Effects of Perceptions of Similarity on Hiring Decisions

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“Perception is the process by which individuals organise and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment” (Robbins, Judge, Millet, M. 2011:6). When it comes to hiring in organisations, perception is one of the major influences that affects the evaluator’s decision. It has been suggested that decisions of whether or not to hire a candidate is never made rationally. Instead, evaluators tend to be biased towards candidates who share similarities with the firm and with the evaluators themselves. This essay will discuss the possible influences that perceptions of similarity have on Ross’ decision to hire Vanessa by focusing on perceived similarity and interpersonal attraction, physical attractiveness and the halo effect, and gender. The first major influence of perceptions of similarity is perceived similarity. In this case, while perceived similarities could be different from reality, Ross may have perceived Vanessa as someone who is similar in characteristics to him and the firm. As stated by Robbins et al. (2011:6), a person’s interpretation of a target is highly influenced by his or her personal characteristics. Vanessa’s interview with Ross lasted a longer time and it is indicated to readers that they had an interesting and enjoyable conversation. It could be that they really did have many similarities and could therefore relate to each other in conversation. However, we must take into account the fact that people in organisations often display a certain mood intentionally to deceive. This brings us to the second possible influence, interpersonal attraction. But before we can discuss that, we must understand the term “interpersonal dynamics” which refers to a person’s ability to get along with others. Gigone and Hastie (1993, cited in Rivera 2012:1001) stated that the first thing people do when meeting for the first time is seek for commonalties, often in terms of demographic views and cultural similarities. In addition,...
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