In the September 2015 edition of The International Journal of Selection and Assessment, researchers Dev K. Dalal, Dalia L. Diab, and R. Scott Tindale evaluated the influence that rumors have on the hiring process, specifically the role they place in a hiring manager determining the “hireability” of a job candidate. This study argued that rumors influence hiring decisions in a number of ways and evidence was found that, while participants insisted that the rumors they heard did not influence their hiring decisions, rumors about job candidates did in fact influence the decision to hire them or not.
5 Key Takeaways
- There have been several studies about how rumors can influence various aspects of the workforce, from morale to performance, but very little done to see how rumors influence hiring decisions in talent acquisition. Thus, this study set out to understand how much influence rumors have on hiring decisions.
- The study explains that rumors are hard to ignore because “rumors are compelling information statements that decision makers will find difficult to ignore. When coupled with hiring managers’ general preference for unstructured and intuitive approaches to employee selection rumors can influence hiring decision making.” Furthermore, the article notes that rumors tend to be weighted more when there is more at stake - and in the case of hiring, rumors are heeded on the basis that making the wrong hiring decision is expensive.
- Rumors are easy to come by as well. Because hiring managers are leveraging the power of the social media to learn more about a candidate, it is not difficult to stumble across a potential decision-influencing rumor.
- The end result, the study argues, is that rumors are believed to create better hiring decisions when in fact they create worse ones.
- The study found that negative rumors are weighted more heavily when building a decision about a job candidate and that even though rumors shouldn’t be used when forming an impression due to their unreliability, rumors and non-rumored information are weighted equally in the hiring decision.
What This Means for You - Making the Right, Best-Informed Hiring Decision Possible
Nobody wants to run the risk of making the wrong hiring decision, and using every piece of information at one’s disposal seems like a good idea in theory. However, as more information becomes readily available through internet searches and word-of-mouth it’s important to keep in mind where the information comes from, and if the information is reliable.
The fact of the matter is rumors can and do influence hiring decisions, but that’s why it’s important to leverage all available tools when making a hiring decision. This is where the importance of qualitative data comes in - if you hear a rumor that a job candidate is a bad employee because he or she is lazy, use a personality assessment to identify the candidate’s work ethic. If there’s a rumor that the candidate is unfriendly and not personable, use a job simulation to create situations where a candidate would have to deal with certain types of customers and measure the results. In short rumors can be dispelled with reliable, trustworthy data from your own pre-hire assessments.
Want to learn how you can make better hiring decisions for your Work@Home workforce? Sign up for our webinar with Jeff Furst (FurstPerson), Michele Rowan (Customer Contact Strategies), and King White (Site Selection Group) on October 7 at 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST) below:
Topics: Short and Scholarly