Confirmation bias is the tendency to favor information that confirms our beliefs and dismiss information that does not support our views. We all have confirmation biases that cloud our reasoning. The extent to which we can become aware of our biases and minimize them will allow us to make better decisions. As one unaware leader said, “My mind is already made up, don’t confuse me with the facts."
Hiring managers deal with confirmation bias frequently when evaluating candidates and rely on assessments to improve their objectivity. If candidates are going to be assessed, the assessment should be administered early enough in the selection process before an opinion has been developed on a candidate. Once the hiring manager decides on a candidate, the assessment may do little to change their mind. In this case, by the time hiring managers administer assessments, the results are used to confirm their bias and dismiss information that does not support their beliefs about a candidate.
Candidates should be assessed after the first interview, but before reference checks and follow-up or group interviews. This allows hiring managers to objectively analyze the assessment results and minimize their confirmation bias.
Empowered hiring managers assess candidates early in the process and experience more successful hires.