Prior To The Hire

March 13, 2014

Here is an excerpt from my article Prior To The Hire from The Progressive Dentist Magazine.

There are 6 common biases that create bad hires. Let’s take a closer look to see if you can recognize these behaviors in yourself or your hiring process:

  • Stereotyping: forming a generalized opinion about how people will think, act, or respond, i.e.:  Judging applicants by their physical characteristics such as hair color, body type, or gender, for example, thinking men wouldn’t do well working in the front office or being the only male member of a team.
  • Inconsistent Questions:  Asking different questions of different applicants, i.e.: if you’re not grading on responses to the same questions, how can you truly make comparisons? You must be able to do some quantitative analysis.
  • First Impression Error: Allowing a snap judgment to cloud the entire interview, i.e.: thinking poorly of an applicant because of the school they attended or because you don’t like their fashion sense.
  • Halo / Horn Effect: Allowing one strong or weak point to overshadow everything else, i.e.: learning that an applicant is from your hometown or school or conversely, has a tattoo or piercing visible. Often this occurs based on an answer to one question that is different than you expected.
  • Contrast Effect: Believing good candidates who interview right after weak candidates are stronger by comparison than they truly are. Let’s face it, after a few disappointing interviews, it’s easy for an average applicant to make a big impression.
  • Cultural Noise: Failure to recognize when an applicant is being politically correct and/or telling you what you want to hear rather than the actual truth.  Don’t take answers at face value, dig deeper. One of the best replies to a first response is simply “tell me more.” Get very comfortable with a silent pause… give the applicant time to think and chances are you will gain valuable insight. Also be certain to keep your eyes on the candidate as they answer your questions, otherwise you risk missing the visual, the body language clues that they are making things up as they go along.

The full text of article is available for a limited time at TheProDentist.com along with full access to the current issue of this leading subscription-based magazine about the business of dentistry.