Establishing Interdepartmental Communication for Recruiting Success

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Bruna Vasconcelos
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Bruna Vasconcelos
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Head of People
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Effective interdepartmental communication between HR and engineering teams is vital for successful recruiting in tech-driven industries. Learn how to align goals, foster open communication, and build high-performing teams.
Published on
May 28, 2024
Updated on
June 17, 2024

Effective interdepartmental cooperation between HR and technical leaders is foundational to hiring the best talent in tech-driven industries. Collaboration between departments helps HR professionals stay well-informed about the technical requirements and culture of engineering teams, which helps them identify and attract qualified candidates and a good culture fit. As companies continue to evolve in their technical demands, the relationship between these departments becomes even more critical to maintaining a competitive edge.

Understanding the specific needs of engineering projects and the nuances of the technology involved means HR and recruiting teams can better tailor their recruiting strategies to meet these demands. This involves filling positions more quickly but also strategically building a workforce that aligns with long-term technological goals and company values. Meanwhile, technical leaders must communicate their needs clearly and provide ongoing feedback to ensure that recruitment aligns with the dynamic landscape of tech development.

As you build and scale engineering teams at your company, the relationship between HR and engineering will become even more important as your organization grows.

What Is Interdepartmental Communication?

Interdepartmental communication occurs when different departments within an organization exchange information. It is distinct from intradepartmental communication, which occurs within the same department. Interdepartmental communication typically takes the form of emails, in-person meetings, video conference calls, newsletters, and company intranets.

Interdepartmental communication fosters team collaboration so everyone works toward common goals. When departments communicate effectively, they are better equipped to resolve conflicts, gain strategic alignment, and streamline processes.

For example, if the marketing team tells the sales department about a new promotional offer, the sales team presents it to leads and closes new business, finance follows up with closing paperwork, and everyone has achieved their goals. Promoting effective interdepartmental communication for HR managers means investing in training that emphasizes empathy and listening skills.

Interdepartmental communication thrives or stumbles depending on the communication styles that departments adopt. When departments lean on jargon-heavy or overly technical language, it alienates collaborators who may not understand. This is especially crucial in tech environments where the gap between HR's understanding of needs and engineering's expectations often widens without clear, straightforward dialogue.

Engineers may often prefer concise, data-driven updates, while HR teams might value more detailed explanations and regular updates on team morale and employee needs. Bridging these style differences through training or common guidelines helps maintain clarity, making interactions more productive and ensuring that all departments are aligned.

The Importance of Interdepartmental Communication in Recruiting

Strong interdepartmental communication between HR and engineering teams improves hiring efficiency and quality. When HR aligns with engineering’s technical needs, recruitment becomes more targeted and attracts candidates better suited for specific roles. For example, clear communication about the need for expertise in emerging technologies allows HR to adjust job postings and screening processes accordingly.

Continued dialogue between HR and department heads helps anticipate talent needs for proactive workforce planning and budget forecasting. This is especially important in tech hiring. If engineering is adopting new software tools or methodologies, HR may prepare by cultivating a pipeline of suitable candidates or arranging training for existing staff. This ensures the team is equipped to handle upcoming challenges, maintaining a robust and adaptable workforce.

Core Competencies of Collaborative Departments

Collaborative departments have specific core competencies that sustain cooperation and achievement of key company metrics. These qualities foster a positive work environment, productivity, and innovation.

Here is a list of essential competencies that highly collaborative teams tend to have:

  • Open communication: This allows for transparent sharing of ideas, concerns, and feedback. It also gets all team members on the same page to reduce miscommunication and increase decision-making efficiency.
  • Mutual respect: Respect among colleagues creates a supportive work environment. It encourages diverse ideas and viewpoints, necessary for building innovative solutions and fostering inclusive decision-making.
  • Flexibility: Being adaptable to changes and different opinions helps teams pivot strategies or workflows effectively.
  • Accountability: Team members must hold themselves and each other accountable for their parts of projects. It ensures reliability and builds trust when everyone knows their coworkers will meet their commitments.
  • Goal alignment: Aligning personal and departmental goals with organizational objectives ensures everyone is working toward the same outcomes. This alignment motivates teams, driving them to achieve collective goals efficiently.

8 Strategies to Improve Interdepartmental Collaboration

Your company can implement several targeted strategies to improve interdepartmental collaboration and communication between HR and engineering teams. These strategies help bridge the gap between the organization's technical and administrative aspects, ensuring that both departments are aligned and work effectively toward common goals.

1. Regular Cross-Departmental Meetings

Schedule regular meetings to bring together representatives from both HR and engineering to discuss ongoing issues, upcoming initiatives, and departmental needs. This fosters a sense of unity and keeps everyone informed of each department’s challenges and achievements.

Regularly bringing together team members from HR and engineering ensures ongoing dialogue and helps prevent silos. They also help synchronize the different teams’ objectives and activities, leading to more coordinated efforts in talent management, project management, and execution.

2. Joint Training Sessions

Develop training programs that involve both HR and engineering teams. These could focus on soft skills, technical training relevant to HR professionals, or HR processes that engineers might benefit from understanding.

Engineers learn about HR processes, which demystify hiring or performance evaluation processes, while HR gains insight into the specific skills and environments in which engineers operate.

3. Technical Training for HR Professionals

Technical training for HR professionals streamlines hiring by getting the right candidates to hiring managers for interviews. This includes understanding the specific skills and qualifications required for various software engineering positions.

It’s also helpful for HR to learn about different types of technical assessments, such as coding challenges, algorithmic problem-solving tests, and system design exercises. This knowledge helps HR professionals conduct technical screenings accurately.

4. Clear Communication Channels

Establish dedicated channels for communication between the departments, such as Slack or regular email updates. Specific mediums for interdepartmental communication ensure that messages are conveyed quickly and efficiently. This is particularly important when addressing urgent HR matters or engineering projects that require quick staffing solutions.

5. Shared Goals and Metrics

Define clear, measurable goals that require input and effort from both HR and engineering. Shared goals encourage teamwork and a joint approach to problem-solving and growing IT teams.

Here’s what that could look like in practice:

  • Set a goal to decrease the average time it takes to fill software engineering positions by a certain percentage over the next six months.
  • Establish a goal to enhance diversity and inclusion within software engineering teams by increasing the representation of underrepresented groups, such as women or minorities, by a specific percentage within the following year.
  • Aim to reduce turnover rates among software engineers by a certain percentage within the following year. This could include competency mapping to build missing skills and promote from within.

6. Cross-Departmental Projects

Occasionally assign projects that require members from both departments to work together. These team-building activities help break down silos and build interdepartmental relationships.

For example, HR and engineering could plan a hackathon or coding challenge together. The goal would be to attract and evaluate potential candidates for technical roles, providing opportunities for candidates to showcase their skills and creativity.

HR would plan and promote the event, define participation criteria, and coordinate logistics. Engineering would contribute to developing coding challenges, mentor participants during the event, and evaluate candidates' performance. By collaborating on hackathons or coding challenge events, HR and software engineering teams would engage with candidates in a hands-on environment, assess their problem-solving abilities in real time, and identify high-potential candidates for technical roles.

7. Feedback Mechanisms

Implement a system in which employees give feedback on the cross-department collaboration efforts. This could be through surveys or an open forum. Feedback is crucial for continuous improvement and helps adjust strategies to be more effective. It allows the organization to monitor the health of interdepartmental relationships and adjust strategies as needed. Additionally, feedback empowers employees to voice concerns and suggestions, promoting an overall company and engineering team culture that values improvement and responsiveness.

A few options for implementing this include:

  • Creating regular surveys specifically focused on cross-departmental collaboration, asking employees to rate their experiences, identify challenges, and suggest improvements.
  • Organizing periodic open forum sessions where employees from different departments come together to discuss collaboration efforts, share insights, and propose solutions.
  • Implementing a digital feedback platform or suggestion box where employees submit feedback anonymously or publicly on cross-departmental collaboration.
  • Arranging executive listening tours where senior leaders engage directly with employees across departments to gather feedback on collaboration efforts.
  • Organizing a recurring "Tech Talk" series where engineering teams showcase their latest projects, innovations, and technical challenges to HR professionals.
  • Optimizing the company's employee referral program to attract top technical talent and fill skill gaps through employee networks.

8. Leadership Alignment Sessions

Organize interdepartmental meetings in which senior leaders from HR and engineering come together to align on strategic goals, priorities, and resource allocation. These sessions let leaders share insights, build team integrations, discuss challenges, and make collective decisions that benefit the organization. By fostering alignment at the top, organizations promote company-wide cohesion and collaboration.

Following these interdepartmental meetings, implement action plans derived from the discussions. For example, if the goal is to improve the diversity and inclusion initiatives within the organization, HR and engineering leaders could collaborate to establish targeted recruitment strategies to attract a more diverse talent pool. This might involve things like:

  • Implementing blind resume screening processes to mitigate unconscious bias.
  • Partnering with diversity-focused organizations to source candidates from underrepresented groups.
  • Revising job descriptions to be more inclusive and appealing to a broader range of candidates.

These collaborative efforts also extend to resource allocation decisions, such as investing in professional development programs tailored to HR and engineering staff. For instance, the organization could allocate funds to sponsor technical certifications for HR professionals to recruit and retain technical talent.

Common Issues in Cross-Department Collaboration

Implementing and maintaining effective interdepartmental communication between recruiting and tech teams often presents challenges that impede collaboration. One common issue is different departmental language and priorities, where technical jargon and HR terminologies are at odds, leading to a lack of communication.

Conflicting priorities often center around the pace and specifics of hiring versus the urgency of project timelines. Tech teams might prioritize rapid staffing to meet project deadlines and prefer candidates with highly specialized technical skills. In contrast, HR might focus on thorough vetting processes, cultural fit, and long-term potential, often extending hiring timelines. Additionally, the technical jargon engineers use is often a barrier for HR professionals who may not be as familiar with specific technologies or programming languages, leading to gaps in understanding and expectations.

Another consideration is that each department typically has distinct workspaces, team structures, processes, and timelines, which results in misaligned expectations and project delays. These inefficiencies slow down operations and lead to increased employee frustration and decreased employee engagement and productivity.

Communication breakdowns often have severe consequences, such as the ineffective deployment of resources, redundancies in hiring, and missed opportunities for strategic alignments. For instance, if a tech team's urgent hiring needs are not effectively communicated to HR, it could result in delays that affect project timelines and, ultimately, the organization's ability to deliver to clients. Regularly revisit and refine communication strategies to ensure that these interdepartmental channels do not become outdated or ineffective as the company grows and evolves.

Hire the Right Developer for Your Team With Revelo 

Robust interdepartmental collaboration between HR and engineering teams is imperative for recruiting success. At the heart of this collaboration lies effective communication, alignment of goals, and shared strategies to attract and retain top technical talent.

Revelo understands the intricate dynamics between HR and engineering departments and offers comprehensive solutions to streamline recruitment. Our services include matching businesses with time-zone-aligned developers who are rigorously vetted for technical skills, soft skills, and English proficiency. We handle onboarding, including payroll, benefits administration, taxes, and local compliance, so your new hires have a smooth transition. Additionally, we provide ongoing support throughout a developer's time with your company for optimal engagement and retention.

Contact us to hire software engineers whose skills align with your organizational goals and technical requirements.

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