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Are you guilty of hiring employees based on 'gut-feel?'

by , 02 July 2013
Don't let hidden factors sabotage your best intentions when judging people, competence and personality. You'll have difficulty justifying the reason for your decision on legal or job-related grounds if you hire only on 'gut-feel'. Here are factors you need to be aware of to ensure you don't hire by 'gut-feel'.

As the manager, you must ensure all your hiring decisions are backed up by planning and deliberate effort.

So make sure you don't sabotage yourself and your company by unwittingly minimising job-related factors and relying on 'gut-feel' rather than competency requirements to assess a candidate's suitability.

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management suggests you look out for these factors to make sure you don't hire by 'gut-feel'

#1: Bedazzled: Don't be overly influenced by the way someone talks, looks or acts. Being impressed by the performance of the candidate indicates you haven't taken into account that interview performance and job performance are two different and unrelated aspects.

'Being bedazzled during an interview often leads to the recruitment of the best actor, rather than the best candidate,' warns the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

#2: The 'like me': You subconsciously assess the candidate's similarity to yourself.

For example, you're impressed with Mary's similarity to yourself as she answers a particular question. You find yourself thinking 'I would also have answered that way' or 'I also went to that school – great!'

#3: The halo effect: Don't allow one aspect of the candidate to overwhelm all other information gathered from the interview and carry an unfair weighting.

For instance, Sibongile was awarded 'Achiever of the Year' at her company last year. You assume she must be perfect for this job.

Bottom line: You mustn't only focus on a single piece of information about the candidate and ignore the rest.

#4: First impressions: Don't be unduly influenced by your first impression of someone.

For example, Susan reminds you of your ex-wife from whom you recently split after an acrimonious divorce. You subconsciously dislike her from the start and ignore any evidence that she's suitable for the job.

#5: Emotions: Don't base your hiring decision almost entirely on the emotional impact of something unrelated to the job.

An example of this would be hiring Thandi when you discover she's a single mother who recently lost her house through bank repossession and you feel sorry for her.
Remember, job-related factors are unwittingly minimised when you rely on 'gut-feel' rather than competency requirements to assess a candidate's suitability. So ensure you steer clear of hiring based on 'gut-feel' by being on the lookout for these factors.

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