The Halo effect is a cognitive bias where a positive single trait or characteristic of someone influences our judgment for other unrelated factors. For example, just because this person is good at communicating, you concluded that he/she will be good at everything else that needs to be done on the job description. This is a very common hiring bias and the first step to a wrong hire.
Hiring bias, such as the Halo Effect, is a mistake that all of us do. Our mind forms judgment and assumptions very quickly and we tend to be more receptive to things that we like. Therefore, it takes a lot of experience to be able to overcome that. Therefore, during the hiring process, it is important for you to take note if you are slowly falling into that trap. Ultimately, as a hiring manager, you will want to find the person of the best fit and competence to join the organization. Not someone whom you like just because of a particular point that caught your attention.
A study by CareerBuilder, shows that
- 80% of employee turnover is due to a bad hire
- 60% of a bad hire did not work well with others
- 41% of business estimate cost of bad hire to be over 3-4 months of their salary
How to avoid the Halo Effect in Hiring
Have multiple stages and stakeholders
With this, the candidate can be assessed from different angles, for example through an assessment, to determine their skills and knowledge. Not only that, by having more stakeholders in the interview process, but it can also help to reduce any forms of biases, not only just the halo effect.
Using tools to help evaluate the candidate
Tools such as personality tests can help hiring managers to better evaluate someone rather than through intuition. As you use the same tool for all your candidates, the process can then be fairer as the basis of evaluation is the same.
Get an expert to help you
You can also consider getting an independent party such as a recruiter to help you to take charge of this part of the hiring process. Hiring bias does not happen just during the interview phase but even on the CV screening phase. Therefore, if not done properly, good candidates might be unknowingly rejected from the process.