CIPD, a professional body for HR and people development, has produced the research report A head for hiring: The behavioural science of recruitment and selection1.
Recruiting and selecting the right people is fundamental to the success of any organisation, but finding the best way to do this is a challenge. The report advises that:
Ultimately, any recruitment and selection process demands complex and speedy decision making from both sides.
Behavioural science has a lot to say about the way in which people make decisions in these types of settings. Our behaviour does not always fit a rational actor model but it is still systematic and predictable.
Harnessing knowledge about how people actually behave can improve outcomes for organisations. The report looks at:
- Ways to attract candidates best suited to the job and the organisation’s broader needs.
- The evidence behind the use of key selection and assessment tools, as well as the biases and judgement errors that may occur on the assessor’s side when using these tools.
- The candidate’s experience during the recruitment process. Not only does the candidate experience affect our ability to decipher who is best, it also can have knock-on effects on an employer’s brand and their ability to attract talent in the future.
From the research, 18 tips for better recruitment practice are provided:
- Take a fresh look at person–organisation fit, considering both current and aspirational organisational culture.
- Test the wording of your job adverts to see how it affects who applies.
- Personalise your outreach efforts to encourage applicants.
- Make it easy for people who show interest to apply directly.
- Vary where and how you do outreach.
- Push for transparency in outreach even when using networks for recruitment and selection.
- Systematise your use of social media in recruitment.
- Group and anonymise CVs when reviewing them.
- Pre-commit to a set of interview questions that are directly related to performance on the job.
- Focus interviews on collecting information, not making the decision.
- Make sure tests are relevant to the job and fit for purpose.
- Include people in hiring decisions who have not been involved in assessing candidates.
- Stick to what the scores tell you for final decisions.
- Spread assessments and decisions across days, but keep all other conditions similar.
- If discussing unconscious bias, emphasise the desired behaviour of assessors, rather than the problem.
- Evaluate your assessment practices.
- Avoid creating stereotype threat in the assessment process.
- Ask for feedback from rejected and accepted candidates.
- Linos, E., & Reinhard, J. (2015). A head for hiring: The behavioural science of recruitment and selection. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). http://www. cipd. co. uk/binaries/a-head-for-hiring_2015-behavioural-science-of-recruitment-and-selection.pdf. ↩
Also published on Medium.