Why Your Gut is Failing Your Recruitment (and how to cure it)

Posted on October 31, 2018 by PaulHickey | Recruitment

Gut decisions are often unfairly criticised. After all, a gut call is about instinct. And instincts can be trained, based on experience and knowledge. In fact, we often praise people who have good instincts.

But does instinct or gut feel work when it comes to recruitment?

Probably not. But it’s not because your guts are bad. It’s because your recruitment process isn’t giving your best instincts the right environment in which to make a good decision.

The reason I know this is because most recruiters see only around 70% of their placements still in the role after 12 months, whereas our record is a steady 96%.

But here’s the thing…

We don’t make the decisions for our clients.

We present the candidates and we offer advice, but ultimately the EMPLOYER makes the decision.

So, that 96% figure hasn’t come about because we’re really good at making the final pick. It’s because we have a system that allows our clients to use their experience, their knowledge and, yes, their instincts, to make the right decision.

Lesser recruitment firms fail their clients for two reasons:

  • 1) Insufficient information is gathered on the candidates.
  • 2) Too many candidates are called to interview.

This stifles the employer’s best instincts because they don’t have enough details from which to form accurate judgements. This also results in them interviewing too many candidates, which overwhelms the decision-making process.

Here’s how we fixed this…

First of all, we have a comprehensive candidate assessment process that includes behavioural assessments and key competency questionnaires. This allows us to create a candidate shortlist that has been carefully vetted to include only those that we genuinely believe have the potential to thrive in the role.

And then…

We ask each candidate to produce a Video Introduction. They’re short – typically just 3-5 minutes in length – but crucially, they’re freeform.

We leave the candidates to decide for themselves what they want to say about their abilities, their experience, and why they’re interested in this role.

These videos, although brief, are hugely informative.

For a start, any candidate who claims they’re too busy to create a short introductory video has revealed that they’re not fully committed to the application process and so can easily be excluded.

But those who do create a video, produce a really nice showcase of their personality, their interests and their focus. Even elements like where they shoot the video and the style in which they do it can be hugely revealing.

And it’s this information that helps the client analyse the shortlist and choose who they should call to interview.

For example, let’s say you’ve received a shortlist containing eight qualified candidates. Without the additional information we gather, and the introductory videos, you might feel compelled to invite all eight candidates to an interview.

That’s at least three days of planning, preparation, logistics and commercial downtime.

But with our in-depth presentation of each candidate, including the videos, you can narrow your focus and call just 2-3 candidates to interview.

This saves a huge amount of time and resources, and gives you the breathing room to focus on just a few individuals instead of an entire shortlist.

The employers we work with find this to be far more efficient, and appreciate having the time to conduct thorough interviews, rather than trying to rush through a long list of candidates.

And the results speak for themselves.

Our clients save time and money. The candidates feel more engaged in the process. And 96% of placements are still in the role 12 months later.


Ultimately, whether people want to admit it or not, every hiring decision is made on some sort of hunch. No new hire comes with a 100% assurance of success. You gather the information and you make the best judgement you can. And when two candidates are very similar you trust your gut.

The difference with GrassGreener’ approach is that we give you the information to make a gut call that you can trust.


For a no-obligation discussion about how we can help you save time and money on your next recruitment campaign, book a call with us now.