Collecting Hiring Team Feedback for Better Decision Making

Apr 10, 2022
Applicant Tracking, Recruiting Best Practices, Recruiting Software

Collecting feedback from your hiring team is critical to making a good selection. But it can be challenge to compile and collect the feedback from each decision make. In this article, we’ll go over best practices for collecting feedback, and how to make the most of it.

What is a Hiring Team or Hiring Committee?

The hiring team includes everyone responsible for any part of the hiring process. In a very small org, it may be the hiring manager and business owner. In a larger company, it may include ten or more. This might include the hiring manager, director to which the hiring manager reports, and some members of the new hire’s team.

The hiring manager leads the hiring team. This is the person who requests to fill the position. Requesting a position is called a job requisition. It’s helpful to create a formal job requisition process.

Why is Having a Hiring Team or Hiring Committee Beneficial?

Companies that involve more than one decision maker have better hiring outcomes. Because each decision maker has a unique perspective, a collective evaluation is multi-dimensional. When several people in various roles participate in evaluating candidates, your process is more comprehensive.

A group decision is especially important for determining whether the applicant will work well with your team. Consider a scenario where the new hire will work closely with other team members but have less frequent contact with the manager. In this type of structure, it’s important that those who will work directly with the new hire evaluate the candidate.

You have to be careful when evaluating cultural fit, however. If members of the hiring committee use age, gender, or ethnicity in their decision, you’ll have difficulty building a diverse team–and increase the risk of a discrimination challenge. Decision makers should limit their evaluation to characteristics that aren’t discriminatory.

When assembling a hiring team, consider including people in your company who have a proven track record of picking winners.

The Challenges of Collecting Hiring Team Feedback

Once you’ve assembled your team, you can’t expect the process to work if you don’t standardize it. Unstructured evaluation processes are absurdly ineffective and inefficient. An unstructured process includes the following pitfalls:

  • Conversations dispersed among channels: face-to-face discussions, emails, texts, phone calls, inter-company apps like Slack
  • Failing to document hiring team collaboration: none of the evaluators has access to all evaluation discussions
  • No formal scoring system: each member of the team uses a different yardstick for evaluation, or none at all
  • Team members waste time duplicating processes: when the hiring manager fails to assign tasks like background and reference checking, assessments, interview scheduling, etc.
  • Losing track of applications: if the applicant database isn’t centralized, you can lose great candidates
  • Poor hiring outcomes: a haphazard system doesn’t take advantage of each evaluator’s unique expertise which downgrades the process

What is a Structured Feedback Process?

A structured process encompasses both administration and evaluation. Let’s look at each.

Hiring Workflows

A structured administrative process is also called a hiring workflow. The best practice here is for the talent acquisition or HR manager to design a hiring committee process. First, they identify necessary tasks. Secondly, each task is assigned to the appropriate member of the team. For example, the HR manager might contact references and the hiring manager maintains the interview calendar. Furthermore, there is a formal process for communication. For instance, some teams require all communication done through a group email sent to all decision makers.

In addition to electronic collaboration, make sure you have frequent in-person meetings to keep the process on track. The hiring manager can keep everyone updated on the process and remind members of any overdue tasks. Of course, in-person meetings are a challenge for remote teams, but at least hold meetings by video so the process isn’t completely asynchronous.

Hiring Stages

Identifying hiring stages allows the team to track each applicant’s status. This speeds up the process and prevents bottlenecks. Create folders (electronic or paper-based) to track applications–Schedule Phone Screen, Schedule First Round of Interviews, Do Not Pursue, Check References, Waiting for Background Check, etc.

Reducing time to fill improves the quality of talent for the simple fact that it is less likely the top candidates will be snapped up by a competing employer with a faster process.

Structured Evaluation

In addition–and this is super important–you use interview scorecards to rate candidates. Formalized evaluation combined with an efficient workflow gives you hiring superpowers. An interview scorecard addresses each necessary hard and soft skill required for the job. The evaluator assigns points based on how well the candidate meets the requirement. The scorecard can also address nice-to-have skills by using a lower point value.

The hiring manager should require decision makers to complete the scorecard during the interview or shortly thereafter. Then compare candidates by score.

Here is an example of a section of an interview scorecard:

Applicantstack Pre Interview Questions

The Benefits of a Structured Feedback Process

When you combine a great team with a structured process, you increase your odds of finding superstars. You can standardize everything–from team communication to candidate scoring. Let’s review the benefits of a structured process:

  • Helps each evaluator consider each skill and characteristic
  • Is faster because members of the team follow a checklist
  • Helps prevent bias because evaluators use a scorecard based on the job requirements
  • Standardized communication keeps everyone in the loop
  • Helps differentiate applicants with similar qualifications

ApplicantStack Automates Collecting Hiring Team Feedback

ApplicantStack is an affordable applicant tracking system for small to mid-size businesses. It automates the entire process, but in this article, we will only discuss collecting team feedback. In ApplicantStack, the hiring manager can create scorecards and send one to each hiring committee member. The scorecard also contains links to the candidate’s resume and completed application screening questionnaire.

ApplicantStack Calculates an Average Rating for Fast and Easy Comparison

As mentioned previously, each member of the hiring team completes the form during or after the interview. Then—voila!—ApplicantStack combines the forms and calculates an average rating.

When each applicant has a consolidated rating, it’s easy to compare candidates. The process is also less likely to be influenced by unconscious bias.

Auto Reminders Reduce Hiring Delays

Do you have a team member who habitually forgets to send interviewing feedback? ApplicantStack helps with that as well. If someone forgets to turn in their evaluation form, ApplicantStack nudges them with a reminder email. This takes the pressure off the hiring manager. (They won’t miss the awkward conversations.)

Centralized Applicant Management

The evaluation forms and candidate ratings are stored and managed in ApplicantStack. Forget printing evaluation forms. And nobody has to maintain applicant files or log ratings into spreadsheets.

Let’s recap the benefits of using ApplicantStack to collect hiring team feedback:

  • Electronic evaluation forms are stored and managed in the system
  • Create custom scoring criteria for each job posting
  • Team members rate candidates with the same scoring criteria
  • The evaluation form links to the applicant’s resume and questionnaire
  • ApplicantStack calculates an average rating from the collective scores
  • Easily compare candidates with formalized scoring criteria

This article is part of our hiring guide for small businesses.

Liz Strikwerda

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