Part 1 of the Social Business For Real Work series

The Challenge

When hiring new employees in distributed organisations, it’s increasingly common for candidates to have multiple phone or Skype interviews with people from across the company. Collecting the feedback from each interviewer for each candidate often leads to chaotic mass of email communication, making it hard for everyone to see each other’s opinion.

The Social Business Advantage

  • Private, invitation-only communities allow HR, the hiring manager and other interviewers quick access to all information about the role, hiring guidelines and resumes of candidates. They can use the community to give feedback about each candidate, safe in the knowledge that this remains confidential.
  • Members of the team who work remotely or travel often retain access to the hiring process wherever they are, via mobile applications.
  • If, in the future, it becomes necessary to justify the hiring decision to people not involved at the time, a full record of the discussions leading to the decision can easily be made available simply by inviting other people to the community.


Paris is the Marketing Director. She is hiring a new marketing manager who will support the sales teams in US, Europe and Asia, so she wants the Sales Directors for each of the regions to also interview the candidates.

Pam is the HR Director, and she facilitates the recruitment process by creating an private community to which she invites Paris and the Sales Directors. She uploads the resumes of each of the candidates, the job description and she posts the interview schedule. She also shares the hiring guidelines document with this community.

As each interview takes place, feedback is left in the community. Brad, the European Sales Director, was delayed prior to his interview with one of the candidates, but using the mobile app, he is able to get access to all the necessary documentation while he is out of the office, and can provide his feedback.

The team all agree that one candidate clearly stands out, and recommend that Carol is hired. Using a predefined task template from HR, Paris submits an approval request to hire Carol. This is a two-step process requiring first HR due diligence and reference checking, then final CEO approval.

Making It Real

  • Create a private, invitation-only community for each vacancy you are interviewing for. These communities should typically be managed by HR to ensure consistency in the hiring process. Invite the hiring manager and other interviewers. You need to ensure the community is private and cannot be accessed by any uninvited members. For some particularly confidential hiring processes (for example, replacing an employee who is still in place), it is also important to ensure that the community is even not visible to other network members.
  • Upload the candidate resumes, job description, and other hiring guidelines. Hiring guidelines should usually be stored centrally in an HR community, not uploaded separately into each hiring community. This is to ensure that any updates are automatically propagated to all hiring teams, and no one is left with out of date policies.
  • Ask each of the interviewers to provide feedback on each candidate by adding a comment to their resume.
  • It may also be useful to start discussion forums if the interviewers need any clarification of the job requirements, and for an exchange of views of which candidate should be chosen.
  • Use tasks to complete the process by going through the formal approval stages.