Hiring Managers’ Reliance on Intuition and Subjectivity in Employee Selection: An Agency Theory Approach
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The present study investigated the factors influencing employers’ preference for non-standardized applicant data collection methods and data combination strategies based on the principal-agent framework (i.e. Agency theory). This is a qualitative study, based on semi-structured interviews with three categories of professionals, including hiring managers, corporate, and third-party recruiters. The data show that hiring managers (i.e. principals) strive to monitor corporate and third party recruiters’ (i.e. agents) behavior in order to overcome problems of opportunistic behavior and asymmetric information. Asymmetric information was perceived as a problem especially when related to the use of standardized data collection methods, of which the principals had little or no control. In addition, different agents’ affiliations (internal or external) trigger different degrees of assertive behavior by agents. A direct implication is that intuition can be a powerful tool in the hand of principals especially when confronted with more exertive agents, as for example, external ones (i.e. third party recruiters). The study expands the traditional principal-agent framework and contributes to the understanding of mechanisms and reasons behind why practitioners rely on their own subjectivity, which has been a central topic of discussion in the field of personnel selection in recent years.
applicant data collection methods, agency theory, recruiter credibility, intuition
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95920OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-95920DiVA: diva2:662413