Editor’s Note

Moving forward in our Hire Aspirations series of articles, we will be making several recommendations that should be considered guidelines to build upon and create a customized approach for you and your company.


Establishing a hiring team is crucial to the success of the hiring process. A hiring team can consist of:

  • Human resources representative
  • Hiring manager
  • Internal or external recruiter (optional)
  • Peer interviewer(s)
The initial goals of the hiring team are:
  • Documenting the hiring process
  • Assigning hiring process phases
  • Assembling the team’s calendar availability
  • Establishing a communication channel

One of the most important steps in the hiring process is assembling a team to vet candidates. These individuals will make several crucial decisions that will dictate the path moving forward for filling the position that has been assigned to them. It is the collaborative effort of the hiring team that will help make the process a smooth experience for themselves as well as candidates. In this article we will examine the details of what is involved in the pre-planning process:

So let’s dive in and talk about the most important and crucial step in this process, which is assembling the hiring team.

Assembling a Hiring Team

The hiring team members will vary based on the type of position, industry and company size. To better understand who they will be, it is important to know the initial goals of this team that will help them hire the best possible candidate for a particular job. To be able to properly interact and communicate with candidates, the initial goals for the hiring team are:

Documentation of the Process

Establishing a documentation channel and central location to store all the relevant information around the hiring process and provide an update to all team members.

Phases of Hiring

Establishing different stages of the hiring process and what the expectations for each stage will be both for the hiring team and candidates.


Ensuring that the availability of each team member is addressed and clarified so that when it is time to schedule interviews, all information is available.

Communication Channel

Setting up a channel in order to communicate to all the team members and candidates the appropriate information at the right time.

Before we get into the details of these initial goals for the hiring team, let’s talk about the members of the team. They can include:

  • Human resources representative
  • Hiring manager
  • Internal or external recruiter (optional)
  • Peer interviewer(s)

As previously mentioned, the composition of the hiring team will differ based on different criteria (i.e., industry, company size, type of role, etc.). It is tempting to increase the radius of people involved in the hiring process. However, increasing the size of the hiring team will result in a point of diminishing returns in the form of collective exhaustion and/or candidate frustration. A 5-6 member hiring team is the ideal number. Of course, with startups and smaller companies, some of these roles and responsibilities will be consolidated, but the tasks are still relevant. Here is RACI matrix breaking down the roles and responsibilities of each team member:

Now that we have our team assembled, let’s address the initial goal for the team and how to accomplish them.

There is a plethora of information that will be associated with a job posting that needs to be shared with everyone on the hiring team. Among them are:

  • Resume/CV
  • Portfolio
  • Links to other information
  • Submitted work

This information, along with the status updates and feedback information, should be available to all hiring team members. It is beneficial to choose a location and tool that will house all these documents. This can be as simple as a shared file system like Dropbox or company network hard drive, or a tool like Confluence or Slack can also help in coordinating this information. That will allow all hiring team members to have access to these documents, and at the same time, other information can be provided (i.e., what stage of the hiring process a certain candidate is at and whether they will be moving forward). 

Stages of the Hiring Process

Establishing the different stages/phases of the hiring process is also crucial. This will allow team members to understand what to expect, where they fit in the process and what kind of information is needed from them. Consider what a 5-phase hiring process looks like:

Phase 1

Initial evaluation of incoming resumes. The task here is to evaluate each resume and ensure that they align closely with the job description. This can be done by an applicant tracking system, HR or the hiring manager.

Phase 2

Evaluation of the potential hires and further filtering the candidates. It is recommended that the number of candidates be filtered down to a manageable amount (i.e., the top 5 candidates). This task can be accomplished by the hiring manager, HR or both.

Phase 3

Once the top-5 candidates have been selected, they will move on to the next phase, which is to be evaluated by the hiring manager. The goal here is to further evaluate the candidates and reduce their number down to 2 or 3. This task should be done by the hiring manager.

Phase 4

Scheduling interviews with peers and other managers (if necessary). In this phase, it is recommended that the number of interviews be limited to 2 or 3 members. It is in this phase that the interviewers will be assigned a specific area of interest around which to conduct the interview. For example, some interviewers will concentrate on the cultural fit of the candidate, while another will focus on technical competency.

Phase 5

Review of the final candidates with the hiring team, gathering team feedback and deciding which ones will move forward.

Calendar Availability

It is important to establish the time commitment needed from each team member and how the coordination of that time and calendar will be accomplished. This is a crucial,difficult and thankless part of the process. Many qualified candidates have been lost because of the time needed to coordinate schedules. This is why we recommend that this work be done ahead of time. For example, during phase 2 when the top-5 candidates are being selected, the hiring manager and HR can establish the availability of the hiring manager for interview times. The hiring manager can establish that they will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-11 am and 2-3 pm. This can be blocked off in their calendar to ensure availability. The HR rep (or whoever will be doing the scheduling) will have access to the calendar and schedule accordingly. Because time is a valuable commodity in any company, returning the unused time slots will also be helpful and go a long way in making the hiring process more manageable.

Communication Channel and Protocols

There will be multiple candidates with differing schedules and availability, which will eventually advance to different phases of the hiring process. It is important that all the members that are involved have access to a system that shows where each candidate stands and what their role is in the process. This includes not only the internal team but also candidates. For this reason, it is important to establish communication channels and protocols for each phase of the hiring process. For example, at the end of phase 1, how will the candidates be notified if they are moving to the next phase? Will it be an email? What will the email entail? Or at the end of phase 3, will the hiring manager inform the candidates what the next steps are? How will they provide feedback to the ones who did not move to the next phase? What kind of information will be provided? This is important in establishing a good rapport with not only the candidates who will be moving forward but also the ones who will not.

Pre-Planning is Crucial

As you can see, before we have even created the job description, we are laying the infrastructure for the team and what they should expect. This is very beneficial to establishing a smooth process that will make the hiring process easier to digest by all team members. 

There is one important task remaining in this pre-planning phase, and that is the creation and review of the job description, which we will cover in the next article.

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