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Preconditioned Biases in Hiring Practices

We all have our default settings, and that's nothing to be stressed about.

Let's discuss some of the standard Cognitive Biases, and common Fallacies so that we have a strong foundation for our discussion!


Cognitive Biases:

  • Unintentional flaws in reasoning, which result from memory, attention, and other mental faults.

  • These biases are the product of our brain's attempt to rationalize the extraordinarily complicated environment in which we live.

  • Some of the more prevalent types of cognitive bias include confirmation bias, hindsight bias, self-serving bias, anchoring bias, availability bias, the framing effect, and inattentional blindness.

A few types of Fallacies:

  1. Confirmation bias is The propensity to seek for, understand, favor, and remember information that supports or confirms one's preexisting opinions or values is known as confirmation bias.

  2. Halo effect is the propensity for favorable opinions or sentiments about a person, business, brand, or product to positively impact one's opinions or feelings regarding other matters.

  3. The Horn effect is a type of cognitive bias that allows one's judgment of another to be disproportionately impacted by a particular unfavorable attribute, and it is directly connected to the halo effect.

  4. Overconfidence bias is a propensity to have an inaccurate and deceptive opinion about our abilities, intelligence, or talent.

  5. Similarity attraction bias asserts that people are drawn to and like those who are similar to them rather than those who are different from them.

  6. Affinity bias is an unconscious bias that leads individuals to favor those who share similar interests, backgrounds, or appearances.

  7. Beauty bias is when more attractive people are perceived as more successful, happy, and sociable than others.

  8. Conformity bias is the propensity for people to act in a manner consistent with those around them rather than making their own decisions.

  9. Cost/ Benefit Bias is the propensity for people to undersell/ oversell their value added to others, resulting in missed opportunities for both parties.

The major risks...

when we are unaware of our subconscious hiring decisions:

  • Overlooking candidates that could have made a major "bottom-line" impact on your business.

  • Unintentionally creating a "Group Think" culture in your organization; which directly limits innovation and competitive edge.

  • Hiring too many people from the same culture can result in restricting external communication and understanding of your market. This will directly impact your market size and utilization of your products or services.

  • Potential discrimination lawsuits for subconscious decisions that could have otherwise been avoided.

  • Higher Turn-Over rates could have been controlled from the start of an employee's or candidate's journey experience.

Statistics regarding Diverse Teams

  • "A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean"

  • "Those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean."

  • "In a global analysis of 2,400 companies conducted by Credit Suisse, organizations with at least one female board member yielded higher return on equity and higher net income growth"


"Here are 3 benefits to embracing diversity in the workplace.

  • Diverse Teams Boost Creativity and Innovation.

  • Workplace Diversity Creates Greater Opportunities for Professional Growth.

  • Better Decision-Making."


Good luck to all those seeking top talent, and a boosted organizational revenue via DE&I-oriented recruitment efforts. - We at SpartanSC, Salute you!


Signing off,

Leo Khoury, ECRE

CEO & Executive Search Consultant at SpartanSC USA

Learn more about us on our About Us page!

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