When you’re looking to fill a position, who better to help find the right person than the candidate’s would-be peers? Peer interviews can help – as long as you’re careful.
Peer interviews can help with the selection process. Current employees know the job better than anyone, so they may have questions a manager or recruiter don’t think of. Also, they can get the best sense of how the candidate will fit in with the team. And finally, candidates will come armed with questions about the job, which their would-be peers are best equipped to answer.
There are benefits for the employees involved in the interviewing and selection, too. Giving people a say in an important process like hiring is a good way to make them feel valued. And it can improve their jobs by letting them help select people they know they’ll work well with.
Get the benefits, but be careful
But there are some pitfalls to avoid. First of all, your average employee is probably not an expert interviewer. Some training will have to be done, and you might want them to do interviews in pairs or as a group, along with an HR person and/or hiring manager.
Also, it should be made clear ahead of time that the decision won’t be made through a democratic vote – it’s still up to the hiring manager and HR, with the interviewers’ advice taken into account.
Some companies also worry that employees will be more interested in hiring an office friend than a great worker. One way to avoid that is to hold off on bringing peers in until the final interview, as a way to confirm a candidate that the manager already wants to hire.