Balancing Rationality and Intuition in Recruiting: The Importance of Gut Feelings

Balancing Rationality and Intuition in Recruiting: The Importance of Gut Feelings

When it comes to recruiting, metrics and tools can only take us so far. In order to identify candidates who are a good fit for an organization's values and culture, it's important to balance rationality with intuition. This approach can lead to better hiring decisions and ultimately, stronger teams. Per Barth, CEO and Co-founder of A-hub Mitt, explores this topic in his first article and highlights the importance of valuing intuition and understanding a candidate's character, values, and motivations in addition to their skills and experience.

Working in recruiting the past 6,5 years, I have seen the impact of both rational thinking and intuition in the hiring process. In this short article, my first ever, I want to explore the importance of balancing these two approaches and how they can lead to better outcomes. 

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift," said Albert Einstein. In simple terms, Einstein was emphasizing the value of intuition and how it should not be overshadowed by our reliance on rationality. In recruiting, while tools and metrics are useful, they can only take us so far. Trusting our intuition and gut feelings can help us make better hiring decisions. There is nothing wrong with hiring the less qualified candidate when your intuition tells you to. 

Here is another inspiring quote from Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People": "Seek first to understand, then to be understood. When evaluating candidates, focus on understanding their character, values, and motivations, not just their skills and experience. Trust your intuition and seek out those who align with your organization's culture and values," 

Emphasizing the importance of seeking to understand before being understood. Listen first and talk second. When evaluating candidates, it's crucial to look beyond just their skills and experience and understand their values, character, and motivations. This can help ensure that they align with the organization's culture and values. Combining this approach with our intuition can lead to identifying candidates who are a good fit, even if they may not be the most technically qualified. 

In my experience, great managers have a natural sense of identifying the right candidates for their team through their intuition. They understand the importance of balancing rationality with gut feelings, which helps build strong teams. While technical competence is important, it's not always the only factor in making a hiring decision. There have been several times we have seen a candidate being rejected despite being 100% technically qualified because they didn't feel like the right fit. Trusting your intuition can help make these difficult decisions with more confidence. 

In conclusion, recruiting is not just about technical competence, but also about finding candidates who align with the organization's values and culture. By balancing rationality with intuition, we can make better hiring decisions that lead to building stronger teams. 

By Per Barth, CEO and Co-founder of A-hub Mitt