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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

Gut Feeling Recruitment Isn’t Perfect

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After my last post about gut feeling recruitment one of my friends dropped me an email to share a story. The story was, as you may guess, about someone who wouldn’t make it through gut feeling recruitment but actually the company hired the guy and he ended up being one of top performers in the team.

It was a kind of guy who rocks on the technical part of the interview but something is actually telling you he isn’t the right fit to the team. As it eventually appears whatever “something” is it tells you the wrong thing.

For the sake of the argument I consider the “something” to be gut feeling.

Well, I’ve never said that gut feeling recruitment is 100% successful… OK, I’ve kind of said that. So I was wrong. Actually it’s more of a risk which may, but also may not, become true. I know folks who are so-called cellar programmers and they rock. I mean they really shine as long as you don’t force them to go out of the cellar and allow them to do what they do best – code. More often than not they would fail in the gut feeling test.

They won’t be life and soul of the party no matter how hard you push them toward this role. Anyway, last I checked it was still lower than coding on the list of traits we expect from developers. But then, don’t just ignore it – I’ve seen way too many, say, socially challenged folks who are virtually destroying teams they join to take it lightly. Just treat is as a risk.

You may find how wrong your gut feeling was which is a kind of double win: first, you get top performer to your team and second you get damn good lesson that you’re only a human and you err.

So yes, gut feeling recruitment fails from time to time, like pretty much any rule out there. It’s healthy thing to challenge your rules and I’m thankful to my friend for reminding me that.

in: recruitment

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