What is the Opposite of Recency Bias and How does it Matter in Context to Hiring and Recruitment?

What is the Opposite of Recency Bias and How does it Matter in Context to Hiring and Recruitment?

Published on May 1st, 2023


What is opposite of recency bias?

The opposite of recency bias is "historical bias" or "long-term bias." While recency bias refers to the tendency to give more weight to recent events or information when making decisions or forming judgments, historical bias is the tendency to give more importance to older or past events, data, or experiences.

In historical bias, people might rely heavily on long-term trends, past experiences, or historical patterns without adequately considering recent developments or changes. This bias can lead to overlooking new information, advancements, or shifts in circumstances that may be relevant to the current situation.

Recency bias is a common phenomenon in the hiring process, where employers disproportionately favor resumes with recent experience and qualifications over older ones. However, its opposite—the primacy effect—is an equally important consideration for recruiters to keep in mind. The primacy effect occurs when recruiters give greater weight to information that comes first during their evaluation of candidates' resumes. By paying attention to both recency and primacy effects, employers can ensure more accurate decisions about which candidate should be hired for a job.

Recent research indicates that the primacy effect plays a larger role than previously thought in the recruitment process. Studies have found that up to 40% of hiring decisions are influenced by factors related to this cognitive bias, such as an applicant's job titles, length of experience, and educational background. These factors are typically considered more heavily when evaluating an applicant than the applicant's performance on various tests or interviews.

Moreover, as with recency bias, the primacy effect can lead to a false sense of certainty about an applicant's qualifications for a given role. For example, someone with impressive credentials may not actually be the best fit for a position if their skills and capabilities haven't been evaluated adequately enough. Similarly, someone who has had less relevant work experience may still bring valuable knowledge and perspective to a team that is overlooked if employers give precedence to those with more recent job histories.

Overall, it is important for recruiters to recognize both recency and primacy effects in order to make the most informed decisions about applicants. This involves taking a balanced and comprehensive approach to evaluating every candidate fairly, considering all relevant information rather than just focusing on recent experience. By doing so, organizations are more likely to identify and recruit the best talent for the job.

Additionally, some companies have implemented blind hiring processes to remove any bias from their recruitment process altogether. This helps eliminate recency or primacy effects by making it impossible for those involved in interviews or selection decisions to know details such as an applicant’s age, gender, race, or educational background until after they have been assessed on business-critical skills and abilities. Blind hiring can be especially beneficial when seeking out diverse candidates who may be overlooked if employers rely too heavily on recency bias.

The opposite of recency bias, known as primacy effect, is another common cognitive bias that can have a negative impact on hiring decisions. Primacy effects involve giving more weight to data or information at the beginning of a series over those presented later in the process. For example, if an employer only remembers what was discussed during the first few minutes of an interview and then makes their decision based solely on those early impressions, they may be missing out on important details shared by the candidate later in the conversation that could make them a better fit for the job than initially assumed.

Overall, it’s essential that employers proactively identify any potential cognitive biases like recency or primacy effects when assessing a job candidate, and strive for an unbiased approach to recruiting. To achieve this, employers should leverage data-driven strategies such as structured interviews or assessments to ensure hiring decisions are based on relevant and objective information about the candidates’ skills and experience. Additionally, utilizing tools like resume rankings or decision matrices can help surface top talent from a larger pool of applicants without relying solely on recency bias.
Ultimately, employers must be aware of how cognitive biases such as recency effect can impact their recruitment process and take steps to ensure they have access to all necessary information when making important decisions about who they hire.

Recruiting is the area of hiring where the results of recent employees can be seen most clearly. Thanks to improvements in AI and ChatGPT, we now have technologies like EasySource that can help reduce recency bias. With the help of EasySource, recruiters may connect with candidates on LinkedIn more quickly and simply. It is more affordable for smaller enterprises and has a cap on the number of credits for which it is free. You can get assistance from EasySource by using pre-made templates to alter your workflow. Additionally, sophisticated criteria are used to identify candidates with US work permits and those who are especially relevant. Using ChatgPT and AI, you can also create stunningly personalized invitations, gmails, and LinkedIn inmails. View the tool for hiring and recruiting.



Thomas M. A.

A literature-lover by design and qualification, Thomas loves exploring different aspects of software and writing about the same.

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