Research Report

A head for hiring: the behavioural science of recruitment and selection

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A head for hiring: the behavioural science of recruitment and selection

Published August 2015

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231 KB

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We all agree that recruiting and selecting the right people is fundamental to any organisation's success. How best to do it, however, remains a challenge. Behavioural science has a lot to say about the way in which people make decisions in these types of setting. This report, written for the CIPD by the Behavioural Insights Team, outlines ways in which harnessing knowledge about how we actually behave can help those engaged in recruitment to improve outcomes for organisations.

The report examines existing evidence through a behavioural science lens to offer examples from the literature and practical tips for recruiters. It explores ways to attract candidates best suited to the job and the organisation's broader needs; the use of key selection and assessment tools, and the biases and errors of judgement that may occur when using these tools; and the experience of the candidate during the recruitment process, including the impact of stress and the knock-on effects of the candidate experience on the employer brand.

"Recognising the ways in which our opinions and thinking
systematically bias results is the first step
to improving hiring decisions."

Content of the report

  • Foreword
  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • 1 Attracting the people you need
  • 2 Designing selection processes and preparing assessors
  • 3 Improving the candidate experience
  • Conclusions
  • Glossary of terms/behavioural biases
  • References

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