No more summer, no more sun, nothing left, but run, run, run!!

Welcome back everyone! The beginning of September has always been a time of renewal and change… and the realization that all the planning and scheming of the first 8 months now needs to pay off.

Some say that these next four months are the only ones that really count… it’s a sprint ’till year end. But for any smart hiring manager or great HR department this is the time when the pressure to hire can make for sloppy decisions. One point that can help in good hires is an awareness of something called the “fundamental attribution error.”

If you haven’t heard of this then you may be hiring the wrong people, for the wrong reasons.

In a recent article by Anna Secino for “Working Knowledge”, Article link, the online magazine for the Harvard Business School, she interviews Francesca Gino (Associate Professor), who was part of a research study asking why businesses hire candidates solely on past job performance. They discovered that companies hire people who have done a job successfully in the past and assume that they must be able to do the job they need to fill in the future. But is it correct to assume that past performance guarantees future success?

“Across all our studies, the results suggest the experts (recruiters and hiring managers) take high performance as evidence of high ability and do not sufficiently discount it by the ease with which that performance was achieved”.

Any agency or corporate recruiter will tell you this has been going on since the dawn of time and probably for a couple of understandable reasons. We like people who are successful. We need to make quick decisions. Detailed, in-depth questions may look like stalling. Or, we take the easy way, knowing that we can always CYA by saying “They looked good on paper.”

The fundamental attribution error allows for a recruiting team to hire people by believing too much in what’s on a piece of paper. Don’t believe the hype and don’t let the pressure of the next four months affect your diligence. Good hires take time and lots of questions – if you’re not doing this is your 3rd party agency? Now that is a good question!