Hiring the right people for the job is about much more than finding the right candidate.
It is often about picking the right person from a pool of applicants. In many conventional approaches, managers simply based their decisions on a "gut feeling" after completing an interview. What that approach misses is the power of collective intelligence.
But, what exactly is collective intelligence?
It involves any process that relies on the expertise of the group as a whole rather than just the knowledge or opinions of one or two people. Instead of basing a hiring decision on the suggestions of just one person, managers can instead collect data from a larger pool of experts to make better, more accurate hiring decisions.
Why Collective Intelligence Matters
Research suggests that not only is collective intelligence highly effective, it can also lead to more accurate decision-making.
As described in The New York Times, psychologists studying collective intelligence have found that successful teams possess two critical qualities: group members that contribute equally and high emotional intelligence.
Smart teams are more democratic in that all members are allowed to make equal contributions, and all members are able to understand the emotions of other people. Surprisingly, the researchers even found that these same conditions apply when teams are making decisions entirely online without any face-to-face interaction.
Here are two ways that Collective Intelligence can help make for a smarter hiring process:
- Collective Intelligence Leads to a Better Debriefings
Collective intelligence can play a critical role in different aspects of the hiring process. One possible application is during interview debriefings.
Traditional debriefings are prone to excessive influence from the most opinionated member of the group, which can ultimately lead to biased decision-making and poor hires. To avoid this, online interview checkups allow organizations to quickly collect data from every individual who took part in an interview.
Following an interview, hiring managers can invite all interviews to access an online survey where they can enter their feedback on the candidate. Once the data has been collected, managers receive a comprehensive report summarizing the collective intelligence provided by the group.
This process can not only cut costs and increase efficiency, but it can also lead to significantly better debriefs. By utilizing collective intelligence, HR can access unbiased expertise that will contribute to better hiring decisions.
- Collective Intelligence Leads to Better Reference Checking
Another part of the hiring process that can be improved through the power of collective intelligence is the reference checking process.
Conventional reference checks involve calling each contact for an interview, a process that is both subjective and time-consuming. However, automated reference checking gets candidates to invite their references to access an online survey form. Former employers can then provide their feedback on their own time, often leading to more complete and unbiased information.
Once data has been collected, organizations receive reports that provide an in-depth look at each candidate's background and ratings. Instead of basing hiring decisions on gut feelings and disparate facts, employers can instead obtain objective and consistent data on each applicant's skills, talents and performance.
Obviously, the hiring process is both complex and unique to each organization. While HR must exercise their good judgment, incorporating collective intelligence as a hiring tool can contribute to more accurate decisions and improve the overall quality of hire.