Many of us work in companies that are siloed. Hiring managers are responsible for developing a job description, while the human resources team then goes to work looking for the right fit. After a series of interviews, feedback is provided through quick meetings or emails to decide who the best candidate is. Seems efficient enough. But is it the best way to fill open positions?
As CPO of Simplify VMS, a leading HR talent management platform, we’re always looking at how to help companies hire and onboard the best talent. And what we’ve observed is that while the technology keeps improving to help HR professionals do their job faster and more efficiently, the way teams partner to find that talent has more or less stayed the same. Yet there are some simple steps we can implement at our companies to change that model and bring in the talent we need starting today.
1. Institute 15-minute Standup Meetings
In the tech world, standup meetings (where people actually stand, even virtually) are designed to ensure the time is spent efficiently. Each stakeholder in the meeting goes around and provides an update, whether that be they have a new open position on their team or the status update on a candidate. This can be held with several hiring managers and their HR point person at once and allows each person to not only provide an update, but also bring up any challenges they are experiencing or outstanding questions they have. Most important, it helps eliminate many other meetings and emails.
2. Get Real About What Candidates You Want
Oftentimes the job description is written in a way that it can easily bring in the wrong candidates, while excluding the right ones. Encourage both hiring and HR managers to get real about what skills—soft and hard skills—they expect the candidates to have. You can even go the extra mile and bring in other team members to review. For example, when we say “Designer” that can mean many different things depending on what you’re building. In our case, we need a Mobile Designer focused on iOS and that requires a very specific skill set and mindset. Ask others on the Mobile team what you’re not thinking of that should be included in the description.
3. Get Face-to-Face Feedback from Interviewers
We have found that some companies will email one another to ask how they felt about a candidate. This does a disservice because you can’t see their facial expressions or hear their tone when talking about the candidate, and it makes it more difficult to have a real conversation about their thoughts. Get everyone together for one standup meeting where they go around and share their opinions and concerns. This is especially important to get various points of view and I encourage you to consider a diverse group of interviewees. That way the engineer, sales rep and the HR manager will likely be looking for different qualities in a candidate and you can see if this candidate checks off all the boxes, including skill set, experiences and culture fit.
4. Put Shadow Sessions on the Calendar
Shadow sessions are simply taking some time out of your day to sit with people whose jobs you’re unfamiliar with. In this case, it could be a hiring Manager watching an HR manager do their job for an hour and vice versa. While this might sound a bit odd, it helps in many ways.
For one, you now have a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes. If you’re an HR manager, you might now realize how a product manager works and what type of candidate would make for a strong PM at the company moving forward. It may even help with what interview questions to ask. If you’re a hiring manager observing HR, you can learn more about the tools they use and the decisions they make in the hiring process.
5. Hold Workshops Instead of Meetings
One of our favorite activities at Simplify VMS is workshops, or co-creation sessions. What this looks like is a lot of sticky notes and whiteboards (there are virtual tools for this as well) in which everyone in the room can provide feedback on ways to improve. For example, if HR is struggling with bringing in more diverse candidates, they can present this challenge to others at the company to help them think through new ways to widen the pool. Another challenge might be how to expedite the process for teams who need roles filled immediately. These sessions can be held monthly or as new challenges arise.
There is truly nothing better in a work environment than belonging to a strong team. You know, the people who are not only talented, but are also a joy to work with. But to get there, we can’t always rely on others to build that team for us. Instead, we all have to be part of that process. I challenge you to adopt at least one or two of these strategies at your company to help you build the best teams possible at your organization.
Vivek Bedi is Chief Product Officer for SimplifyVMS and a regular speaker and presenter on digital entrepreneurialism and business topics. Follow him on LinkedIn.