Who Should Be on the Hiring Team?

From the Ask Tom mailbag –

It sounds like you favor hiring teams, but I can’t tell if you recommend team interviews. How many people in the room?

Yes, I recommend hiring teams. Not an ad-hoc team, but a purposeful team, a reason for each person on the team. First is the hiring manager. The quarterback of the team, is the hiring manager’s manager, the manager-once-removed from the open role. That’s two people on the team, so far. I like a technical person, someone who knows the skill part of the job. I like a culture person, someone who understands, models and can explain the company culture. Each person on the hiring team will listen for things that others will miss.

I like hiring teams, but not in the room at the same time. Too many people make the candidate nervous. I don’t need nervous candidates. I need candidates who can calmly describe what they have done in specific situations in the past, related to the critical requirements of the role.

In addition to the candidate, no more than two people in the room. And one of those should not talk, only observe. The purpose of the interview is to collect organized data about the candidate and their past experience. Disconnected questions disrupt the continuity of details we need. And, yes, we need details. -Tom

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