All of us have it – biases that influence our hiring decisions. Okay, so now that this little character flaw has been exposed, how do you know if you harbor any preconceptions or prejudgments? The following are four common thought biases.

1. ANCHORING is comparing candidates to the person they are replacing. This is blatantly unfair since you’re judging someone on another person’s abilities.

Fix: conduct fair and balanced interviews by using a standardized questionnaire for every candidate.

2. BAND-WAGONING happens when hiring decisions are made by a “group” of individuals. The end result is usually because the “loudest” voice steers the other group members to a particular candidate.

Fix: create and implement a “scorecard” that employs an agreed upon rating system that the team can turn to during post-interview debriefing.

3. GUT-REACTION is a hiring practice that’s been around forever. The moment you see a candidate, you tell yourself “yay” or “nay”.

Fix: don’t prejudge; give the applicant an equal opportunity to present themselves.

4. STEREOTYPING is any ugly “…ism” that comes into play.

Fix: if possible, create a diverse group of people to make the final hiring decision. Here, too, a scorecard would be extremely beneficial as it would strengthen whatever choice is made.

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