Most recruiters will tell you there is an art and science to finding candidates. The science comes from the activity numbers, such as time to hire, number of interviews, job candidate submissions, and so much more. The art, however, is a sense that many recruiters develop that helps them determine things like whether a candidate is lying or if they are a good fit for the culture of the job they’re applying to. Ask recruiters if they should trust their gut when hiring a candidate, though, and their answer may surprise you. Let’s explore the issue to find out the art and science of finding talent.

Is it Wise To Trust Your Gut When Hiring Candidates?

Art vs. Science: The Business of Finding Talent as Science

There is so much data available today to track candidate experience and recruiter activity that it could make the idea of trusting your gut obsolete. It’s true that the science of hiring candidates is very powerful. Applicant tracking system (ATS) data can cover a variety of activity metrics to help recruiters work smarter. This includes:

  • Candidate contact activity.
  • Closed vs. open jobs.
  • Time to hire.
  • Which job boards yield the most candidates.
  • How many average contacts does it take to find a qualified candidate?
  • Individual vs. team data.
  • Length a candidate has remained in the job pipeline.
  • Trends and progress towards goals.

Recruiting is always a numbers game, so an ATS helps hiring teams stay focused on the volume of activity leading toward a closed job in a pipeline funnel. It’s an “if you build it, they will come” strategy that we know works. Repeat activities lead to more candidates. More candidates increase the chances that we find the right fit. It’s a diligent effort every day that separates a good recruiter from a top performer. Conversely, we also know that the second least reliable information comes from unstructured interviews because this information relies on gut instincts. However, we can’t rely on data alone to find the perfect match. Why? Because we’re dealing with human beings, and while some skills can be measured, there are others that are just as important—but can’t be tracked in a spreadsheet.

Art vs. Science: The Business of Finding Talent as an Art Form

The best recruiters have a knack for this work. Sure, they push hard and produce diligent effort. Their numbers prove it. But they also have something else that makes them really good at the job. We call it the gut instinct that helps these professionals seek out the best talent with soft and hard skills to fit your organization. These pros know that at some point, you have to make a judgment call between two candidates who seem equally qualified for the job. This is where the art of recruiting comes into play. points out there is data showing “that the unconscious mind may be better at problem-solving and processing huge amounts of data and at prioritizing the important over the trivial so it can more quickly put things into perspective. This means gut instinct has a genuine part to play in hiring decisions.”

Have You Hired a Candidate Based on a Gut Decision?

Recruiting, therefore, relies both on hard and soft data to pull off the job. That’s exactly why companies choose Exelare. We are a state-of-the-art ATS designed to provide you with the science you need to work smarter. Check out a demo of our product. You may find it’s exactly what your team has been missing all along.