Three Most Common Hiring Biases

Three Common Hiring Biases

Making a wrong hire wastes a lot of time and money. Two things we could all do with more of. It takes on average over a month to fill a vacancy and it’s not a process you want to have to redo. There are many ways that we can make mistakes.

As humans, we are hardwired to trust our gut when meeting new people. Hunter-gatherers didn’t have a lot of time to sit and think if a stranger was friend or foe. Tactics for reaching a quick decision have stuck with us and come up as biases when hiring people. But by being more aware of the most common hiring biases we can overcome them. And make better hiring decisions.

These aren’t biases based on any -isms. They don’t come from any bigoted point of view; we are all equally susceptible to falling into them. The most common are:

  1. Confirmation bias
  2. Halo effect
  3. Similarity attraction bias

Going through them and becoming familiar with them will let you recognize and overcome them.

Hiring Bias #1: Confirmation Bias

We should all question our first impressions. Especially when it comes to recruiting. When we see someone’s CV and recognize a good school or prestigious past employer, we make assumptions about a candidate. They will be smart or well-spoken. It goes the opposite way of course too. When it comes to an interview, we can look to confirm those initial impressions and take any evidence, however slight, as conclusive. Even going so far as to ignore other contradictory aspects of an interviewee.

Hiring Bias #2: Halo Effect

A polite, clean and well-dressed person is instantly seen as a better hire. Even though none of those things might have anything to do with how well they can do the job. It even goes as far as tall or attractive people getting better outcomes. Physical and cultural traits valued by our society have an impact on our impression of a person. That can lead us to, again, ignoring or overemphasizing other qualities of that candidate, qualities that do have an impact of how well they can do the role.

Hiring Bias #3: Similarity Attraction Bias

When we meet someone who likes the same hobbies as we do, supports the same team or has the same sense of humor, it is natural to like them more. This also has an impact on how highly we rate them for the opening, again even though they have nothing to do with the person’s ability to perform the role. It is easier to justify hiring someone we like while there is a better candidate that we don’t get on with as well.  It leads us to making poor decisions which we may come to regret in the future.

There are many other types of hiring bias out there; these are only the 3 most common. By being aware of these biases and reminding yourself of them as you interview a candidate you can learn to ignore them. A standard set of questions as well as clearly defined standards will also help mitigate them. By doing so you will have saved time and money.

Utilizing Talcura’s technology, you can equip your entire team to source, hire and retain the best people. Reach out today.

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