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Hire With Your Head, Not Your Gut

By September 3, 2013 No Comments

It’s probably happened to you plenty of times.  Maybe it happens with every round of interviews you do: you fall in love with a candidate.

This person had exactly the personality you’d hoped for in a new hire, met the necessary requirements, looked the part, aced the interview and generally seemed like a perfect fit.  So, while the temptation to run, not walk to the negotiations table may be great, you may want to slow down a bit and think the decision through.

Fletcher Wimbush cautions against hiring by gut, calling this sort of decision making “an excuse for not taking the time to thoroughly investigate a candidate before hiring.”  Snap decisions are especially enticing traps when there is pressure to fill a position in short order, but most managers would agree: the negatives associated with making a bad hire far outweigh the advantages of a placing a warm body quickly.

Interviewing and evaluating candidates should be done methodically.  Strategically.  In order to make informed hiring decisions, you need to consider skills and experience, yes, but you need to unearth deficiencies, too.  Interviewees necessarily show you what they want you to see; they’re selling, after all.  But there’s likely also a weakness or shortfall you’d be better off knowing about up front.

Wimbush recommends putting a system in place to help you distance yourself from the emotional connection that may cloud your judgment when it comes to making hiring decisions.  Seek out input from others, have the candidate in for at least one follow-up meeting to get to know him or her better, follow a fairly set list of questions in every interview and be consistent in whatever criteria you use to evaluate contenders.