Abstracts: August 4th, 2010

Research commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions found that in some cases employers do use information shortcuts to screen applicants. This is particularly true where employers receive large numbers of job applications. Rejecting those from particular post codes makes the task of short listing and selection more manageable.

This form of screening is less likely to occur where recruitment and selection is in some way professionalised, for example by the involvement of HR professionals in some or all of the process. The extent of this screening practice is difficult to establish because the responses from employers may not have been totally reliable.

Research also included the potential for using employer networks to ‘seed’ information in support of changing employer behaviour in relation to the employment of people from deprived areas. Researcher found that employers were mistrustful of government-provided information and they reported limited evidence of changing behaviour as a product of this sort of information.

Postcode selection? Employers’ use of area- and address-based information shortcuts in recruitment decisions is available from DWP.