Last night’s BBC2 programme Who’s the Boss featured a long-established chocolatier in their quest to recruit a Business Development Manager to take their company forward.
The apparently revolutionary part of the process (and the basis of the show) was that the decision on who to recruit was being made by the company workforce, not the boss – in a process known as Collaborative Hiring.
The programme showed three candidates and their journey over a few days spending time in various parts of the business, working alongside everyone and rising (or not!) to the challenges their potential colleagues had set.
I won’t spoil the programme by talking about the specifics, but suffice to say each candidate had some highs and some tragic lows. It was interesting to understand the criteria that ‘the workforce’ use to form their decision. In one episode, a member of staff joked (?) that she would “choose the best looking”. In this episode, it was clear that everyone had the interests of the business at heart. But it raises the question that in a truly collaborative hire situation, how does someone’s ‘work experience’ fare against someone else’s ‘recruitment experience’? How much are we influenced by the opinions of our peers? And of course, the elephant in the room - how many people would have reservations about recruiting someone better than themselves? When does our natural self-preservation instinct kick in?
It remains to be seen how well the process works for the three companies and their new hires in the series – let’s hope the experiment succeeds for everyone. One thing is certain: truly collaborative hiring is unlikely to spread much further than silicon valley – but its premise and intentions are valid. Which is why thousands of companies are ALREADY using collaborative measures every day when they work with a recruitment consultant. They are looking to YOU to provide an opinion, insight and point out any dangers.
Hiring managers aren’t looking for you to provide a bottomless talent pool or simply be a filter “so I don’t have to read loads of CVs”. You have an opportunity to provide valuable insight into the character of the individual and why, in addition to qualifications or experience, they would be a great cultural fit.
Use your understanding of how your candidates operate. Do they seem organised? Do they return calls and keep promises? Are they fun? Intense? Relaxed? How do they come across to others?
Record this profile information in your CRM. This valuable insight for your client will add value and could guarantee a hire.