Your Recruiting Process Assumes Harvard Grads Cause Shark Attacks

Posted by Bob Corlett on February 19, 2015

Each year in May, about 1500 students graduate from Harvard. And within months of their graduation, there is a big, observable jump in both ice cream sales and the number of shark attacks. The data is predictable and tightly correlated, so obviously graduating from Harvard leads to shark attacks.

Okay, perhaps Harvard graduates are not the cause of increased shark attacks (maybe ice cream is the real culprit). Or maybe there is something else going on here.

When you confuse correlation with causation, you’re going to be misled. Sadly, we humans are suckers for the shell game called correlation. We love correlation stories as much as we love ice cream. Speaking of eating, have you heard that eating breakfast helps you maintain a healthy weight? But before you pour yourself a bowl a Fruit Loops, watch this video about correlation and learn why many of those studies reached the wrong conclusion.

So what do sharks and Harvard grads have to do with recruiting?  

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Topics: Hiring Managers, Recruiting On Your Own