Beware Of The Anchoring Bias When Making A Hire

We all have biases, those unconscious inclinations, that affect our decisions.  These mental shortcuts allow us to get through our day without having to analyze every thought, but often times prevent us from making sound decisions.

Wikipedia defines the anchoring bias as the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first pieces of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions.

We have seen hiring managers make poor hires when they let the anchoring bias affect hiring decisions.  One hiring manager we worked with, Bob, needed to fill a key role and was initially presented with many poor candidates.  After many lousy interviews, Bob met with an “okay” candidate – Steve.  Compared to the earlier candidates, Steve looked like a star.  Though Steve wasn’t what Bob had envisioned, when anchored with the other candidates, he stood out enough to be offered the job.

You know the rest of the story: Steve didn’t work out and Bob had to let him go.  Had Bob been aware of his tendency to rely on the first pieces of information, to be anchored, he probably wouldn’t have made the hire.

Empower yourself to understand your biases and you make more successful decisions.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration, Selection

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