How to use psychology to hire the best employees

Last updated:
June 15, 2022
June 16, 2022
min read
David Pagotto
use psychology to hire the best employees
Table of contents

Every hiring manager or recruiter aims to hire quality employees because they understand the value. Quality employees help companies avoid the high cost of hiring for the same role every few months and increase workplace morale and productivity. 

However, effective recruitment is not readily achievable due to possible hiring biases of managers and recruiters. That means they cannot see beyond what a candidate presents during interviews and all the recruitment phases. 

There could also be some issues with impressing the quality prospects during a job interview because some companies do not understand what the candidates are looking for in a workplace. 

As a hiring manager, you should learn and embrace recruitment psychology practices to achieve more efficient hiring processes

But how do you use recruitment psychology through recruitment phases to attract and hire quality employees? Read on for our detailed guide.

1. Emphasize job security

For most people, jobs are not only a source of income but also give them a sense of purpose in life. So when their job security is threatened, it leads to anxiety and stress, which leads to decreased productivity, engagement, and the level of job satisfaction. 

Different candidates look for different job security aspects depending on what each looks to gain from a career opportunity. However, there are vital factors you must address, like the salary, contract terms, work environment, and job benefits.

What is included in the job description? What measures have you taken to ensure constant growth in the department or current job role? How have you invested in the required tools and infrastructure? 

The answers to these questions will assure the candidates of the position’s value in the company. It is impossible for a candidate to feel their job will be secure if the company has not invested in the future of their role.

Source: Recruitee

To back up the information you give, you can write a good About Us page that expresses your values and beliefs and offers more facts about the company’s work environment. This content might even increase the number of potential applicants and impact applicant quality.

But there are also other details you can give applicants in the interview phase of recruitment to assure them that their future in your company is secure. Clearly outlining your general plans and goals for the role using the SMART approach is one as it gives candidates a good idea of the company’s goals and how the role fits into the company roadmap.  

2. Create structured interviews

Structured interviews are done through pre-determined questions, which are asked in the same order for all candidates. Though it is the least interactive interview style, the recruitment psychology factor is in the question’s uniformity, reducing the possibility of recruiter bias.

For the same reason, structured interviews are also considered more credible and reliable than other styles. Research shows that 74% of human resource managers prefer using the structured interview technique due to the validity and because they are often the last phase of recruitment.

However, you do not have to stick to the same old pattern when conducting structured interviews. You can include behavioral and situational questions to help personnel selection and improve your candidate experience

Behavioral questions will help you understand a candidate's traits and how they guarantee performance and productivity. In contrast, situational questions allow recruiters to test the interviewees' problem-solving and decision-making skills.

While structured interviews do not offer opportunities to conduct personnel recruitment in a personal approach, you can also frame the interview in positive recruitment psychology. That encourages employees to highlight their values and strengths.

Recruiters and hiring managers can compare and ensure positive recruitment outcomes using the information collected from each candidate in the applicant pool. Looking at how the candidate journey works on mobile devices is also important.

3. Talk about your employee recognition programs

You offer a competitive salary, a good workplace environment, and the equipment your new hires need to do the job. But apart from the necessities, what else is on the table? Why should qualified applicants choose to work in your company?

You need to prove to them that the benefits of choosing your company will help advance their careers and nurture them as individuals. Talking about your company’s benefits and recognition programs will help you achieve this.

The opportunity for career growth and advancement is one of the most powerful factors behind job satisfaction and employee satisfaction. According to a study released in 2020 by Great Place to Work, 37% of the respondents said that workplace recognition is their greatest motivation in the workplace.  

The survey analyzed 1.7 million responses from employees in large, mid-sized, and small companies. 

Source: Great Place to Work

The statistics considered, discussing your employee recognition program is one of the recruitment psychology tactics you can use to hire qualified employees and attract potential applicants. You will be giving them a sneak peek of what to expect and look forward to.

You will also prove that the company recognizes its employees' efforts, rewards productivity, and other career achievements. That will attract the desirable applicants you are looking to bring on board.  

4. Use psychological assessments

Psychological assessments are a unique and more in-depth method of evaluating an applicant. You need to understand the candidate to know if they’re a good fit in the workplace. There are several types of tests you can use for the personnel recruitment process, but they mostly fall in either one of these three categories:

  • Personality tests
  • Intelligence Aptitude tests
  • Skills tests

Employee personality tests are the most common and use personality psychology. They help determine each candidate's traits and how they interact with people, motivate themselves, and behave in certain situations.

Personality tests also allow recruiters to predict candidates' job performance based on their answers. The prediction simplifies the recruitment process by separating the qualified and unqualified applicants.

That helps determine whether an applicant fits a particular job role by using their personality to predict a candidate’s job performance. 

Intelligence aptitude tests are considered the most accurate test when predicting the amount of success a candidate would have in a role.

For instance, Deloitte tests candidates’ skills through a scenario-based assessment covering numerical reasoning, situational strength, and verbal reasoning. On average, at least 50-60% of the applicants fail this stage, while those who pass often make it to the final stages of the process

Here is an example of Deloitte's numerical reasoning test:

Source: Graduates First

The skills test is ideal when a recruiter is conducting skill-based hiring, which is hiring candidates with a specific skill-set. They determine a candidate's intelligence and logical thinking ability. 

The tests vary depending on the skill a company requires. Some of the skills companies look for include typing, grammar, computer literacy, math, and analytical skills. Some companies also look for the ability-to-cope perspective in applicants.

The cognitive ability tests are key recruitment material. However, they are also more accurate when supplemented by others.

Recruiters need to use them strategically and when necessary, or else they will end up with inaccurate results and hire unqualified applicants.

In Closing

Hiring managers and recruiters looking to hire quality employees need to embrace psychology for a more effective personnel selection process.

As a recruiter, understanding recruitment psychology will help you see beyond a candidate’s words in selection processes and also help you avoid bias.  

Recruitment psychology will also allow you to determine the primary motivators of job-seekers. This allows you to package your job vacancies so that they will attract applicants and lead to the best talent being hired.

As discussed in the article, you can conduct structured interviews, emphasize job security, discuss employee recognition programs, and incorporate psychological assessments in your hiring process.

When used uniformly, in each recruitment phase, these recruitment materials and selection tools provide a level ground for each candidate. They help you identify what each candidate brings to the table. 

After comparing the results, you can choose the best candidate from the pool of applicants. From your interaction and observation all through the employee recruitment process, you can also give them an offer that they’ll appreciate and accept.

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