Home > Uncategorized > Recruiters: Stop covering your butt and start trusting your gut!

Recruiters: Stop covering your butt and start trusting your gut!

Where has trusting your gut feeling gone when making recruitment decisions? Hiring choices are becoming increasingly process-driven and less intuitive. Recruiters rely on educational qualifications, psychometric testing, past experience and reference checks, amongst other things, before making a decision.

Why is this so? Let’s examine whether these tools really do help make better hiring choices or whether they are used to justify bad hires.

Are degrees or qualifications truly required to the extent that one would think looking at job postings? Clearly I am not referring to professions where the correct qualification is indispensable such as medicine, accountancy or law, to name a few. I am also not suggesting that degrees are not worth pursuing. I just wonder why, though, recruiters will sometimes only consider candidates for a sales position if they have an MBA. Can the recruiter explain why the MBA is required for that particular position? Probably not, but at least they can always refer to the candidate’s qualifications later if things go wrong…

The more often you do IQ tests, the higher the score you will achieve even though your IQ is clearly not increasing. Similarly the more psychometric tests candidates sit for, the better they will score. Also, candidates can practise for psychometric tests the way they can for any other type of test. So does scoring well in these tests mean that they will necessarily perform well at their job? No, but at least the recruiter can always refer to the test results later if things go wrong – especially if the tests were conducted by an external agency…

Some recruiters will only look at candidates if they have done exactly the same job elsewhere in the past. So if they need an Asst. Accounts Receivables Manager, they will only look at candidates who already have the same title. They neither look at more junior candidates to see if they are ready for a promotion, nor at an Accounts Payables Clerk who might bring in valuable cross-functional experience. Why not? Because if something goes wrong later, the recruiter can always point out that the candidate had done exactly the same job elsewhere…

And now for my personal favourite: reference checks. 99% of the time, (lazy) recruiters will only call the references that candidates themselves have provided. What is the point?! This is a complete and utter waste of time – no candidate is going to provide anyone as a reference unless they are sure that only good references will be given. But, if something goes wrong later, the recruiter can always refer to the references obtained…

It’s almost as if recruiters are more concerned with covering themselves just in case things go wrong, rather than making a good hire in the first place. What this means is that all too often you end up recruiting the second or third best candidate, because they look the best on paper!

Virgin’s Richard Branson and GE’s Jack Welch both attribute their success to their ability to choose the right people for the right job. And I bet you they were both more interested in their gut feeling than any piece of paper.

Recruiters: click “share” if you dare!

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