Strength in numbers

There is strength in numbers, and that’s especially true when you get your staff involved in hiring decisions that affect their departments.

Admittedly, it’s not always possible to involve everyone in personnel moves. But when hiring for a specific department, soliciting input from the employees your new hire will be working with before making a job offer can be advantageous.

Not only will you quickly discover if there are personality conflicts between your prospective hire and your existing team members, you’ll also build immeasurable goodwill by bringing your staff into the hiring process and having them help pick their new team member.

Here are a few suggestions for the process.

  •  Share resumes with department members. After you’ve settled on a manageable number of resumes to consider, let your staff see what you’re looking at. You may have preconceived notions of what you want in a new hire, but the people in the trenches who do the work every day may recognize a necessary trait or two that you have overlooked.
  • Have prospects meet key staff members as part of the interview process. A job interview may be applicants’ best showing with you because that’s who they are prepared to meet, but they may be more open with your staff. This is a good opportunity for your employees to achieve a better sense of who these applicants are and whether they want to work with them.
  • Solicit employees’ opinions of final candidates. Gather your key team members together and discuss each of the applicants they’ve met. Ask what they liked about each and, just as important, what they didn’t like. This is can an eye-opening experience.
  •  In the end, the decision rests solely with you. Consider what your staff members say as valuable information to consider — along with other factors such as the candidate’s resume, interview and references.

Remember, your new employee isn’t just another report, he or she is also a new colleague for your existing team. If a cohesive team whose whole is stronger than the individual parts is your goal, it’s up to you to ensure that your new employee doesn’t become just another number.