HR Florida


Florida State Council Affiliate of SHRM

The Power of Collaborating With Current Employees When Hiring

By Dawn L. Ivey

Collaboration is the action of people working together for a common purpose to achieve a business benefit. When hiring employees, collaborating with current employees, (not just the ones on the management team), who will be working closely with a new hire, can provide substantial benefits to an organization. CareerBuilder estimates that 1 in 3 small business employers lost $25,000 in earnings due to bad hires and nearly 1 in 5 said bad hires cost them more than $50,000. Current employees do the job daily so they know what it takes to get the job done; therefore, incorporating their expertise into the hiring process can lead to finding and retaining winning new hires. Effective collaboration with employees can lead to awareness, motivation, self-synchronization, participation, mediation, reciprocity, reflection, and engagement.

Here are some of the benefits to small businesses who collaborate with current employees when hiring:

1. Current employees will feel like a valued member of the team

Having current employees participate in interviews, shows them that the organization respects them, trust them, and values their opinion. I have participated in interviews with potential employees and being able to be an active part of the hiring process made a difference for me and my co-workers. We were able to view the candidates resume, sit in on the interviews, and collaborate as a team after the interview to share feedback with one another and our manager. After the candidate for the job was chosen, we were able to all feel confident that we had made the right decision.

2. Current employees can help identify the needs of the department

Since current employees do the job every day, they have a firsthand view of what the needs of the department are. They can see areas of improvement that are needed, and they understand exactly what skills are needed. I had a former co-worker, who suggested that we all start tracking our tasks and how much time those tasks took to complete using an excel spreadsheet that she created. Upon completion of this mini project, it was discovered that our department was short two employees. This gave our manager a clear understanding of how much staffing was needed when presenting her request for additional staffing to upper management and human resources. It also showed some other statistics such as, if work was being divided equally, or if certain tasks took other employees longer than others due to interruptions beyond the employees control.

3. Current employees can provide employee referrals

Current employees have worked with many other employees over the years. They may have suggestions for qualified employees that would be a perfect fit for an open position. The major benefits of employee referrals are that they 1) improve the quality of new hires 2) increase employee retention 3) save time and money on the hiring process 4) improves a company’s reputation.

Offering a mix of incentives including financial, non-financial, or a combination of both can enhance an employee referral program. I remember starting a new job and being asked for employee referrals. I was able to offer a referral and she started a few months after me. It was beneficial for everyone involved, the organization, my co-worker, and myself. Through my referral, the organization knew in advance she had strong work ethics, the needed skillset, and substantial experience. It was also comforting to both me and my co-worker because we were both new to the company, so it was nice having a familiar co-worker around.

4. Current employees can offer valuable information to job candidates

When current employees sit in on job interviews, they are equipped to candidly answer questions the candidates may have about the job-related tasks, company culture, why they like the company, the most challenging aspect of working at the company, work-life balance, or any other questions the candidate may have. This time also gives the current employees the opportunity to delve deeper into the mind of the candidate and ask them questions about themselves and their background. After all, since current employees will work closely with new employees, their gut instincts may tell them if a candidate will not work out culturally.

5. Upskill current employees

When organization’s allow their current employees to learn new skills through offering training and seminars, they can cut hiring costs by boosting employee retention of the current workforce. Cutting corners by not investing in the education of current employees prohibits the company from experiencing success and growth. It makes the company more prone to ending up with unsatisfied, under-skilled workers, and unsatisfied, under skilled workers can have a negative impact on new hires. They can also cause the company to have a bad reputation, contributing to difficulties finding new employees.

Enhancing employee skills also encourages creativity in employees that can contribute to the accomplishment of company goals. I worked for a company that was big on employee training. They had quarterly training as well as a yearly manager’s meeting that provided extensive training. This proved to be helpful in keeping our skill set up so we could effectively do our jobs and contribute to company goals. We were also assigned quarterly goals that encouraged us to be creative and save the company money. For example, as an accountant, I was assigned the bad debt account and had to assemble a team of my peers and work to recoup the money. This encouraged me to develop leadership skills and find creative ways to reach our team goals.

About the Author:

Dawn L. Ivey is a Staff Accountant at the Christian Broadcasting Network and works in financial reporting. She is an MBA student at Regent University and can be contacted at