The Importance of Teamwork in Hiring


The recent San Francisco Giants World Series win is a great story of teamwork, communication and determination. To advocate further playoff competition, the MLB decided to add an extra wild card team to the playoffs, making for two teams that would face a single-game elimination before advancing into the Divisional Series. For the second time in baseball history, the two Wild Card teams – the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals – beat the odds and advanced to the World Series. Despite a rocky season and countless team injuries, the Giants persevered through hard work and collective commitment to victory in Game Seven.

The importance of teamwork, communication and the pursuit of a common goal does not only apply to professional athletes; all aspects of your talent acquisition process should be working together toward a single goal: making a hire that will drive success in your organization. The only catch is that, depending on the size of your company and your hiring demands, you could very well have several processes or people within your recruiting function working towards different objectives.

In order to achieve World Series-level success in your hiring efforts, it is important to examine each functional unit of your recruiting process and ensure that all of your resources are playing on the same team, so to speak.

While successful hiring practices may not require you to clock a 90 MPH fastball, an effective hiring approach does require about as much back-and-forth communication as a pitcher and catcher have during a 9-inning game. Communication between the hiring managers and recruiters must be clear and consistent throughout the process to ensure the following hiring mishaps do not occur:

Spreading Misinformation

When there is a communications breakdown between Hiring Managers and their recruiters, the job description that they produce may contain information that is out of date or just plain inaccurate. When a hiring manager is forced to backpedal in an interview or apologize to a candidate for the job being different than the job description, it reflects poorly on the company and makes the hiring manager’s job that much harder. Besides being a strain on hiring managers, candidates can view an inaccurate job description very unfavorably, decreasing the hiring manager’s ability to close with that candidate. When communications break down and people within the hiring function are operating based on different instructions or standards, there’s a much greater chance of mistakes being made during the hiring process and candidates being turned away for the wrong reasons.

Solution:   Get all parties involved in the recruiting process to sign off on the job description, from the people in HR processing the requisition, to the hiring manager, to the employees who would be working alongside the new hire. These people will be able to correct outdated skill requirements, make adjustments to the offered salary and, generally, ensure that your advertising is aimed at the right sort of candidate for the job.

Hiring Manager Paralysis

Dr. John Sullivan, Recruiting and HR thought leader, believes that hiring managers are responsible for the majority of recruiting inefficiencies, “I estimate that hiring managers are responsible for more than 60 percent of all delays and errors during hiring.” While this is an estimate, the truth is that there is a significant potential for friction between hiring managers and the rest of a company’s hiring team.

Often times, when a hiring manager is working within a large organization or with an external agency, the hiring manager will only be expected to evaluate the candidates presented by HR or the external agency and choose the best fit hire. Though the recruiting team may be sourcing and qualifying candidates in a timely manner, a hiring manager who is not following the same recruitment time table or candidate quality standards, can delay hiring unnecessarily. When a hiring manager does not get adequete guidance on what qualities a qualified candidate should have or how soon a hire should be made, he or she can mistakenly reject candidates who are suitable for the job or spend too much time interviewing.

When a hiring manager believes that all he or she must do is make a final hiring decision, then there is greater potential them to fall out of step with the other players in the recruit-to-hire process.In order to move through the screening process quickly while sourcing high quality candidates, it is important for the hiring manager to explicitly state expectations up-front and establish open line of communication with the recruiting team.

Solution: In recruiting, a Surface Level Agreement is a simple document that outlines the expected levels of service as well as the roles and responsibilities for hiring managers and recruiters.  By introducing SLA’s into your hiring process, you can ensure that your hiring managers are working toward the same ends as the rest of your company . Establishing a communications plan ( a plan for when and how hiring managers and recruiters communicate) on a weekly or semi-weekly basis can also help to keep all team members on the same page.


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