A scientific approach to making better hiring decisions

Looking for practical tips on how to avoid bias in recruitment, improve the candidate experience, and make better hiring decisions? Back in 2015, the CIPD published a report based on insights from behavioural science, especially for you!


Warning of the dangers of making decisions based on intuition and unintentional bias – and championing instead an evidence-based approach – the report is just as valid today as when it was first published. Please read on to discover just a few of its recommendations.


  1. To attract candidates, the report suggests hiring managers test the wording of job adverts to see how it impacts who applies and that they vary where and how they promote a vacancy.
  2. At the assessment stage, it suggests hiring managers group and anonymise CVs when reviewing them, and that they ask the same set of interview questions regarding job performance to all applicants.
  3. At the decision-making stage: the report recommends involving stakeholders from outside the assessment process as well as relying on a well-developed, expert scoring system for final decisions.
  4. For the recruitment strategy, it recommends keeping assessment and decision-making conditions as similar as possible across all candidates. It also advises hiring managers to regularly question and evaluate their assessment practices.
  5. For candidate experience, it recommends hiring managers to avoid creating stereotype threat – whereby members of stereotyped groups often perform worse on tests when their identity as part of that group is highlighted or they are primed to think about it – in the assessment process. Feedback from both rejected and accepted candidates should be requested.


These are just a few of the many tips included in this fascinating report. We hope that you find them helpful. If there are any other topics you’d like us to explore in future newsletters, please get in touch. We are, as ever, here to help!