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5 Reasons Not to Go With Your Gut in 2020

Feb 03 , 2020

Man interviewing for a job.

If you have a talent for hiring, chances are you have learned to trust your gut a good bit of the time. Experience may have even reinforced your belief that even though you can't exactly explain why, you can identify when a candidate will likely turn into a successful hire.

But in today's hiring environment, going with your gut is not a sufficient rationale for hiring. Here are some reasons why it's not a good idea to rely on your gut when making hiring decisions.

1. Your gut is wrong more often than you'd think.

Given the fact that one-third of new hires quit within six months of starting a new job, hiring managers make a lot of wrong decisions when they go with their gut. It was a pitfall Jack Welch refused to surrender to because he recognized that hiring decisions based on "gut feelings" were little more than subjective opinions based on vague first impressions.

2. There's more to a good employee than a first impression.

First impressions, often formed within seconds of meeting someone, are usually the stuff on which gut reactions are based. But instant first impressions can't possibly evaluate the complex skills needed for many jobs. It takes time to find out enough about someone's skills to determine whether they're right for the job. A situational task as part of the interview process can provide a much more solid rationale than going with your gut and can also provide data for use in other parts of the hiring process.

Two job candidates sitting on a couch holding resumes.

3. Your gut won't prove your case in court. 

In today's hiring environment, your hiring choices can end up in a courtroom if someone you passed over thinks you discriminated against them unfairly. Although it doesn't happen terribly often, when it does happen, you need a better rationale for hiring than "I went with my gut." You may think subjective hiring decisions work for you, but they don't hold up well in court.

4. Data can prove your gut right or wrong. 

Hiring data in the form of assessments and standardized criteria are more accurate than your gut. Even if you believe your gut is highly accurate, having data to back it up is always useful. And you just may surprise yourself and discover where your blind spots are. Everyone has them, including you. 

5. You don't have time to rehire.

Every time your gut makes a mistake, you will have to go through the hiring process all over again with someone else. Not only is it time-consuming and costly to have to hire twice for the same position, but it's an extremely difficult hiring market, so you may or may not be able to find the talent you want. 

GDH offers help with any or all parts of the hiring process. Contact us for information on what we can do for your company.