How Important is Gut Instinct When Recruiting?

ByL J Doulton

How Important is Gut Instinct When Recruiting?

We all use our gut instinct every day – that subjective feeling that guides our decisions, whether it’s when considering a purchase, relationship or business deal it’s always there to silently guide you. I not only believe that gut instinct is necessary, I think it is crucial especially in Recruitment. Everything might stack up on a CV, and the candidate may even be saying everything to tick the boxes, but if you have that feeling in the bottom of your stomach that something is wrong, then steer clear. Even if the evidence is pointing to yes, trust your gut instinct.

I know quite a few people who would quite openly admit that they are not great decision makers, and they don’t always trust their instincts. I believe that not only is this something that develops over time as you learn and grow as a recruiter, but also something that can be given a helping hand. You are not going to generate much of a gut instinct from solely reading CVs. So think about using some of these methods:

Pick up the phone

A good starting point is to give the candidate a call and to speak with them on the phone. This can tell you a lot and is useful if you have a lot of applicants and will not have time to meet with all of them. It may be as simple as asking them to talk you through their CV and why they applied for the role.

Video call or face to face

The ideal scenario would be a face to face meeting/interview. This is the best way to get a real sense of the candidate as you can pick up on their verbal as well as non-verbal cues. Body language is hugely important in making a judgment on the suitability of a candidate for an organisation. However, face to face is not always possible or necessary when there are technologies such as Skype available. So if a face to face is not convenient, consider offering a video interview, or have a short one automated upon application. Having this gives you more information (including their body language, tone, presentation etc) on every applicant allowing your gut instincts to be more accurate with less time invested.

Psychometric profiling

We are advocates of psychometric profiling. Not the archaic tests that took hours to complete – but the more modern and sophisticated tests that give a fantastic insight into the individual’s personality. They are great for flagging particular personality traits and behaviours that may trigger that gut instinct and prompt further conversation in specific areas.

In Summary

Simply looking at a CV is not going to be sufficient if you want to be a successful recruiter. You would be doing your clients and your candidates a disservice. However, we are not saying that you can employ one of the methods above and trigger your gut instinct and make better decisions. What we are saying is that you need to use one or a combination of techniques that work for you. Taking to recruitment with this in mind will allow you to harness your emotional intuition and to make better and more informed decisions based on instinct as well as presented facts about an individual.

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