Can You Trust Your Gut When Making Hiring Decisions?

Can You Trust Your Gut When Making Hiring Decisions?

When it comes to complex decisions such as hiring, relying too much on gut instinct may allow unconscious bias to come into play. You are likely to make choices driven by your own preconceptions and very often this will prove to be the wrong choice.

First impressions are often based on irrelevant characteristics such as how people look or speak. Judging whether someone is suitable for a job needs to be a much more objective choice – one that examines their ability to perform the role based on fact, not feeling.

What can you do to prevent gut instinct from influencing poor hiring decisions in your company? Here are a few tips for creating a hiring process that avoids bias as much as possible:

  • Decide who is involved in the process and who makes the final decision. Having several people included prevents one person’s gut instinct taking over.
  • Agree on an ideal candidate profile based on skills and attributes that can be objectively measured.
  • Agree on a scoring system against this profile so that everyone involved is clear on what the most important attributes are.
  • Agree on questions or tests that measure these attributes effectively.
  • Ensure everyone has the same information about the candidate before the interview so you all begin from the same point of knowledge.
  • Check your process with colleagues who are not involved to ensure it is as fair and relevant as possible. 

Relying on gut instinct might seem like a good shortcut to finding the best person for the job, but it is too easy to lead to bad decisions and poor retention, which means more positions to fill. Creating an objective process takes time initially, but it will yield much better results in the long run.