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Guest blog - the psychology behind making your next hiring decision

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Following on from my last blog where I shared insights and tips from Sarah Fitton, career coach, on the importance of giving candidates a top notch experience when you are recruiting I am super pleased to be able to quiz Rachel Gascoigne so that she can share her expertise on how business owners can improve their chances of making good recruitment decisions through a better understanding of the psychology behind the processes.

Rachel is an experienced recruitment professional who has led both high volume recruitment campaigns and specialist c-suite headhunting activities. Rachel is currently studying a Masters in Business Psychology at the University of Manchester to diversify her career to supporting businesses to help them understand the needs of their employees better to drive business growth and success.


What is business psychology and what is the link between it and business success?

Business Psychology is the study of an organisation or business, and the ways in which the people within it interact, using evidence-based practices and management to identify solutions to problems that improve the well-being and performance of organizations and their employees

Why is it so important to make good hiring decisions?

Bad hiring decisions are incredibly costly. Recruitment costs are normally 10-40% of the first year’s salary and training costs. Plus, the knock-on effects in lost productivity for colleagues while training. Not to forget, if you make a bad hiring decision, firing people is also very hard. It is estimated that effective selection could save up to £9k per employee per annum. Therefore, 9k x No of staff in the business per annum is A LOT!

What methods of selection would you recommend to a small business to minimise the risk of making a recruitment mistake?

Empirical research suggests the best predictors of job success are work samples, intelligence tests and structured interviews. Any combination of these would be recommended.

Unstructured interviews along the lines of “tell me what you did in your last role” and referencing, although being the most popular methods, are actually some of the lowest predictors of securing a good performer in the role.

Also, one size does not fit all – job analysis is the first step to consider before any methods of selection can be chosen.

What would be in your perfect tool kit to make a hiring decision?

Intelligence and personality tests, if available to your recruiters are a reliable tool to assess ability and to use in preparation for an interview. Structured interviews, where everyone is asked the same questions are proven to be less bias and an effective tool to assess future job success.

What are you top three tips for business owners when it comes to adding to their team?

1. It is impossible to make a good hiring decision without an effective job analysis. Without knowing what the organisation needs are, the job description and the person specification, it is impossible to choose the appropriate methods of selection.

2. Selection methods need to be fair. If you use intelligence or personality tests, make sure they are being used to test and measure what is necessary for the job. Check your process is free from bias and does not discriminate.

3. Candidate reactions to your recruitment process are really important to consider. Your brand and reputation are at stake.


If you are a business owner looking for support with your recruitment strategy and process give me a call today for a no obligation chat. Over half of my career has focused on Talent Acquisition and I really enjoy seeing great results for my clients.


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