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  • Writer's pictureAJ Cheponis

Are you tired of making bad hiring decisions due to groupthink?

When it comes to hiring, it's better to make decisions as a group rather than relying on the judgment of a single person. Research from Google shows that, on average, a group of interviewers is much more accurate at predicting success than any individual interviewer, even if that person is an HR leader or company founder.

However, group decision-making can be problematic because it often leads to groupthink, a phenomenon in which members of a group conform to the dominant view rather than considering alternative perspectives. This can happen when the person with the most influence in the group (typically the highest-ranking person, the most dominant personality, or a "good interviewer") speaks up and others are hesitant to disagree.

To avoid groupthink, it's important to have a structured process for group decision-making. This involves:

Asking interviewers to maintain independence by not discussing their impressions of candidates with each other before the final group huddle.

Having each interviewer distill their interview rating to a numerical score for each portion of the interview and write down their main arguments for and against hiring the candidate and their conclusion.

Take note of each candidate's average score, but also pay attention to ratings that deviate from the average and the stated explanations for these scores.

Encouraging lively discussion during the group huddle, with the goal of influencing and being influenced by others. Interviewers should be allowed to change their scores, but also feel comfortable sticking to their original opinion or taking a new stance.

Following this process can lead to richer, more unbiased, and uncensored discussions that help decision-makers take note of information they might have missed otherwise. It can also lead to surprising results, such as when less senior members of a hiring committee speak up and convince others to pay more attention to a candidate who was not initially favored by senior team members.

While some executives may believe they are immune to group influence, no evidence supports this belief. By implementing a structured process for group decision-making, organizations can improve their hiring outcomes and avoid the pitfalls of groupthink.

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