The “Hi Good-Looking” & “Halo Effect” Traps

According to an article in the Harvard Business review, 33% of all hiring decisions are decided on appearance alone.

This is great for people who use this technique as all they need is a photo or video of the candidate to make their decision on. I’m being facetious of course. Obviously, the candidate’s resume is reviewed before you get to see the person. But then, how many really good candidates are cast aside because of appearance and, equally as important, how many good-looking duds are hired?

The hiring process is like the selling process or the buying process. It’s a process and when it gets short circuited, problems abound.

The hiring process doesn’t need to be written in stone, but there should be some guidelines that can be reviewed whenever something goes wrong so that the process can be modified.

Hiring from the hip is just as bad as firing from the hip if you really want to hit your target.

Beware of the “Halo Effect”

Did you ever meet someone who you took an instant like to? That’s because the person you’ve just met subconsciously reminds you of someone you know, and it’s called the “halo effect.” Whatever qualities you attribute to the person you know are transferred to the person you’ve just met.

This is an all-too-common and dangerous phenomenon that often occurs during the interview portion of the hiring process. We take an instant like to the candidate and end up short-circuiting the interview process and not digging for the information we need to make an informed hiring decision.

The best way to deal with this potential hiring trap is to mentally note that you have this warm and fuzzy feeling about the candidate and try to identify who it is she reminds you of. Having done that, pause a moment to remind yourself that this person is NOT the same person and you need to look for the differences.

Another phenomenon to be aware of is the “reverse halo effect.” This is where you take an instant dislike to a candidate. This is because the individual reminds you of someone you dislike or someone who has caused you grief in the past and you’ve transferred the other person’s transgressions onto the new person.

Use the same techniques as for the halo effect to get your mind back on track again.