The question for every management team is ‘how do you hire, retain and develop the best employees?’. To help solve the conundrum, peer-to-peer recruiting – a technique never used before in National Grid – has been put into practice by National Grid Metering teams.
After much research and getting the HR team on board, the practice has seen candidates meet current employees one-on-one, allowing them to ask each other questions and for the current employees to give feedback to their manager. It allows the teams to own the components of recruiting their new team member, driving a culture where a far greater level of independence and responsibility is key.
Trusting our people to make these decisions can have numerous benefits for both the current employee and applicant. It provides developmental opportunities as our existing team members get the opportunity to develop skills that has traditionally sat with leaders only.
Who knows what your team does best other than your team? Peer interviewing is also beneficial for the candidate, as they get to hear first-hand about the job they are seeking. The current employee can answer questions about specific roles, company/team culture and day-to-day operations; developing greater authenticity and trust. Those working in the jobs will have a range of stories to illustrate their points – one of the most effective selling mechanisms.
A cohesive team leads to greater company success and employee satisfaction – having a say in choosing who joins the team creates an investment in the new team member’s ongoing development with the team. Will he or she fit in? Do they have a sense of humour? We are all concerned about the role, team values and whether the culture is right for us. Interacting with existing team members can be one of the best ways to convince not only the team member, but the new-hire also, that they will be a good fit.
Successes already include: three Agile coach roles recruited by the change team; NGM coordinator roles, recruited by existing coordinators within the hiring teams; and, two specialist roles, again recruited by existing specialists. The next steps for the team is to identify gaps and train everyone in recruiting as part of collaborative culture, with decision making passed directly to the teams.
Agile Coach Faye Dowling has recently been through the process, both as an interviewee and interviewer, and says: “As an interviewer, the peer-to-peer recruitment was more authentic and genuine; as I have done the work and understand the need for the role, which may not necessarily be understood from management level.
“I have known the candidates for a while and therefore already identified their capabilities and established trust, which made the involvement a more credible and rewarding experience for both parties.
“By rolling this out across NGM, we will recruit the right type of people who will fit our core values and culture but allow us to feel valued and empowered in making such decisions in the recruitment process.”