We have been doing a lot of hiring, mostly through word of mouth and the recommendations of our current team. In fact we have 5 new people starting within a month but we still have a long way to go. Hiring is one of the toughest and most crucial aspects of building a great company, culture, and team.
I suspect that in most work environments people have gone through the experience of having new team members simply show up. A new team member suddenly thrust upon them as the result of some decision made from on high. Personally it is something that I have always hated. I guess it is okay if your definition of a team is "Two or more draft animals used to pull a vehicle or farm implement". But when your definition is as ours; " a group of individuals who interact dynamically, interdependently and adaptively to achieve specified, shared, and valued objectives in an environment of respect and trust", then it is ludicrous that the team shouldn't have a say in it's own composition.
At VendAsta we are changing our hiring process to truly value the team. Applicants will start with an initial screening and generally there will be a second Interview with an HR team unless the employee is an obvious hire and is known to the team. So once the HR team approves the applicant they will then face the real test. Lunch with the team of people they will ultimately work with.
The team will arrange a lunch or dinner with their potential new team mate. The reviews, opinions and general sentiment of the team will ultimately decide whether or not a formal offer is extended. This is good for the team and good for the applicant. Nobody wants to work with people they are not compatible with.
For the record, it's not all just a free lunch. The team has to complete a confidential review. What they like about the applicant, what they don't, how they see them fitting, potential conflicts or anything else they want to point out. When 90 days are up the team will revisit the hire and make recommendations.