Trusting your instincts in recruitment
Reading Time of Article: 5 min
Intuition: a faculty in its own right
Some people define intuition as a certainty, a conviction, the obvious, which can take the form of a feeling or sensation. The concept of ‘feeling’ clearly conveys the ability to ‘sense’ things. Many neurologists today believe that intuition is an essential part of reasoning, and that it operates using unconscious information captured by our brains. In some ways, it’s like a connection to our sensory database: our brain reaches conclusions without being consciously aware of the perceptions that produced those conclusions.
What happens outside what we actually say?
Neuroscience is currently taking a real interest in the other dimensions of communication: what can’t be directly linked with our speech. Even when we’re not speaking with words, we’re constantly sending information about ourselves to other people. These signals are received by the person we’re talking to, usually subconsciously, and produce a feeling in them that expresses itself in the form of intuition. Interestingly we’ve all, at some time in our lives, felt either warmth for or a profound aversion to someone we’re meeting for the first time.
What about in recruitment situations?
Sometimes we receive a strange impression, some instincts, either in an interview or when assessing an application. The candidate says the right things – exactly what we want to hear. However, for some reason we don’t quite believe what the person is saying. This barely perceptible lack of congruence between what the person is saying and the way they’re acting jams the signals. We usually try and get rid of this uncomfortable feeling, either by trying to eliminate it or by giving it some rational explanation. Trained as we are in Western thought, we regularly ignore our instincts. Observing an individual’s behaviour should primarily enable us to establish a more authentic and empathic relationship with them without having to ignore our own feelings. Sharing our feelings is a good basis for establishing an authentic conversation, especially when it’s prompted by a genuine desire to understand the person we’re talking to, beyond superficial dialogue.
Did you know?
A limp handshake or a fleeting glance is a way of attracting your attention. We instinctively register behaviour that irritates us or makes us feel uncomfortable. These signals tell us how easy it will be for us to forge a relationship with somebody at work who is not exactly like us. We should pay attention to those fleeting feelings that our mind tries to block out as prejudices. Don’t feel uncomfortable about it; open your eyes and see if you can identify the way your candidate normally operates at work.
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