This evidence review aims to support HR professionals who are trying to ensure fair selection in recruitment and promotion practices, both to improve candidate experience and to support more ethical, better-functioning organisations. It summarises the best available research evidence on why fairness is important in selection and how processes can be improved to make them fairer. 

Key messages

  • Fairness in selection and promotion is important. It influences candidates’ subsequent behaviour, including how likely people are to accept a job, reapply to an organisation, or recommend it. It even affects how well employees perform in a role if selected.
  • The perceived fairness of selection can be measured and improved. Fairness applies to processes, communication and how people are treated, and should be evident from the start and throughout the selection process.
  • Selection processes should feel fair from the outset and throughout the candidate experience. Feelings of unfairness have a lasting impact. Early perceptions of unfair treatment make an organisation much less attractive to candidates and, even if they have positive experiences later on, this damage is difficult if not impossible to fully repair.

See the practice summary for the main insights and practical recommendations for action. 

See the scientific summary for our methodology and technical information on the research and study references.

Fair selection: An evidence review | Practice Summary

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Fair selection: An evidence review | Scientific summary

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Fair selection: Surrey Police and
Sussex Police

A case study on using evidence-based practice to review selection processes for promoting police officers

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