A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here
Entrepreneurs love hiring so-called stars; they work hard to steal them from a rival and brag about what their newest hire did previously.
Which, unfortunately, has little to do with how they will do in the future—think Ron Johnson and JCPenney.
Yet, no matter how often they are disappointed, bosses of every kind continue to hire based on history, with no consideration of contributing factors.
“Across all our studies, the results suggest that experts take high performance as evidence of high ability and do not sufficiently discount it by the ease with which that performance was achieved,” the paper reports.
Passion can take your company a long way, but if it isn’t backed up by good hiring you’ll be in big trouble, because the wrong hire can quickly derail success.
This isn’t new info, nor is it rocket science; people do not perform in a vacuum and common sense should tell you that environment and colleagues are an integral part of any individual success—but it doesn’t.
… not only were the studies’ subjects [business executives and admissions officers] unable to counteract this correspondence bias, they remained susceptible to it even when warned explicitly of its dangers. (…) …seasoned professionals discount information about the candidate’s situation, attributing behavior to innate ability.
The outcome is one of which you should be hyper aware.
“One of the consequences is that you end up admitting people who should not be admitted, and rejecting people who should not be rejected.”
It takes hard work to beat an innate prejudice, but it can be done
Image credit: HikingArtist