Should employees be involved in the hiring process?

By December 9, 2022Current
Should employees be involved in the hiring process?

TL;DR – To assess if a candidate will fit well in a team, some employers and hiring managers have involved their employees in interviews with potential candidates. Do you think this is a good approach?

The hiring decision typically falls on the employer or hiring manager. The pressure of making good judgement and hiring the right candidate is especially high for small and growing businesses. There is little margin for error as the cost of a bad hire could financially hurt the company. Let’s explore the tradeoffs of involving employees in the hiring process.

Pros

1. It allows candidates to evaluate the opportunity better

By having employees join in the interview, candidates will have a glimpse of the culture and the personalities of the people they would be working with. This will help them assess whether the company and culture would be a good fit for them.

2. It alleviates the pressure of hiring on the employer/ hiring manager

When their team members are in the interview, the pressure of decision making is not solely on employers and hiring managers. They would also be able to access the questions and responses exchanged between their subordinates and the candidate. When the chemistry between employees and the candidate is good, the likelihood of candidates accepting the job is higher. Furthermore, such hires tend to stay longer in the company.

3. It fosters more accountability

Every company’s culture upholds their unique set of values or traits that they look for in a candidate. Involving employees in the interview process will amplify the company’s culture and they would be able to identify if the candidate would be a good fit.

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Employees could also be more aware of the skills and experience required for the role. Involving them would serve a culture of accountability because they are clear of each of their roles and how they can contribute to the team.

Cons

1. Invites room for biased opinions

Being human, there is bound to be some biases in our interview process. This could cloud our judgment in objectively choosing the right candidate.

Preconceived perceptions and stereotypes can be formed consciously or unconsciously based on the candidates’ appearance, body language and responses to the interview questions. Simple signals like a weak handshake or lack of eye contact could send negative impressions of the candidate despite their qualifications.

Biasness can also cause interviewers to bring more emphasis to one criteria requirement for the role and if a candidate fulfills this criterion, they would be in favour of hiring this candidate and strike out the others.

2. Could potentially cultivate a “superiority complex” based on seniority

Having an existing employee who is more junior than the potential candidate join in the interview could deter the candidate from accepting the job. This is especially true if the junior employee asks inappropriate questions because of the lack of experience and exposure.

Junior employees may subconsciously cultivate an unhealthy superiority complex based on their length of service in the company. They could feel arrogant about their seniority because they have a say in the hiring process.

3. End up hiring someone that is underqualified

It is natural to fear being outperformed by a new employee. New hires could be more capable and well-liked by other employees. When an employee is too used to having the limelight and praises, they could feel threatened that the limelight will be shared or worse, be taken away from them. They might even fear losing their jobs.

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Because of their fears, they might convince their employers or hiring managers to hire someone that could be less qualified.

Let’s face it. Work is often more about the people than the work. People are the reason why we leave a job – office politics, a bad boss or difficult colleagues. It is important for new hires to gel well with employees within the team and internal stakeholders.

With the pros and cons in mind, employers and hiring managers should monitor their hiring processes closely or risk having a missed opportunities in hiring a suitable candidate.

While this approach is not widely practiced, it is a progressive hiring process. Do you think this approach works? Let us know what you think.

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Nicole Lim

Author Nicole Lim

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