Regarding staffing decisions, the common belief is that decisions are made using a rational thought process. However, more and more research show that emotions play a significant role in our decision-making processes, especially in the staffing industry. It is essential to understand how and why emotions can affect staffing decisions.
First, it is essential to understand that our emotions affect our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Emotions impact cognitive processes such as attention, perception, learning, memory, and decision-making. We often believe that emotions only affect negative experiences, but in reality, all feelings can sway our decision-making processes. Emotions such as anger, fear, and anxiety can cause decision-makers in the staffing industry more risk-averse. In contrast, emotions like excitement or admiration can lead them to be more impulsive.
In the staffing industry, it is common to use rational thought processes to evaluate job candidates. However, biases are not always easy to identify and can manifest from emotions that may not be overtly apparent. One example of this is the "halo effect," a cognitive bias where someone's positive qualities influence the overall impression of the individual. Suppose a hiring manager is impressed by a job candidate's charming personality, even though their qualifications and experience do not meet the job's required criteria. In that case, they may overlook the candidate's shortcomings and make an emotional decision to offer them the job.
When evaluating a candidate, the hiring manager may be influenced by personal biases, such as stereotypes. For example, suppose they hold the stereotype that women are less competent in technical fields. In that case, they may negatively evaluate a female candidate's coding skills, even if she demonstrates great experience and competency. On the other hand, negative emotions can impact a hiring manager's decision to reject a candidate, even if their qualifications and experience are sufficient.
The impact of emotions on decision-making is not limited to the hiring process. Human resources managers need to consider job satisfaction levels and employee retention rates, both of which can be much more challenging to track and measure. Suppose a human resources manager experiences an adverse event that reminds them of a previous negative experience. In that case, they may take steps to change the company's culture, such as providing greater flexibility, in hopes of avoiding a similar adverse event from occurring in the future.
In any event, it is essential to acknowledge the emotional nature of these experiences and understand how they can affect staffing decisions. Although emotions can be challenging, knowing them can help individuals make better-informed decisions. Therefore, it is essential to identify what one's biases are and question the legitimacy and relevance of the emotions driving their choices.
Using the SWOT analysis technique is one effective method for dealing with emotional decision-making. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is a simple and practical framework for evaluating an organization's internal and external factors that may affect its performance. HR managers can use the SWOT analysis technique to acknowledge their emotional biases and evaluate their employees and identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, thus making more informed decisions.
Another technique that HR managers can use is the use of data analytics. Using data analytics, HR managers can identify patterns and correlations, accounting for known biases and making more objective decisions. Data analytics can also increase the accuracy of decision-making by reducing the chances of relying on the impressions of individuals or the outcomes of the single-case experience.
In conclusion, acknowledging the emotional nature of decision-making in the staffing industry is critical. While it is easy to write off emotions and rely solely on rational thought processes, the truth is that emotions can significantly impact staffing decisions. However, SWOT analysis frameworks and data analytics can help overcome these emotional biases and create a more objective approach to staffing decisions.