When considering a potential new hire candidate, is it a good idea or a bad idea to “go with your gut”?

Doyle Slayton

Sales & Leadership Strategist – SalesBlogcast.com Professional Speaker | Author | Social Media | Web 2.0 | TopLinked.com

Collect as much objective information as possible and factor your impressions into the evaluation. If possible, have others that will work with the candidate provide their impressions. Hiring decisions need to be as objective as possible, but there is a subjective element to how someone will work with the team and impact any existing team dynamic. It’s a very difficult balancing act and requires a significant amount of maturity and self-awareness to ensure that a personal bias doesn’t stop you from hiring the best candidate for the job. In some cases, your personal biases may actually land you a place as defendant in a discrimination suit. It’s much easier for a candidate to prove that your gut feeling was discrimination than it is for you to prove that it wasn’t. So you’d better be prepared to back up “your gut” with objective justification, A better approach would be to listen to your gut and try to figure out where the apprehension is coming from. It may lead you to ask additional questions in the interview or identify issues in the resume or references that you may have picked up subconciously. Again, be careful not to treat candidates unfairly. If your gut reaction isn’t justified with objective data, let it go. If it’s extreme, find out if there’s any provision in your hiring policies for a “trial period”. Good luck.