3 Blind Spots in Hiring

Hiring tends to become a rote process. A company has a system that has worked for them in the past and they stick to it in order to fill positions as people retire or resign. However, at the same time, there is always constant chatter about untapped potential hires such as passive candidates and how to reach them. Are there other potential pools that are being missed by the traditional process? Are there trends in hiring that cause Human Resources to miss out on potential candidates? Here are three blind spots in hiring to consider:

#3.The reject pile

The times have certainly changed, and what you may have looked over due to necessity a few years ago may be exactly what your company needs now. Most human resources professionals would shun the idea of going back to applicants that they had turned down, but checking these candidates again could deepen your pool. In particular, take a second look at those candidates who you brought through multiple rounds of the hiring process. Perhaps they made it to one of the final rounds before you decided they didn’t fit the position. What else was appealing about them then? Is it still appealing about them now?

#2. The long-term unemployed

Steve Gifford at Fistful of Talent takes a look at a startling study from the St. Louis Federal Reserve. The graph he shares shows that “of everyone who is currently unemployed, almost 40% of them have been out of work for more than six months.” Gifford says that the lengths of someone’s unemployment is a huge factor in how much time a human resources professional will spend considering them for a job. He cites numerous excuses for ignoring the long-term unemployed, such as: their skills are no longer sharp; or, if they haven’t been employed by some other company, there must be something wrong with them as an applicant. Giving into these generalized misgivings and the “herd mentality” can create a huge blind spot in hiring. In reality, there could be any number of reasons that a person has been unemployed for a long period of time, and the fact that they’re currently unemployed doesn’t mean anything except simply that: they’re unemployed.

#1. False perceptions

The skills gap widens as time goes on; hiring a person long out of a job will cost your company more on training; an employee once rejected is always rejected—they can have nothing to offer your company. All of these perceptions, while potentially true for some candidates cannot be true for all of them! In fact, using these ideas to guide your hiring process—unconscious as that may be—might mean you’re missing out on great talent and even be impeding your company’s progress. Both of the groups already discussed are generally untapped markets and could almost double your candidate pool if considered.

Many human resources professionals might think that only the current candidate pool is worth taking a look at, but you could have a unique edge by considering those that other companies haven’t considered.

What other misperceptions or blind spots do you frequently discover in hiring? Share it with us in the comments.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by nimishgogri