When it comes to sharing information and getting your message across effectively, it’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it. Or really, who says it. It is crucial to ensure your message is clear but choosing the right person to deliver that message is equally as important, particularly when you are trying to influence people to apply for a job.
That’s why in our second blog post on behavioural science, we’re focusing on the role of the ’Messenger’ and how you can use this theory in your day-to-day business; but also as part of your hiring process.
First off, let’s break down the behavioural science principles a little bit, without getting too technical. These theories explain the meaning behind why we respond differently to certain people. In a work environment, these theories can be applied to motivate employees to work hard or to drive the uptake of a new technology, like video interviewing.
Reference groups play a crucial part in how we compare ourselves to others. An aspirational reference group is one that includes people with whom the individual would like to be associated with but isn’t yet. In order to reach that point, they’re likely to copy their attitudes and behaviours.
Another important concept to bear in mind is the social cognitive theory which says we learn by observing other people’s actions and behaviours.
Enter the Messenger – the messenger can become an aspirational reference for others who might not yet be exhibiting the same level of behaviour and encourage them to perform it.
In the workplace, you might see the Messenger taking various forms; for example, where there is a mentorship programme. This allows employees to find someone more senior who they aspire to be like and who can act as an inspiration to them. They will be motivated to mimic their mentor’s actions in order to achieve the same levels of success; this is an example of the Messenger in action.
Now, consider a candidate in the job application process. If they see that people similar to them have used video interviewing, they will be more inclined to give it a try. Use a case study of a previous applicant to play the role of the Messenger in your communications with candidates. Highlighting the benefits that they’ve experienced by using the technology is very effective – for example having more control over that all important first impression. By demonstrating how the success of their video interview has translated into success, for instance helping them to secure their dream job, others will be more likely to copy them. Overall, this helps to drive change and sway perceptions among your candidate pool.
Watch out for Foosle’s next blog post on behaviour change – we will be discussing you, the Actor, and the reasons behind your actions! But until then…
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