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Tools for fairness: Increased structure in the selection process reduces discrimination

Wolgast, Sima LU ; Bäckström, Martin LU and Björklund, Fredrik LU (2017) In PLoS ONE
Abstract
Employment discrimination causes problems at the labor market, and is hard to combat. Can increasing the degree of structure when selecting applicants increase fairness? Students were asked to perform a computerized selection task and were either provided with tools for systematizing information about the applicants (structured selection) or no such tools (unstructured selection). We hypothesized and found that a structured process, where employing recruitment tools rather than the recruiter’s impressionistic judgment is key, improves the ability to identify job-relevant criteria and hence selecting more qualified applicants, even when in-group favoritism is tempting (e.g. when the outgroup applicants are more competent). Increasing... (More)
Employment discrimination causes problems at the labor market, and is hard to combat. Can increasing the degree of structure when selecting applicants increase fairness? Students were asked to perform a computerized selection task and were either provided with tools for systematizing information about the applicants (structured selection) or no such tools (unstructured selection). We hypothesized and found that a structured process, where employing recruitment tools rather than the recruiter’s impressionistic judgment is key, improves the ability to identify job-relevant criteria and hence selecting more qualified applicants, even when in-group favoritism is tempting (e.g. when the outgroup applicants are more competent). Increasing structure helped recruiters select more competent applicants and reduced ethnic discrimination. Increasing the motivation to carefully follow the structured procedure strengthened these effects further. We conclude that structure pays off, and that motivational factors should be taken into account in order for it to have the optimal effect. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
personnel selection, recruitment, structure, systematicity, discrimination, ethnicity, Middle-East, organizational psychology
in
PLoS ONE
pages
15 pages
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • scopus:85038441312
ISSN
1932-6203
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6036aeb4-8417-49a6-92d3-397dff17aa3a
alternative location
http://10.1371/journal.pone.0189512
date added to LUP
2017-12-12 11:21:09
date last changed
2018-01-07 12:28:20
@article{6036aeb4-8417-49a6-92d3-397dff17aa3a,
  abstract     = {Employment discrimination causes problems at the labor market, and is hard to combat. Can increasing the degree of structure when selecting applicants increase fairness? Students were asked to perform a computerized selection task and were either provided with tools for systematizing information about the applicants (structured selection) or no such tools (unstructured selection). We hypothesized and found that a structured process, where employing recruitment tools rather than the recruiter’s impressionistic judgment is key, improves the ability to identify job-relevant criteria and hence selecting more qualified applicants, even when in-group favoritism is tempting (e.g. when the outgroup applicants are more competent). Increasing structure helped recruiters select more competent applicants and reduced ethnic discrimination. Increasing the motivation to carefully follow the structured procedure strengthened these effects further. We conclude that structure pays off, and that motivational factors should be taken into account in order for it to have the optimal effect.},
  articleno    = { e0189512},
  author       = {Wolgast, Sima and Bäckström, Martin and Björklund, Fredrik},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  keyword      = {personnel selection,recruitment,structure,systematicity,discrimination,ethnicity,Middle-East,organizational psychology},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {15},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Tools for fairness: Increased structure in the selection process reduces discrimination},
  year         = {2017},
}