Behaviour-Based Recruitment: A Guide for Employers

Behaviour-Based Recruitment: A Guide for Employers contains best practice guidance for employers on recruiting for behaviours and taking volunteering and social action into account. Not having the correct experience is the biggest barrier to young people who want to apply for a role. By looking for positive behaviours, attitudes and aspirations, employers can spot young people with the potential to flourish in their company rather than ruling them out automatically due to a lack of experience.

Behaviour-Based Recruitment: A Guide for Employers includes:

  • Step-by-step guidance to help employers identify the kinds of behaviours and attitudes that show young candidates’ potential
  • Key actions employers can take to draw out the value of volunteering and social action experience in their recruitment processes
  • Sample questions for behaviour-based recruitment
  • How to uncover hidden digital skills

In Business in the Community’s (BITC) 2015 Youth Survey, nearly 60 per cent of young people told us that their lack of experience had been a barrier to them applying for a role. This was the biggest obstacle mentioned by respondents. Many employers ask applicants for previous experience for entry-level roles, which by definition should not require any. Consequently, many employers are filtering out candidates without experience, saving time on shortlisting at the cost of identifying the best young talent.

How behaviour-based recruitment can help employers

Behaviour-based recruitment assesses candidates’ suitability based on their behaviours, attitudes and aspirations, rather than previous work experience. This enables recruiters to spot candidates with the potential to excel in a role, even when they have no direct experience. It helps employers identify people with the attitudes and values that are the best cultural fit for their company. Something that is not necessarily drawn out by discussing previous employment.

Reframing the focus of interview questions, as well as using other types of assessments, such as situational judgement tests, group assessments and interactive sessions, allow candidates to demonstrate how they would behave in real-life situations and interact with colleagues and clients. Employers can also take into account other valuable experience that young people have gained outside of education and employment. These might include volunteering, social action and hidden digital skills. These kinds of experiences demonstrate initiative, a wide range of interpersonal skills and a commitment to making a difference.

This toolkit was developed as part of BITC’s Future Proof campaign. This campaign, backed by the City & Guilds Group, helps employers break down barriers in their recruitment processes, creating quality, accessible jobs for all young people.

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