Every now and then we’ll have a client who will talk to us about their “gut feelings” following an interview with one of our candidates.

Quite frankly, that’s one of the more common challenges we run into as a Recruiting Firm especially when dealing with new business partners.

Consequently, it’s one of the most common hiring mistakes made by employers and I’d say it’s even more pronounced when it comes to hiring Sales Professionals.

Has this happened to you?

I find that when this happens the first discussion we have is a brief one that reminds our client that they need diverse people with diverse personalities and a diverse mix of experiences.

Not hiring a candidate because they had a “gut feeling” about them, and using that as a main qualification, ignores the client’s need for particular skills and experience.

Once that point has been made we hammer home another truth.

In his book A Rational Way To Make A Gut Decision, Recruiting Industry giant Lou Adler made the point that while you can never learn everything you’d like to about a candidate, you should try to find out as much as possible before you resort to your gut.

The only time you should make a gut decision is when you don’t have any. Time, that is.

Facts, examples, and details must be provided to justify a ranking - - “good” or “bad”.

“I don’t think the person would fit…” is inappropriate. On the other hand, a comment like, “The environment, pace, available resources, and the lack of a formal decision-making process at the person’s last two employers is a clear indication that this person would not survive here…” is certainly sufficient.

Bottom line, a hiring decision of any kind is too important to leave to chance.

So, the best professional advice I can give is don’t do it!

I won’t speak for every Recruiter and/or Agency, but I can assure you that Paramount Recruiting Partners, LLC will always provide you with enough information to make an informed decision without having to rely on your gut feelings from an interview.

Views: 58

Comment by Jeffrey K. Radt on April 28, 2008 at 3:34pm
That's for sure! Thanks for the comment.
Comment by Bob Eskridge on April 30, 2008 at 12:07pm
I actually disagree – I think that the “gut feel” can be an important signal – but only if the client can translate a vague impression into specific concerns. Recruiters can help facilitate that process by going over the interview with the client and identifying words and attitudes that contributed to the unease. However, this should also be balanced with all the other criteria that the candidate has to offer, as well as the candidate’s own perception of the interview and workplace.
Comment by Jeffrey K. Radt on May 1, 2008 at 10:23am
Thanks for commenting Bob. Yes, I guess a more appropriate way to say it for me is that "gut feelings" are an important and relevant part of the process, but they shouldn't be the end-all-be-all and sole deciding factor.


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