Beware of the Rose Tinted Halo Effect

Nearly all our Group members are in a growth phase, expanding their operations and increasing profits. However the issue many are experiencing is finding enough people. 

As with prospecting for new business, the best time to recruit is when you don’t need to, but if you’ve not adopted this approach and need people right now there is a very real risk that you’ll fall into the trap I call “the Rose Tinted Halo Effect.”

Rose Tinted Halo

New people almost always seem more attractive. That’s because they’re new, exciting and different, and they’re putting on their best face too. But most of all they look better than they are because you want them to succeed, you put on your rose tinted spectacles. Over time they drop their guard (and often their performance too) and reveal their true selves but by then it’s too late.

This issue is compounded if the new recruit is already working for or has recently worked at a company you admire or respect. Imagine receiving a CV from someone that is working at Google, Apple or Dyson – would their chances of gaining an interview with you improve because of this? Would their tales of work experience sound more interesting and appealing than the same stories from a little known company? I recall interviewing and employing someone because they had worked at a very high profile advertising agency and only subsequently realised I’d experienced the “Halo Effect” when this individual turned out to have some serious character flaws – I’d been blindsided by his experience or rather I attributed the success of his previous employer with him personally. I’m sure Google, Apple and Dyson all employ some amazing people but I bet they’ve had some horrors too!

There’s a story I heard of Apple’s VP of People/HR who was challenged by a member of the audience at a conference he was speaking at when he said “we only employ A+ people at Apple”. The challenger said, “there must have been times when you’ve had to take on lesser quality people because you’ve got a hole to fill?” His reply is legendary, “better a hole than an ass-hole!” and that’s so true.

Next time you’re recruiting in a situation that feels desperate be aware of the Rose Tinted Halo Effect, ask yourself is this really the right person for your business?

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