When you’re so taken with the first impression a new hire has made, you may inadvertently overlook signs that they’re not a good fit for the organization. The halo effect, the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area*, can have serious repercussions and result in a loss of productivity or worse yet negatively impact morale.
And you may not even realize this, but you may be making hiring choices based on an unconscious bias: Leaning toward similar and what you perceive to be likable races, education levels, socioeconomic status, personalities and moving them forward in the process because they were likable during the interview. This is the time to put the blinders on and interview the person to uncover whether they have the right qualifications and experience not if they like the same sports team as you do.
Like-minded or too similar communication styles do not lead to fresh ideas. Often times, growth comes from sharing and embracing a new perspective. And even though this can be uncomfortable at first, it can lead to new ways to approach a problem or meet a goal that helps your team be even more successful.
Unfortunately, it’s too easy to make assumptions about a candidate performing similarly in a role because they seem to be like current people in the organization or they have a similar knowledge set or shared interests. And this is rarely, if ever, the case. Having common interests and similar conversation styles doesn’t necessarily make them the right fit for the job. And it’s critically important hiring managers recognize this and stop this practice.
The reality is you’re hiring because you’ve identified that you need a certain skill set that’s currently missing on your team or needs more focus and attention. Filling these gaps on your team is the goal not filling it with more of the same old same old.
Your office environment could be giving off an unapproachable vibe. Think about how you could make your workplace more dynamic and welcoming. And are you using your job postings to help attract a diverse audience of potential candidates?
If you’re not approaching hiring with an open mind, before you know it, you may have an office filled with the same race, demographic, wage and education level, gender, age and abilities. Even though you didn’t intentionally avoid a certain candidate, you may be subconsciously practicing discriminatory hiring patterns if a candidate is not meeting your perceived cultural fit (these are my people need not apply in this scenario). Today, it’s more important than ever to approach hiring based on where you need to fill gaps on the team with different levels of expertise and skills and add more diverse thinking and ideas.
Michelle Conn, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager
She is passionate about women succeeding in the workplace. She loves baseball, running and baking. She’s a dedicated non-profit board-member and volunteer. She calls the beach her happy place and is the mother of 3 boys.
Angela Milkie-Stokes, Resource Manager
Angela brings a mix of Human Resource knowledge and Student Affairs experience. She enjoys advocating for people with specific needs in the workplace. Angela can speak conversational Spanish and played the flute for more than 10 years! In her free time, she likes to read, be outdoors and spend time with friends.