Who to Include in the Hiring Process?

When identifying a hiring need in your company, one of the first steps should be to research and decide who needs to be involved in the process. From completing a job assessment to putting together a spec and planning interviews, it’s key to examine where the role sits within the organisation, and thus who will be impacted by the hire, in order to ensure that all the relevant stakeholders are included (to a greater or lesser extent) in the process. Too many times, a key person in the hire is unintentionally left out, so below we’ve compiled a general list of who might ordinarily need to have input into the hire.
The outgoing person
In an ideal world obviously, as not everyone is leaving on good terms. Where possible though, for a role that needs to be backfilled, the outgoing person (whether they’re moving on to another opportunity, or being promoted) is often the best person to give a real insight into the role. Most specs kept on file by the company are a very general, cookie-cutter version with little insight into what a typical day looks like, complete with idiosyncrasies of the role that only the outgoing employee would know. This can take the form of a structured exit interview, or a more general chat about their duties, but most people are happy to contribute to finding a great replacement for them. If the person is staying long enough that they can interview their replacement, all the better!

The board
This won’t apply to every company, but occasionally the HR and internal teams jump the gun and begin recruiting for a position before getting proper sign off from the board, leading to an unnecessarily long and stalled process. Especially at upper levels, it’s important to ensure that everyone is invested in the hire. To prevent disappointment on both the part of potential candidates and internal stakeholders, no recruitment activity should take place until everyone is happy to progress.

Manager or team lead
An obvious one, but sometimes overlooked if the initial requirement comes from HR. Especially for new roles, it’s essential to identify who the person will be reporting into, and make sure to get their approval on all specs and ascertain that they’re available for interviewing. They should also have sign off on all specs, just in case they need to add duties or aspects of the role that may have been missed by other stakeholders.

Human Resources or Personnel
While they may not have as strong an insight into the role as those who will be working closely alongside the hire, HR do often hold the purse strings as it were, and usually have final sign off. It can be frustrating for everybody involved when a great candidate has been identified and interviewed , and everyone is happy to bring them on board, but HR are standing in the way. To avoid disappointment and losing great candidates, it’s key to ensure that sign off is there before starting the process. HR are often the final word on budget for recruitment activities too, including advertising budget and whether it’s possibly to go to external agencies for help. In addition they’re a great resource for understanding the details about acceptable wording used in specs or job ads, and on the overall organisation structure.
A group that is often neglected during the hiring process, but can be key for decision-making, especially in an organisation where personality and team fit is an essential aspect of recruiting for the right person. Where possible, it’s a good idea to include one or two people from the team (that the potential hire will be working alongside) in the latter stages of interview, if only from an observation point of view. Team peers can also be a great resource if you’re trying to sell the role to a great candidate, by answering questions about whether they like working there, what the team dynamic is like and what a day-to-day would look like.

Before even compiling the spec, or deciding what form the interview and on-boarding process will ultimately take, the first step in all good organisations should be to examine the network that the new hire will be walking into. Something as simple as a visual where the new hire is at the centre, with everyone who will be involved in the recruitment listed around can be a great help to get your thoughts in order. Getting everyone relevant involved in the process early on will mean fewer headaches as you get closer to a hire, and a smoother on-boarding for your great new person.

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