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the halo effect happens when a recruiter is so captivated or mesmerized by one particular aspect of a candidate’s credentials, specialties, important contacts, interests, and so on that it affects all other judgements. Messmer (2005) suggests that to avoid falling victim to the halo effect, during the hiring stages, it is essential to have an up-to-date job description with all the position requirements (i.e. education, experience, skills, etc.) listed. Use this document as the basis of the hiring criteria. The clear checklist will allow recruiting and management teams to evaluate applicants more objectively. Marketing. The halo effect is a well-known concept in the field of marketing as the tendency of brand image to shape consumer perceptions. Taking a look at the Apple brand, for example, which is seen by many to stand for a combination of innovation and sleek design and confers a perceived advantage on new products (Rosenzweig, 2008). The same sort of halo effectapplies in other domains, as well. When a person finds themselves saying things like “It’s a Toyota, so it must be high quality” or “She worked for three years at GE, so she must be well trained” they are allowing a general impression to shape a specific judgement (Rosenzweig, 2008). Just as the halo effect allows people to pass judgement on individuals based on a general impression, the same is possible in the judgment of companies and brands. When a company is doing well, with rising sales, high profits, and a surging stock price, observers naturally suppose that has a smart strategy, a visionary leader, motivated employees, excellent customer orientation, and a vibrant culture. However, when the same company suffers a decline, sales fall
THE HALO EFFECT9and profits shrink, observers are quick to conclude that the company’s strategy went wrong, its people because too complacent, it neglected it customers, its culture because feeble, and more. Rosenzweig (2007), gives a great example of Dell’s performance in relation to the halo effect. Aslong as Dell was successful, observers marveled at its strategy, its focus on customers, it disciplined operations, and its execution skills (Rosenzweig, 2007). As soon as performance began to falter or weaken, those same things were seen in a different light.The very same thing happened at Cisco Systems, which was praised in the late 1990’s forits brilliant strategy, its superb management of acquisitions, and its laser-like consumer focus (Rosenzweig, 2007). Cisco Systems was a rising star during the dot.com boom, it was held as a shining example of excellent consumer focus. It was described by Fortunemagazine as having “extreme consumer focus” and CEO John Chambers was called “the most consumer-focused human being you will ever meet” (Rosenzweig, 2008, p.8). As performance fell, Cisco was said to have exhibited “a cavalier attitude toward potential consumers” and its sales tactics were described as “irksome” (Rosenzweig, 2008, p.8). Attributions about consumer orientation had changed on the basis of worsening financial performance. When financial performance is strong,