2 Reasons Recruiters Shouldn’t Always Follow Their Gut Instincts

Recruiting is an art, and there are certainly those out there who are great at recruiting. But even experienced recruiters make mistakes every once in a while.

One of the main reasons why experienced recruiters make mistakes is because they rely too much on their gut instincts. Sometimes this works, but when it doesn’t, it can end up with a bad hire that can be very costly for your company.

Here are two important reasons why following your gut instincts can be a bad idea:

1. Following your gut instinct narrows your talent pool 

There’s nothing wrong with doing a little clean up before you begin the interview process—more often than not, you’ll have so many resumes that sifting through them and narrowing them down beforehand is essential.

At the same time, assumptions about a candidate based solely on their resume can really narrow your talent pool. A resume should tell you a lot about a candidate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it tells you everything. As we’ve mentioned before, try to look beyond a candidate’s experience. Just because they haven’t worked in the field they are applying for doesn’t automatically mean that they’re less qualified, despite what your gut instincts may tell you.

2. Following your gut instinct can ruin a candidate’s experience 

While resumes may not tell the whole story about a candidate, it’s also important to remember not to go too far in the other direction. There are some recruiters who are too stringent during their initial resume screening, but on the other end, there are also recruiters who are far too open and who prefer to let things sort themselves out through interviews.

Being too narrow-minded about resumes can hurt your recruiting, but so can following your gut instinct about a candidate whose resume isn’t as strong as others. If you’ve read a candidate’s resume and have decided to go with your gut instinct and interview them (despite a subpar resume), you can end up wasting both your time and theirs. While you might think you’re putting on a good face for your candidate, droning though an interview just for the sake of an interview isn’t going to do good things for your candidate experience.

A resume should tell you a lot, but it doesn’t give you the whole picture. And when it comes to recruiting, you need to find the balance between logic and instincts. You’re bound to have some good instincts based on your time on the job, but you shouldn’t let those instincts take up too much control over your hiring process.

At the end of the day, a balance between your own experience—your gut instincts—and objective measurements of candidates is what it takes to succeed. Relying too much on one or the other can skew your recruiting process, and is sure to leave good candidates out of the mix.