Candidate's voice impacts hiring decisions

The way recruiters approach hiring a new worker may rest on the applicant's voice and tone, according to recent US research into the way recruiters analyse different information.

The study, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, suggested that recruiters value a potential hire more when they hear their voice, compared to when they read the same information on a piece of paper.

In the experiment, recruiters were asked to rate the qualities of a candidate across different delivery methods – either reading their resume or listening to it spoken out loud. The information remained unchanged across the two delivery methods, but the recruiters' perceptions of the candidates did change.

When a resume was read out loud, the candidate was ranked as being more competent, intelligent and thoughtful. Interestingly, the research found that seeing the candidate when they did the reading made no difference – the difference in perception was only related to hearing the candidate's voice.

With these discrepancies arising during the hiring process, recruitment companies will need to be sure they have a uniform approach to their candidate management. By using effective recruitment software, they can be sure there is no risk of these human biases affecting the outcome for a client.

However, the research did also highlight the importance of listening to a candidate speak, according to one of the study's authors, Professor Nicholas Epley.

"In addition to communicating the contents of one's mind, like specific thoughts and beliefs, a person's speech conveys their fundamental capacity to think – the capacity for reasoning, thoughtfulness and intellect," said Prof Epley.

By understanding how these different factors can affect the hiring process – and adjusting processes accordingly – professional recruiters can be sure they are offering their clients the best possible candidates for a new position.

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