Main image of article Your Secret Weapon in the War for Talent: Engaged Hiring Teams
[caption id="attachment_145219" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Code Review Code Review[/caption] Note: This is the fourth article in a series highlighting best practices to optimize your tech hiring for quality and speed. In this post, we cover how to get your hiring teams to own the hiring process in order to drive great hiring decisions. Once you’re done, check out series articles 1, 2, and 3. As a talent leader, you know this much is true: you can source the best candidates on earth, build the most amazing employment brand, offer the best compensation packages and hire the best recruiters, but if your hiring teams aren’t engaged, you probably won’t score world-class talent. If you want to change this reality, it’s going to take more than sending out a memo to your hiring teams with interviewing tips and process points. “I haven’t seen a lot of success with that sort of ‘push’ model,” said John Vlastelica, Founder and Managing Director of Recruiting Toolbox, a training and consulting firm that helps thousands of recruiters and hiring managers work smarter. “What does seem to work is being great at diagnosing where the pain points are for your engineering teams and designing programs to fix those issues. Then you have more of a ‘pull’ model, where the business is actually coming to you and asking for help.”

Find Out Where It Hurts

In Dice’s eBook Raising the Bar on Tech Talent: A Leader’s Guide to Improving Your Hiring Process, John says that top pain points for the business are often speed and quality of hire. These are the issues that your teams care most about, so if you suggest strategies to help them hire better people faster, they’ll be all in. For instance, to tackle the speed-of-hire issue, start with a specific question like: “Would you like to hear what the hiring managers who are able to hire their engineers 20 days faster, without sacrificing quality, do differently?” Then frame your solution around how they can achieve those results as well. This focus on particular and personal pain is much more effective than focusing on more generic ideas such as best practices, compliance, and so on. To break a cycle of low-quality hiring, think about boosting engagement of your teams with a more collaborative hiring process. By adding more voices and input to your interview process, you get a higher level of employee involvement, stronger employee buy-in and more nuanced assessment of potential candidates. Shifting away from hiring manager decision-making and toward an employee participation model improves the quality of hires in a number of additional ways. More diversity of viewpoints reduces the chances of a bad hire. Plus, your employees’ interactions with candidates can effectively communicate a strong employer brand and culture, and direct employee involvement in hiring creates an atmosphere of onboarding ownership where employees actively engage to train and support the new person in their role.

Create a Recruiting Culture

When an organization makes recruiting a foundation of company culture, great things happen. Hiring teams that understand how vital interviewing is to their company’s success will prepare more thoroughly for interviews, gather more extensive feedback on candidates, and share that feedback faster. But how can you drive this kind of behavior change? Salesforce is a great example of a company that makes recruiting an integral part of its culture. A huge emphasis is placed on up-skilling hiring managers to effectively interview candidates; the result is one of the best hiring and onboarding processes in the industry. Part of Salesforce’s training teaches hiring managers to incorporate unusual questions that they were asked when they were interviewing with Salesforce, and to structure interviews to maximize candidate input. In fact, interviewers strive for 80 percent of the interview to be comprised of candidate input. Not surprisingly, hiring managers are also coached to incorporate successful collaborative interviewing techniques into their process, putting people on the interviewing team who know the position best, have previous interviewing experience, and provide diverse perspectives on the role. Once your business teams begin to own issues around recruitment, support them during the hiring process, and think about designing a system that publicly rewards engagement and quality hires. John Vlastelica suggests coaching your interviewers by reviewing their feedback and looking for ways to provide evidence to support or discourage hiring based on specific hiring criteria. Also, consider providing your team with data insights to drive better hiring decisions. For instance, what are their phone screen-to-interview, interview-to-offer, and offer-to-hire ratios, and how do they compare to company goals, other internal teams, and external benchmarks? Based on this data, you can decide with your executive team if you’d like to reward high-performing teams, and provide possible consequences for those teams that aren’t actively engaging.

Hold Everyone Accountable

Creating a hiring process where everyone – not just recruiters – feels accountability to hire top talent doesn’t happen by accident. It takes leadership – from HR, from business executives, and from hiring teams. “There is no silver bullet in hiring, but what comes closest is hiring manager ownership and engagement,” said Danielle Monaghan, Head of Talent Acquisition at Amazon. “When you have smart, invested and calibrated recruiting and business leaders coming together to make the best hiring decision for the company, you rarely go wrong.” Learn more about how to engage your organization in recruiting by downloading Raising the Bar on Tech Talent: A Leader’s Guide to Improving Your Hiring Process.