IO Psychology in the Workplace: The Science Behind Hiring Success

By Caroline Roberson on April 5, 2024

Industrial-Organizational (IO) psychology is the study of human behavior in the workplace. IO psychologists work to optimize organizational efficiency by matching a candidate who displays certain essential skills or personality traits to a role they are best suited for. IO psychology is more than just the simple study of how people function in the workplace, however. Proper application of the principles can improve issues related to identifying and retaining valuable candidates, increasing productivity and employee satisfaction, and streamlining the hiring process. Read on to learn more about what an IO psychologist does and how employing one can significantly impact your organization’s efficiency.

How IO Psychology Impacts the Workplace

One of the most common struggles for HR teams is retaining quality employees. Lately, retention rates are in flux as employees look for better opportunities elsewhere. An IO psychologist can analyze existing quality employees to identify the combination of personality traits and skills that makes them so effective in their role. Then, they can develop their findings into a job analysis, job profile, or pre-employment assessment that your HR team can use to match future candidates to the position. Knowing what to look for right off the bat with a new candidate reduces the likelihood of wasting time interviewing and evaluating them only to find they lack a crucial aspect later down the road.

Once the candidate has been recruited, IO psychologists can rework your onboarding process to design effective training to ensure the new candidate is well-prepared and engaged. Continuing to provide relevant training as needed throughout an employee’s tenure is important for retaining candidates long-term. The insights that IO psychology provides into how employees react within the bounds of their job can reveal ways to improve overall employee engagement and satisfaction, greatly reducing turnover.

Outside of the hiring process, IO psychologists can continue to make an impact on existing employees. When looking to promote an employee to a leadership position, consulting an IO psychologist on how to best assess an employee for their potential as a skilled leader can facilitate the transition from one role to another and set the employee up for success. 

IO Psychology Has a Long Reach

Involving an IO psychologist in your hiring process can do more than just improve the overall process; their skillset can come in handy for more specific situations, such as helping to…

  • Integrate pre-employment assessments smoothly into your hiring process and ensure their validity and effectiveness
  • Reduce unconscious bias by designing a more objective approach to assessing candidates, allowing your organization to attain its DEI goals
  • Identify the key skills and traits essential for a candidate’s success in a highly specialized role
  • Suggest specific interview questions to better tailor your interviews to quickly identify and secure promising candidates
  • Determine what makes a candidate a good culture fit in your workplace

If your organization has higher goals in mind, bringing an IO psychologist on board can help you achieve them along with globally improving your hiring process.

Why is IO Psychology So Popular Right Now?

Now more than ever, IO psychology is aiding organizations experiencing a labor shortage in their most critical roles. The struggle to recruit skilled employees to fill those roles makes for fierce competition–losing extra time and money because of a poor fit can result in lasting ramifications if an ideal candidate isn’t found and retained quickly. Getting an IO psychologist involved can improve the chances of attracting, recruiting, and retaining promising talent.

By boosting an organization’s efficiency, productivity, and sustainability, IO psychology can drastically improve the retention of highly skilled, qualified candidates. When looking to integrate an IO psychologist into your hiring process, consider the objectives your organization seeks to accomplish: with the expertise a professional IO psychologist offers, you may just exceed your goals.

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