31 May 2020

The problem of working with HR tools that combat our gut feeling.


Gut feeling in HR/hiring decisions. We know that’s never a good thing. So we’re talking about it for a decade, and started implementing the first tooling a few years ago to help us out. Tooling like ours, to help you act on data instead of gut feeling in people-related decisions (and especially hiring decisions). 

And while implementing HR tools to help you fight your gut feeling is the best decision you could ever make, it’s also the most challenging one – because the challenge isn’t over after you’ve made your buying decision. 

In this blog I will provide you with some food for thought. For all People Professionals and founders who already work with data-driven HR tooling or are considering doing so. Because working with innovative solutions to make people decisions objective is a first start to help you become more successful as a company, but you are still the make or break factor. Here’s why. 



Data in people decision making: From why to what

Making better decisions when introducing data instead of relying on gut feeling is a no-brainer, so I won’t spend too many words on why you shouldn’t act on gut feeling in people-related decision making, such as hiring decisions or performance reviews.

Last year I experienced a massive shift in people’s mindset around this topic. We no longer discussed why tools to fight gut feeling in HR should be implemented, but instead started focusing on the what. What tooling is it that my company needs to make better people decisions? And what stage in the employee journey is actually the stage we struggle with? Is it about properly understanding the needs in a team? Or is it about knowing how to translate these needs into accurate hiring criteria? Or maybe it’s about collecting the wrong information about people.

In other words: different stages in the people journey/hiring cycle ask for different data sets. Here’s an overview of the main challenges we have seen at our customers over the last two years.

StruggleData need
Understanding my current team (competencies, skills, personalities, etc.).Team Composition Assessments
Understanding the gaps (i.e. hiring needs) in my current teamTeam Benchmarks
Collecting the right information for each candidateIndividual assessments
Knowing how to improve my team membersIndividual assessments


The post-buying problem: Method vs. mindset

So the why isn’t the problem anymore. And the what can be easily revealed. The HR tech market is exploding in the last few years, so there are hundreds of companies who are more than happy to help you find out your tooling need.

All problems solved, right? We know we need it. And we buy it. No more gut feeling in people-related decision making, better team performances, and we’re all living happily ever after. Well, I wish it was that easy, but like many things in life, reality proves us wrong.


Methods can change overnight. Mindsets don’t. 

Most companies work with dozens of tools, making their lives easier. Calendar tooling, CRMs, internal communication tooling, etc.. And most of them are bought to optimise processes or make them easier. 

Data-driven HR/hiring tooling isn’t bought to make your life easier. It’s bought because you’ve probably experienced that your gut feeling (or your manager’s gut feeling) has disappointed you. As a result of a bad experience, you have (gladly) lost your faith in your gut feeling and therefore you are open to HR/hiring tooling that forces you to act on data. So you have implemented a tool that not only requires a different work process, but also a different mindset. And mindsets don’t change overnight. 

The post-buying problem of these kinds of tools is the fact that we’re in a constant battle with our intuition. Because our intuition is our gut feeling, and that’s the exact influence that has actually been excluded from your work process overnight. While your mindset isn’t there yet.


How to challenge yourself and prove your wrong.

Here at Equalture we’ve built a Team Composition Technology. This technology helps our customers analyse their current team, reveal crucial gaps to act on and translate these gaps into hiring strategies. Once we’ve done this, our tool also introduces a complete new way of letting candidates apply to your jobs (namely by working with neuro-assessment games) in order to base your hiring decisions on the right data.

As you can read, that’s  a lot of innovation in one tooling. And it requires a lot of changes in terms of work processes as well.

The biggest change it requires, however, is the fact that our customers should trust on the fact that our AI-driven algorithm outperforms human judgement when making people decisions. So basically they should embrace the fact that we can make better decisions then they can – and that requires quite a mindset shift. 

If you start working with a tool like ours, it’s key to challenge yourself and prove your wrong – because that’s the only way to change your mindset. 


Three questions to ask yourself

By keep asking yourself these three questions, I am more than confident that you will easily embrace your new working method:

  1. Which people metric did I want to improve when buying this tool?
  2. What was the performance of this metric at that point?
  3. What is the performance of this metric now?

I know that sounds super logical, but we human beings don’t always think and act logically. And by keep asking yourself these questions, you can collect data (!) to prove whether your new tooling works. If the answer on question 3 is better than the one on question 2, it works. And if that’s not the case, it doesn’t. Just as simple as that.

Together we are disrupting and reinventing Human Resources for the better. Let’s not be too hard on each other and on ourselves, because no one said it would be an easy transition. Do try to ensure, however, that you keep challenging your mindset. Because that’s the only way to make this transition together.


Cheers, Charlotte