Cultural Intelligence as an engine for selection processes

In order to cope with an ageing population, it is necessary to keep the employment rate of the active population as high as possible. However, some groups, including persons of foreign non-EU origin, still appear to find it difficult to access the labour market. One possible explanation for this is that the selection procedure used within organisations is insufficiently geared to the specificity of this group. Within this research we therefore want to develop an intervention that offers the recruiter tools to adapt the selection process to the characteristics and needs of persons of foreign non-EU origin. For this we base ourselves on the construct ‘cultural intelligence’ (CQ). CQ is a multi-dimensional, aggregated construct with 4 dimensions and 11 sub-factors that include the skills to act successfully in intercultural settings. CQ can, as a dynamic construct, be developed through interventions based on experiential learning theory.

In a first phase of the research we will, based on a literature study, the analysis of figures and in-depth interviews, find out which dimensions and/or sub-factors of CQ recruiters consciously or unconsciously use within the selection process. On this basis we will develop an intervention, based on the experiential learning theory. This intervention is then cyclically enriched and adjusted. In concrete terms, the intervention is offered and evaluated in three consecutive cycles within four (new) companies each time. The evaluation forms the basis for the further adjustment and enrichment of the intervention before offering it again in four new companies. After completing the three cycles, the intervention is finalized, offered and actively promoted as a training package.

Duration: 2018-2020

Researchers: Hanne Claessens and Carolien Cuyt