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Collaborative hiring is a massive shift away from top-down, manager/partner led recruitment. Firms of all shapes and sizes are following the trend and have turned to ‘collaboration’ when looking to grow their work force for a variety of reasons. Joanne Lack, manager at BCL Legal, discusses the pro’s (and con’s) of such a model.
• Diverse opinions minimise mistakes – by involving a number of people at a number of stages, you’ll get a more detailed picture and assessment of each candidate, resulting in an easier decision-making process and a better ‘fit’ in terms of experience and personality. Not only with the successful candidate have the experience and skill set required but they will also be someone the team can work with
• Showing off team members is a major selling point – by meeting the team right from the start, they will see how great and enthusiastic the team is that they could join, creating greater ‘buy-in’. They are also the ones in the job doing the job, so are the best ‘advert’ for the role and will be best at handling role related questions
• Fewer disgruntled hires – by the time the candidate starts the job, they will have met numerous people on numerous occasions so will have a high level of understanding of the role and the team which almost eradicates candidates feeling the role, in reality, is not as described
• Greater employee ‘buy-in’. Basically this means employees involved in the hiring process feel significantly more involved and appreciated, that their opinion matters. Resentment can sometimes raise it’s ugly head if a new person is thrust upon a close knit team
• Shorter learning curve – the team will have ‘bought’ into the person joining from the outset easing the transition from ‘new person’ to valued team member
• Increasing employee retention – employees will be ‘selling’ the firm during the interview process and will be highlighting the virtues of the firm, reminding themselves of how great their firm is
• Timeframes can be lengthy. By involving a number of people in the hiring process and navigating their diary commitments, you can literally be adding weeks on to the recruitment timeframe. In a competitive marketplace, you don’t have the luxury of a 2 or 3 week interview process. You can mitigate against these losses by scheduling multiple interviews/stages on the same day
• Interviews may lack structure if conducted by team members who are inexperienced when it comes to recruitment. They may not know the job requirements or could ask illegal questions or go totally off-piste. In order to avoid this pitfall, always work through a number of pre-determined competency based questions
• Employees involved in the collaborative hiring process need to be trusted and present a positive representation of the firm. Teammates who are under performing or insecure may ‘under-hire’ and recommend weaker/less qualified candidates. By involving a number of people in the process, there is little chance of this occurring
• Dip in productivity of employees involved. It can be time consuming but in the long run should lead to greater productivity in a shorter time frame
• Confidentiality in terms of salary packages, reason for leaving, reason for hiring etc. These topics can be contentious and therefore need to be discussed at an appropriate time and only with the manager
• Ignoring feedback of those involved could result in disgruntled employees feeling their opinion doesn’t count and feel the collaborative hiring process has been a waste of their time
More and more companies are embracing the collaborative hiring model. BCL Legal not only recommend it to law firms but we use it too when looking to recruit consultants into our teams across the offices, with a massive amount of success. I am a strong advocate. In my opinion, the extra time and resources are well worth it, and typically produce a far more successful outcome than the manager led recruitment of old.
Joanne Lack is the manager of the residential property team at BCL Legal’s Birmingham office and has extensive recruitment experience. For further information on collaborative hiring or to discuss your recruitment needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0121 237 5610.