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Talent Management Framework: potential bias

Before using the Talent Management Framework, it's important to reflect and think about potential biases that may influence how you use it.

It's inevitable that our own attitudes, beliefs and experiences will influence how we view individuals within our teams. We may all have different biases which are important to be aware of when rating performance and potential and. It's possible that you, or others around you, could be favouring people who share similar characteristics or passing by others who do not share the same experiences.

Bias in either direction can result in a reduction in objectivity and may mean that evaluations are unduly influenced by irrelevant factors.

Common biases

Halo effect
Generalising one aspect of good performance to apply to all performance
Horns effect
generalising one aspect of poor performance to apply to all performance
Central tendency
Giving "middle of the road" evaluations to avoid high or low ratings
First impressions
Tendency to be influenced by initial impressions and disregard subsequent contrary evidence
Tendency to be influenced by the last observations made and disregard earlier contrary evidence
Allowing personal bias/prejudice to distort evaluation of performance
Attribution bias
The tendency to place undue emphasis on the impact of someone’s personality to explain their behaviour rather than considering the impact of the current situation 

Hints and tips to aid conscious decision making

  • Be alert to your own personal preferences and biases when making decisions
  • Challenge yourself – what evidence are you using when making decisions about an individual?
  • Use evidence, criteria and standards that encourage objectivity
  • Spend time evaluating performance in detail and plan enough time to do this – don't rush through the process
  • Ask others to challenge you if you think you are being unfair
  • Think about how you will be able to evidence your decision
  • Consider whether someone else looking at the evidence would reach the same conclusion
  • Ensure that you have considered all relevant factors when deciding an outcome
  • For some staff, achieving their full potential is not as easy as it is for others  it's important to acknowledge that not everyone's experience is the same
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