User involvement in job interviews

​The development of the new children's wing at Rigshospitalet has started long before the construction site is established. As an experiment, the project organisation chose to involve two users in their hiring of a new innovation consultant, to ensure that the users have as much influence as possible.

The model has previously been used for job interviews at the Centre of Adolescent Medicine at Rigshospitalet, where a group of young patients were involved in the hiring of new employees. Based on the good experiences from this experiment the project organisation wanted to try out involving users in hiring new staff.

The two users invited to the interviews were a mother to a child with a chronic disease and a manager from one of the departments that will move to the new wing and therefore on sight will become a part of the everyday life in the building.

- They are the ones to use and work together in the new building – not us, and we therefore find it relevant that they have an impact on who is to help shape the project prospectively, explains project manager Anne-Mette Termansen.

The involvement of the users provided a much more nuanced image of the applicant's qualifications and the personal qualifications, which is also important in a project with a lot of user involvement. The idea of users being present during job interviews was received positively by the applicants:

- It was a really nice experience, partially because our conversation about the future hospital probably became more specific, and because it send the signal that the hospital listen to their users , explains the new innovation consultant Elisabeth Ginsberg, starting 1st of January 2017.

The participation made sense for the mother to the chronically ill child, Mette Joensen, as well:

- I think it made sense because the innovation consultant is supposed to work in close cooperation with the users. It was a lot about the personal aspect. When I sat in front of an applicant, I had to try and asses 'can this applicant talk to a group of users?' And the fun part was actually, that the two of us from outside of the project organization completely agreed on which applicant we preferred. There was no doubt for us. And what in the end determined who they chose, I do not know, but it became 'our candidate'.

Mette Joensen thinks it makes great sense to involve the users in job interviews, when the job is associated with a lot of direct contact with the users, as in this case.

- I think it makes great sense to involve us, when it revolves around someone having to work closely with the users, she explains. And she is happy to be involved.

- I am a very experienced user at this hospital and I appreciate the feeling that my experiences can be put to use in the future hospital. Then it isn't all bad that we have been here so many times and for such a long period, Mette explains.

The idea will be carried on in future hiring processes within project 'BørneRiget', because of the positive experiences with involving engaged users, project director Bent Ottesen explains.

Responsible editor