Oops! I’m Biased: Halo & Horns Effect

Why you might hire a candidate because they are tall or worked at McKinsey

Why do professionals add “ex-McKinsey” to their LinkedIn tagline? Why do we think people who don’t work out are lazy? 

It all comes down to the Halo & Horns effect. The halo effect, is a bias where we perceive one good element of something as positive or negative and assume that the whole object is positive or negative, whether it is related to it or not. This is why influencer marketing works, and why taller people are perceived as more competent.

In this episode Charlotte Melkert (CEO at Equalture) talks to Leonie Grandpierre (Head of Science at Equalture) about what the halo & horns effect is, how they are connected, why it has a long history, what makes it so prevalent and how it interacts with other biases in hiring. They also share helpful tips on how to mitigate it in recruitment.

The research mentioned in the episode:

Landy, David; Sigall, Harold (1974). “Beauty is talent: Task evaluation as a function of the performer’s physical attractiveness”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 29 (3): 299–304. doi:10.1037/h0036018

leonie grandpierre

A bit about

Leonie Grandpierre

Heading the science team at Equalture, Leonie Grandpierre is in charge of all research and validation of Equalture’s gamified and game-based assessments,  as well as research into related topics. She has a background in psychology and neuroscience and applies it to making the recruitment more equitable and inclusive for underrepresented groups.

A bit about

Charlotte Melkert

With years of experience in the field of recruitment, both by starting a recruitment agency as well as being the Co-Founder & CEO of the hiring software company Equalture and her dedication to ensuring equal opportunities in hiring, Charlotte’s knowledge about the importance of neurodiversity within the workplace is thorough.

Her first years of being an entrepreneur have led her to several public speaking activities and nominations, including the top 8 most talented female entrepreneurs of The Netherlands, Forbes 30 Under 30, Top 30 Most Inclusive Leaders NL, LOEY Talent Award, Sprout 25 under 25 and Sifted’s top 14 European Gen Z Founders.

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