A recent survey by CareerBuilder attempted to determine how hiring managers decide between two equally qualified candidates. In the absence of clear professional reasons for choosing one or the other, there are many other factors it is possible to employ, consciously or not, in the selection. The results are interesting and illuminating, and may give workers and those who hire them alike something to think about.

For 27 percent of hiring managers, a sense of humor can tip the scales in a particular candidate's favor. Twenty-six percent say the community involvement of the candidate will sway them, while 21 percent will tend to hire the one with whom they have more in common.

Whether seeking permanent or temporary workers, it is evident from the survey that hiring decisions aren't always based on pure logic. This need not be a disadvantage in recruiting, though automatic decisions may lead to poor outcomes. Professionals in human resources services should certainly be aware of these biases, whether or not they feel their decisions are unduly impacted by them. Acquiring the best talent is a recruiter's goal, and anything that may impede it should be examined.

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