A New Era: The Team Approach

The team approach in the interview process has been sweeping across industries.

What Does The Team Approach Look Like?

As many of you are aware, over the last couple of weeks I have been helping my wife recover from a spinal fusion.  Not an easy surgery to say the least, but she is doing great.  The surgery was on the 27th of February, and we anxiously looked forward to her first post-op visit with her surgeon.  We had many expectations of how the visit would go including inspection of her incision, answering all of our questions, providing information about how she will progress as the healing takes place, etc.  As the surgeon entered the room, he noticed my rain jacket and a very awkward conversation began about the color of my raincoat, asked how she was doing, and as he was almost out the door he said, “You will begin physical therapy next week.”  And that was it; he was gone after a few more pleasantries.  We were stunned.

The Healing Process And The Recruiting Process

After the initial shock wore off, we realized he was done. He had done his job most magnificently.  Sharon was just another of his patients who would now follow the process of healing by being passed on to the physical therapy portion.  What we realized then was that he was a surgeon – he did his surgery and now he was truly done with her healing.  It made me think of our recruiting process.  Mainly that the entire process from the initial call to the recruiter to the final onboarding of the new employee is a complete team approach.  I want to make recommendations to the hiring manager not to treat the candidates in a vacuum, which my clients never do.  The hiring manager must be aware that the decision to make a move by anyone, especially a senior person, is that: a team approach.

In-Person Visits

Many of my managers are now much more aware of the team approach. Some even send flowers or gifts to a spouse or significant other when their special person leaves town for an in-person visit.  Others are asking to have conversations with that other individual, to share the benefits of why the candidate should join the company, as well as what that means to the other individual in the relationship.  But it’s more than that.  The recruiters I know and work with are also reaching out with permission to speak with the other significant members of the candidate’s family to answer any and all questions. 

The Team Approach Means Two Teams At Play

Clients are now more than ever getting other people involved in the hiring process early on.  The day of the one-person interview is going by the wayside.  The team approach has arrived. Managers are putting together teams of people to help introduce the firm to the desired candidate.  Each of these individuals is also asked to weigh in on the candidate’s viability and prospect to join the firm.  I have had candidates also build a team around the final decision, not just a spouse or significant other.  Candidates have now actually started taking into their inner circle, past managers they may have worked for, other professionals in the field that they are comfortable chatting with about their pending move, or even clients that are concerned about whether they may or may not follow them to the new firm. 

Who’s The Referee In Our Team Approach?

Everyone in the hiring process is now a member of one team or the other team.  The team the hiring manager puts together or the ad-hock team that the candidate puts together.  It is up to the recruiter to balance both teams.  If you are using one that you are comfortable with, you should share with him or her who is on your team and what role they are going to play in the decision-making process.   However, as important as it is for you to share that information with a recruiter, it is even more important that you know who is going to weigh in on the final decision and what weight you are going to give their opinion.  Knowing this information at the beginning of the process in the team approach is going to make it much easier for you to make that final determination – whether you are the hiring manager offering a position or the candidate deciding on the offer.  So, who’s on your team and what is their final role? As the surgeon has done his job and passed my wife to the next team member, you too must be aware of where you are heading as we are moving to the conclusion of the first quarter of 2023.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan publishes a blog every Thursday here. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.