So many recruiters talk about gut instinct. How they “just know” that a candidate is right or not, that a client will flake, etc. It’s a bit of a cop-out answer, if you ask me – leaning on something people can’t learn instead of trying to find a practical process to help them get from A to B. However, when dealing with people, process and relationship – practical isn’t always in the cards. The answers aren’t always obvious.

Finally, a viewer on our last webinar asked the question I think we all wonder about: how do you determine gut instinct from anything else? How do you figure out if you’re giving someone a chance or you’re feeling that drive inside that says “yes?” That’s a tough question, of course, trying to decode intuition and instincts. I mean, most of us can barely figure out what that means for our personal lives let alone the professional ones where “what we want” is a lot more blurry because we have to build in considerations for every stakeholder.

The answer, of course, isn’t something that many bloggers even talk about let alone try to prescribe. Unlike so many other fluffy metrics, this is one they just stay away from instead of buzzing about it until it’s been thoroughly abused. It’s something no one measures but everyone talks about so I get why the question came up in the first place. We all know what it is but distinguishing it from everything else? Not so easy.

I’ve Got This Feelings: Distinguishing Instincts

What I do know that’s prescriptive about gut feeling, I know from therapy – not recruiting. I learned through a lot of crappy days and hours looking myself in the mirror that gut feeling is a mix of things. It’s a specific physical feeling. Like anxiety, it has specific triggers that consistently happen when your body is about to go into that emotion. There are physical and emotional triggers that all synch at just the right time to make this emotion. While gut feeling has a far better reputation for being productive than anxiety, the package of feelings is very similar.

The thing is – it takes a long time to learn how to listen before you decide – to balance your mind’s persistence to choose right with recognizing the signs and trusting them. It’s a wash, rinse, repeat element of recruiting and one that comes with experience and practice, not an hour long webinar or 6 week class.

That whole listening thing in itself is one of the most powerful and underutilized tools in recruiting. That happens to be the specialty of our guest next week, in addition to being the most thoughtful guy I’ve ever met across HR Tech.

Our guest’s name is Chris Kurtz and he’s going to join us to talk about listening – online and in person – to really understand candidates and their priorities so we can tailor our conversations to create the best outcome for them, our teams and clients. It should be obvious but before we can get to establishing gut feeling and making better decisions, we have to do a better job listening.

Christopher Kurtz|Katrina Kibben
Founder|Managing Editor PeerThru|RecruitingDaily

Founder | #EmployerBrand & #Culture Coach w/a penchant for #Glassdoor. Keynote Storyteller | Dad. Motto: Do Good, Be Great|Managing Editor @RecruitingDaily + host of #RecruitingLive. I will make you swear, share or care. #recruiting #LGBT

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The RecruitingDaily Podcast

By Katrina Kibben

RecruitingDaily contributing writer and editor.  I am a storyteller. A tactical problem solver. A curious mind. A data nerd. With that unique filter, I work to craft messages that strategically improve the perceptions and experiences of our clients, the people they employ and the candidates they wish to attract. I methodically review and collect research and insights to offer solution-based recommendations that meet the one-off, and not so one-off, recruiting and employer branding problems of today's global employers.


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