work together with other employees to reach a collective goal. So, if teamwork is such an important element of any job, why are most team members excluded from the hiring process? They are, in the end, the ones that have to collaborate with the new bees.

The answer to this question is actually quite obvious. Doing every job interview with the entire (sub)team would normally already have been a logistic nightmare for your company and a chaotic experience for your candidates. But today, when remote recruitment is the only option, it is even impossible to physically involve the team. Yet, it is tricky to only involve the recruiter and hiring manager. Apart from the collaboration aspect, it is also the team that knows the actual job and its tasks the best and could therefore deliver valuable input in the selection process. Fortunately, the concept of collaborative hiring, also known as team-based hiring, is getting more popular. As mentioned by Vanderbloemen (2016) in Forbes Magzine, the smartest leaders use teams in the interview process, populated by both members above and below the candidate on the organisational chart.

But how can you apply this team-based approach without the logistical hassle and chaotic interview processes, or when it is not possible to meet on-site? Well, this is where technology comes in. Video interview technology to be specific. It allows entire teams to review candidates using an evaluation method selected by HR, giving recruiters and hiring managers a clear overview and average score for every candidate. Whether it is a synchronous or asynchronous video interview, everyone involved has the ability to rate individual answers and to give an overall impression.
But there’s more to collaborative hiring than involving the team in the interview process. Remember that your candidates are also bees (and not jaguars), so they too would like to know with who they are expected to cooperate intensively. Vanderbloemen (2016) again fairly mentions: “The team around you is what makes up your company, and they can be great salespeople to new hires for your company.” A traditional job description, however, is limited to qualifications, responsibilities, objectives of the job and general information such as hours and pay ranges. This does make sense though, as a textual job description isn’t ideal for introducing the team.

So, what could be the solution? Well, again technology. Video vacancy technology this time. With the right tool, HR again remains in charge and has the ability to invite team members to introduce themselves and explain their tasks with video. Having a clear format with a call to action to increase conversion, but no need to do any editing, authentic video impressions are no longer limited to professional producers.

Like in many other situations, technology can be, paradoxically, the driver of adding a human touch to a process. In this example, the right tools enable HR professionals to implement a true collaborative hiring method, from attraction and engagement to assessment and selection. Even now, when remote recruitment in the only option.