In Gut We Trust

Cameron Shepherd
September 24, 2021

In Gut We Trust

Relevant experience?….Check. Transferable skills?…check. Strong answers to interview questions?…Check. Achieved results in similar settings?…Check. Personable and confident?…Check.

Then why I am not sure about this candidate?

For those who have been involved in hiring anyone for their team at any stage of their career, there is a better than even money chance that you will have encountered this type of dilemma.

Despite the protestations of the many canny recruiters out there, It is my experience that there is no personality profiling tool, no immaculately conceived competency based questions or assessment centre that will provide a silver bullet to ensure we get our hiring decisions right every time.

It is true that many the results from using these tools are reasonably reliable indicators of how well a candidate fits into a role, a team and an organisation however, they do not remove the need to rely on our intuition.

Our intuition serves to make connections between past experiences- good or bad- and current situations.

So when our gut is “telling us something just doesn’t feel right” it is our intuition battling for our attention.

It is this feeling that we need to explore and pay active attention to in order to be of any use to us.

In practical terms, this can be a simple as interview panel members asking each other a few questions at the conclusion of the interviewing process which elicit these types of thoughts.

Questions such as ” What does your gut tell you?”, “Where and when have you felt this way before?”, ” How would you describe the feeling you have?” can all help stimulate discussion around intuition.

Arguably being able to utilise our intuition more effectively has benefits well beyond recruitment and can help us make better decisions in other aspects of life e.g. relationships, in sport and recreation, relocating, major purchases and the like.

Obviously there is far more to an effective selection process than relying on a “hunch” however if completely disregard our gut, we do so at our own peril.

Is trusting your gut a part of how you make major decisions? What methods do you use to incorporate intuition into your decision making processes?

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