Recently, I have been involved in the hiring process of new recruits for software engineering positions. We have been trying our best by skimming contents on the CV, preparing code challenges, and performing short interviews using Skype. However, I wonder about which is the scientifically proven best hiring process.

So, does anybody know about scientific papers or literature on something that could be called "evidence-based hiring" or similar?

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    Your search came up with nothing? – user8365 Jun 12 '14 at 20:45
  • No, I have not find any scientific paper on the subject. However, there are many personal opinions on the web, and that's not what I'm looking for. The closest thing I have been able to find is the fact that google is trying to find some answers by mining employee and hiring process data: tlnt.com/2013/02/26/…. – marcmagransdeabril Jun 12 '14 at 21:11
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    From a science point of view it is a REAL problem to define in a measurable way what exactly makes a good hire. If you can't DO THAT, then there's no way to screen for it. In other words you can't find something if you don't even know what you're looking for. If you pick any one trait or even a few traits, you can always find people that are excellent hires that break the rule. Also,people are moving targets when it comes to their job performance. Some start out low and become stellar, others are promoted to incompetence. Perhaps hiring is NOT a science problem? – teego1967 Jun 13 '14 at 0:02
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is polling for a resource. – Jim G. Jun 13 '14 at 1:51

Getting to a scientific study would take me more time that I'm willing to put in. In all honesty, you'd have to dig into what research you actually believe on any given management practice.

But this was rather useful:


I've been watching the evidence-based-hiring concept recently, and I'm becoming a fan. I've always done this sort of process, largely because I can't always interview for perfect knowledge of the area I'm trying to hire for, and it's a lot easier find candidates who are similar enough with a technique like this.

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  • So exactly which quartile do Dodge & Cox's funds sit in what's there record over say 30 years as good as Graham, Buffet or Woodford. Their approach should like you'd just end up with a closet tracker. – Pepone Jun 12 '14 at 21:03

After reading the comments and answers, I tried again to find some papers.

So far, I have found an excellent meta-analysis on hiring practices with more than 4000 citations: The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings.

The correct keywords describing the research area is "evidence-based human resources", and it is part of the "evidence-based management" research.

Another nice survey pointing to some other relevant papers about evidence-based HR can be found at Using Evidence-Based Human Resource Practices for Global Competitiveness.

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