nsMusic has always played one of the most formative elements of our own personal stories.  There are certain songs, or artists, or albums that inevitably transport us back immediately to a certain time or specific memory in our lives the moment we hear them.

And if you came of age in the early 2000s (and whether or not you’d ever admit it), there’s a pretty good chance that the soundtrack of your life includes at least a couple of songs from that omnipresent staple of popular culture: the boy band.

U Drive Me Crazy: The Making of the Boy Band.

The Eighties gave us punk and power ballads; the Nineties gave us grunge rock and gangster rap; and the 2000s, well, gave us N’Sync, the Backstreet Boys, OTown and myriad other acts that involved pretty much the same proven pop formula. Their fashion sense? Questionable. Their dance moves? Laughable.

Their music? Well…let’s just say that as much as we loved to hate on them, the music was always secondary to the well-oiled machine in which everyone had a clear role. There was always the bad boy, the prankster, the nice guy, and even, in one case, the aspiring astronaut

But no matter which persona you related to, no matter whether you were more of a JT than a Justin fan, it was when those individual members came together to perform that the magic really happened. And it was a beautiful thing to behold.

I know you’re wondering what any of this has to do with recruiting. Turns out, quite a bit. You see, in the business of talent acquisition, we all should take a page from the boy band playbook. No, you don’t need to date Britney Spears or sport a Canadian Tuxedo. But when we look at structured hiring, where every hiring team stakeholder has a clear role and purpose to play, the parallels should be pretty obvious.



In structured hiring, like boy bands, the approach ensures that everyone on your team is working as efficiently as possible, constantly aware of what everyone else is doing, and embraces open communication and collaboration. Structured hiring makes sure the recruiting process remains, you know…in sync.

Everyone in the interview process should understand why a hire is being made and how to assess candidates in a standardized, straightforward and meaningful manner. This means that when it finally comes time to make a decision on moving forward, deciding which candidate would be the best addition to your team becomes a whole lot easier.

If you’re ready to say bye, bye, bye (sorry, couldn’t resist) to hiring mistakes, let’s explore what, exactly, structured hiring really looks like in a bit more detail.

It’s Gonna Be Me: Creating Better Partnerships with Everyone.

57456836Structured hiring is all about partnerships. At the beginning of the process, recruiters partner with hiring managers to understand exactly why this hire is being made. What are the business objectives for the role? What will this person need to accomplish during the first 90 days on the job? Which skills and traits are necessary to be a rockstar (or at least a pop star) in the role?

Recruiters and hiring managers will work together to answer all these questions which will then inform the rest of the hiring process. Besides promoting better recruiter/hiring manager partnerships, structured hiring gives every single interviewer a better framework for how to conduct interviews.

Whether it’s the recruiter conducting the initial phone screen, the hiring manager assessing the candidate’s skills, or a potential teammate determining whether this person would complement the existing team, each person steps into the interview knowing exactly which questions they’ll be asking and which qualities they should be looking for.

Bringin’ Da Noise: Putting Together a Game Plan.

Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for, you can put together your interview game plan. Decide which skills and attributes you’ll test for at each stage and assemble your interview dream team. Decide who would be best suited to assess candidates on specific skills. And think about personality, too. Who do you think will best represent your company and get candidates excited about working there?

When coming up with your interview structure, it’s usually better to start with the absolute deal-breakers early on, so by the time people reach the on-site interview stage, you’ve already determined they have all the essential requirements and can perform the job. You can then make the most of the on-site interviews by really getting to know the candidate’s personality, understanding what motivates them, and making the case for why they should join your team.giphy (1)

We’ve already covered the fact that structured hiring lets interviewers know which questions to ask and which qualities to screen for, and another benefit is creating a centralized location where they can record all their feedback. This (mostly) eliminates the pain of trying to chase down interviewers and gather feedback from disperse locations.

Digital Get Down: Using Data to Make Decisions.

When you create a clear, easy-to-follow process and collect feedback at every stage, you’ll begin to gather data that provides insight into what’s happening in your hiring process. Are some interviewers stricter than others? How many applicants are coming in for on-site interviews every week? What percentage of offers made are accepted by applicants?

You can then use the data you gather to make adjustments to your interview questions, stages, assessments, or anything else that needs to be tweaked. Structured hiring revolves around timing and teamwork: It’s a well-choreographed routine. Not only does this look better (and create a better candidate experience), but it also leads to making better hiring decisions.

This I promise you.

Want to learn more about what structured hiring can do for your organization (with slightly fewer *NSYNC references)?

Download Matt Charney’s eBook, Structured Hiring: The Advantage of the New People Team


Editor’s Note: Seriously, check it out. It’s got a whole lot of useful information in there and stuff real recruiters can really use. For real.
unnamed (10)About the Author: Melissa Suzuno is Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse, where she gets to share her love of the written word and endorse the use of the Oxford comma on a daily basis.

Before joining Greenhouse, Melissa built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she’s made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work.

Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.