Why And How To Build A Hiring Committee

3 professionals at a table working out how to build a hiring comittee

Making the decision the build a hiring committee can remove many of challenges that hiring can create.

For many, hiring is a thorn in the side of business operations. The hiring manager often needs to pause their projects and delegate their daily tasks to others, in order to undertake the mountain of administrative and recruitment tasks involved in securing a new hire. This can cause delays in operations and cost the business significant time, money and resources.

Choosing to build a hiring committee into the recruitment process can assist in spreading the workload and creating efficiencies. It can make the process more productive and effective, as well as promoting confidence and trust that the right person has been picked. Read on to learn more about why hiring committees can be important to a business and how to use them effectively.

What is a hiring committee?

A hiring committee, sometimes known as a ‘search committee’, is a panel of individuals involved in the recruitment process. A committee tends to be led by a recruiter, a hiring manager, or a talent/ HR lead, but may also involve representatives from different departments who can provide alternative points of view, insights, and feedback on the candidates in question.

Whilst, a hiring committee can be utilised for all roles, regardless of seniority, they are often used when recruiting executive-level managers. This is due to the vested interest of multiple stakeholders and the significant time, budget and importance associated with senior hires.

Who should be included in a hiring committee?

Choosing who to include in the panel is an important aspect of building a hiring committee. An organisation needs to make sure that the right people are involved in the process.

Often, as part of hiring committee best practice, a business choose individuals who are concerned with different aspects of what makes a successful hire for the chosen role. This includes those who are concerned about cultural fit, as well as technical ability. Sometimes it is helpful to include managers who are known as good representations of the company culture, objective thinkers, and good judges of characters.

73% of professionals leave a job over company culture. So including team members in the hiring committee who have insights on company and team culture and are able to speak on it if the candidate has any questions, is useful.

However, choosing panel members that aren’t vital to the process can be a mistake. If they aren’t connected to the new hire in their job or helpful in the admin or recruitment side of the process, they can make the hiring process longer and add a non-essential component to the proceedings.

Why is it important to build a hiring committee?

A hiring committee is important because they are more likely to weed out bad hires. With multiple people working together towards an agree common goal, the chance of hiring someone who isn’t successful is slimmer.

an executive or high level manager. This is because a Bad hires at any level of a business can cause disruption in operations, however, executive or high seniority team members are more likely to have a significant impact. Therefore, using a hiring committee is less crucial for a junior employee, but vital for recruiting senior personnel. If a business include a panel of key stakeholders and involve them in the process, this can help to find the right person as well as build trust in the new recruit and ensure a smoother transition.

Hiring committees can also play an important role in reducing bias. A business may decide to  consider their diversity and the inclusion of underrepresented minorities within their hiring committee members, so that the risks of choices being made based on biases are limited. This can be a variety of people from different backgrounds, identities, or paths to their employment, helping to reduce any potentially biased opinion one individual might have. By ensuring this is the case and using techniques such as set questions and a clear score card to ensure a better diverse recruiting strategy, a business can ensure they are not missing out on great talent due to unconscious bias.

What are the responsibilities of hiring committee members?

Hiring committee members ultimately have the responsibility of supporting the appointment of the right person for the job. They will be able to do this through:

  • Identifying screening criteria for applicants
  • Selecting candidates for interview
  • Interviewing candidates
  • Advising hiring manager on candidates

Although often the final decision is up to the hiring manager, the insights from the committee can be invaluable.

Benefits and drawbacks of building a hiring committee?

Hiring committees are a lot of commitment. Understanding the potential advantages and disadvantages of hiring committees will help you make the best decision for your organisation.

Benefits of building a hiring committee

  • Workload can be shared

Recruitment can be a long and laborious task and take up a significant amount of time. With a hiring committee, certain admin tasks can be shared, reducing the pressure on each individual.

  • Easy onboarding

Hiring committees can be stressful, with the candidate facing multiple people at once. However, if they do secure the role, it can limit their anxiety around starting work as they have already met a number of key stakeholders in the company.

  • High standards remain

It can be understandable that when a manager hires solo, they may run out of steam. When the recruitment process has been going on for some time, there might be a drop in standards. Having a committee means that the focus can remain high and the best candidate can be  chosen efficiently and effectively.

  • Better decisions

When there is a panel of individuals coming to a mutual consensus, it means that the decision is more informed. All eventualities and issues can be discussed prior to choosing a successful candidate.

  • Stakeholders feel invested

By including the key stakeholders and team members in the recruitment process, everyone is already on the same page and enthusiastic about the new hire. This would help to erase any concerns about a potential new hire and ensure the transition is smoother.

Disadvantages of building a hiring committee

  • The chance of overwhelming the candidate

Interviews can be stressful and having too many people in an interview room can make the process seem quite intimidating for the candidate. This could mean that the candidate isn’t on their best form. That’s why taking a cautious and detail-orientated when considering how to build a hiring committee is key.

  • Too many cooks spoil a broth

If a company looks to build a hiring committee that is too large and involves too many people in the process, it can make the entire affair harder and more complicated with everyone giving their opinion and thoughts. Without clear responsibilities and processes and too many hiring committee members, in particular ones that needn’t be there, unnecessary disagreements can develop, lengthening the overall process. In order to mitigate this, a business can use set questions and a clear scorecard system in the process.

  • Tricky to organise

Often, it can be difficult to get the hiring manager and candidate in the same room – let alone a committee! This could end up putting off a candidate if there is limited flexibility in interview times or dates to suit everyone on the panel’s timetable. Communication is key to ensure the process is as frictionless as possible.

  • Delayed decisions

Depending on how often the committee can get together in a meeting, it can delay a decision being made by over a week. When hiring great talent, there is a risk in delaying decisions as talent can be snapped up by other companies easily.

 

Hiring great professionals can be stressful. If you are looking for additional support to make your recruitment processes a breeze, VIQU is an award-winning IT recruitment agency that can help you to find fantastic IT talent. Get in touch here to find out more.

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