Hiring Wisdom: Devil or Angel? Don’t Look at Candidates That Way

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

It is human nature to look for like-minded others who share our values and opinions, but it’s in your best interest to curb this tendency when evaluating job candidates.

If the candidate you are considering has been interviewed by others, don’t share your rating with anyone else and don’t ask how anyone else rated the candidate until you make your own decision and can stick to your guns.

I recommend this because, in most cases, we allow other people’s opinions to influence our own – especially if that person is higher up the chain-of-command. This is also more likely to happen when another opinion is extremely negative or we are short of time.

Stick with your own decisions

Also clouding everyone’s judgment are the “halo” and “horn” effects. We human beings don’t seem to be able to think of others as combinations of strengths and weaknesses, or as having good and less desirable traits.

There are no shades of gray. Most of us see others as mostly good or mostly bad. So, if your boss didn’t get a good first impression of a candidate you want to hire, the boss isn’t necessarily right.

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If more than one person can give you concrete reasons why they would not hire your candidate, it would be wise to reconsider. However, don’t be unduly influenced by what a peer or even your boss thinks. The fastest way for you to learn – from both your successes and your mistakes – is to make your own decisions and stick with them.

Come see Mel Kleiman speaking on how Great HR is Simple — It’s Just Not Easy at the TLNT Transform conference in Austin, TX Feb. 26-28, 2012. Click here for more information on attending this event. 

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.