Over reliance on gut instinct is leading to bad hiring decisions

50% of hiring managers have made this mistake

New research* from pre-hire assessment specialists, ThriveMap, reveals hiring managers are relying too heavily on their gut instinct and not enough on objective data when making hiring decisions. Half of hiring managers said when they reflected on new recruits that didn’t work out, these were the result of them paying too much attention to how they felt about the candidate. This means that too often personal judgements, unconscious bias, and subjective preconceptions are getting in the way of organisations hiring the most suitable candidates. With the Black Lives Matter campaign highlighting inequalities in the workplace, employers need to seriously consider how they can address the issue of hiring bias.

The figures show that younger hiring managers, who are likely to have less experience, are the most likely to fall into this trap. 61% of those aged under 35 said that a new recruit hadn’t been a success because they paid too much attention to their gut instinct. Organisations need to be aware of this potential hazard and ensure they have a robust, fair, and transparent hiring process which provides hiring managers with a clear framework and objective data to base their recruitment decisions on.

Men are much more likely than women to have made this mistake. 58% said they had made a bad hire through over reliance on their gut instinct, compared to 42% of women. Various studies have shown that men are significantly more assured than women in the workplace[1]. This trait may be leading to over confidence in their abilities and personal judgements, leading them to make more poor hiring decisions, based on feelings rather than facts.

Chris Platts, CEO of ThriveMap said, “These findings reveal that not using fair and objective measures to assess candidates leads directly to hiring mistakes. Recruiting managers who make decisions based on how they feel about a candidate rather than whether they have the capability and desire to do the job, are wasting valuable time and resources. Employers are under pressure to show they are taking diversity and inclusion seriously. Evidencing that hiring processes are inclusive, transparent and based on something more than “gut feel” is an essential component to making change happen.”


[1] https://www.ft.com/content/8ea25414-07be-11ea-a958-5e9b7282cbd1

Author: Editorial Team

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