Luke Watkeys, Business Manager
There’s only one way to settle this argument. So let’s set the stage.
In one corner, we have the artist. This fluffy, emotional manager acts on instinct and just gets ‘a feeling’, good or otherwise, about a candidate during interviews. They do away with rigid structure and prefer an informal, laid back approach to selection.
The artist loves to talk about ‘team and culture fit’. They actively look for this in interview, and arrange opportunities for the candidate to socialise with their intended peers or get them to do some on-the-job ‘work experience’, gathering feedback from the team.
In the other corner, we have the scientist. This cool, calculated manager wants to make selection decisions based on rational methods. They adore psychometrics, believing that objective evidence of ability is the only way a rational decision on performance once in post can be made.
The scientist will ask rigid questions at interview and find it difficult to mark on any other criteria other than answers to technical questions, as ‘surely anything else is subjective and fallible’.
To be perfectly honest, neither art not science guarantees you a perfect ending. A solid recruitment process should never rely on just one of these aspects. You can still maintain a professional and systematic process whilst incorporating elements of both scientific and artistic discipline.
Whilst using a range of selection methods will help stack the odds in your favour, there is inevitably an element of subjective judgement (otherwise known as ‘gut-instinct’ and experience) that is also very valuable if it is used in conjunction with the ‘objective’ measures as well. The right combination of art and science will significantly increase your success in picking the right staff!