How can behavioral principles improve your hiring?

Case studies
2018 Oct 02
By Kristína Radová

Picture a company which is pretty good at their core business, but struggles continuously when it comes to hiring right people to grow their business. Despite exceptional effort, the end results are miniscule. Could we tackle this? We say aye. 

Our objective

Is there a way to use behavioral principles to make initial phone screening more effective? Could this translate to making the whole recruiting process better?

 Our approach

When it comes to getting passive candidates to attend the interview, nothing makes a greater impact than an initial phone conversation. 
In this case, the pool of passive candidates was based on referrals provided by company’s clients. The call was supposed to get them hooked and motivate them to come in for an interview.
The next step was to design an interview so that candidates would be excited to attend the next round. 

A brief analysis of the initial interview, revealed several serious shortcomings, which had to be fixed.  

These included, information overload (which often causes decisional paralysis- resulting in inactivity) and central focus on the company presentation during the interview rather than candidate’s experience. 

The interviewers also failed to address any uncertainty or concerns which might have emerged during the recruitment process, making candidates more likely to drop out. 
Last but not least, there was no clear call-to-action (at the end of the interview, the candidate was not given any easy-to-follow instruction on what they should do next). 

At MINDWORX we believe that If you want to get an idea of what the solution might be, you needn’t look any further than at what the best performers do. Just observe them and learn how they differ from the rest, and incorporate the knowledge into the final solution. 

We observed top recruiters within the company go about their daily business, eavesdropped on their phone conversations, peeked at their interviews and compared them with the peers who didn’t perform well. 

This enabled us to identify several strategies the top performers used which served as a blueprint for the final solution. 

A series of questionnaires was also administered within candidates, as well as focus groups featuring the top performers as well as rookies. This enabled us to address the issue and its causes in a more complex manner. 


Based on finding of our so called behavioral audit we completely redesigned the whole process of hiring candidates. 

The basic idea consisted of shortening the recruitment process (to avoid information overload), making the interview more candidate-focused rather than company-focused, and provide information which is more tangible and easier to digest. 

We also introduced several behavioral principles of persuasion to eliminate uncertainty and make candidate more engaged. Cognitive dissonance, consistency, the IKEA and endowment effect were used to raise the perceived value of the company and the offered position. 

Great timing and effortless execution makes all the difference. 

If done seamlessly, candidate’s perception is slowly shifted towards the benefits of the position and company’s credibility. 

The use of Social proof (we tend to do what the majority is doing), throughout the whole interview, is also very effective. It is especially valuable in situations of high uncertainty (such as considering taking a new job), when we tend to look not only at what the majority is doing, but also at what people like us do under similar circumstances. 

The new concept received positive feedback and the client was truly excited to see it perform. After further, thorough testing, it was introduced to all branches across the whole country. 

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