4 Types of Often Overlooked Candidates and How to Spot Them


4 Types of Often Overlooked Candidates and How to Spot Them

Do you often feel like there are not enough suitable candidates in order to make a great hire?

You’re not alone. Most hiring managers feel this way. However, there is an abundance of talent that is simply being overlooked. If this sounds detrimental, that’s because it is. For instance, the CEO of Zappos claims the business lost $100 million in bad hires. While this is an extreme case, employers are still spending more than they realise by failing to see candidate potential. Below are the types of great candidates that are often overlooked, and how you can spot them!

1. Introverted candidates.

Extroverts are known for their enthusiastic personalities and, therefore, stand out in the interview process. However, the top three characteristics of ‘toxic workers’ are as follows:

  1. Self-regard.
  2. Overconfidence.
  3. Professes to always follow the rules.

I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like someone that would get most of the attention and seem like a superstar candidate. It’s easy to overlook possible toxic, cocky behaviours due to the charm and skills that these extroverts possess. However, it’s worth it to watch out for the warning signs, because it will cost to replace them when they don’t mesh with the team!

Introverts generally have other valuable virtues such as patience, making less distracted workspaces, and carefully-chosen opinions. During the interview process, don’t hastily dismiss a quiet candidate. Ask better questions using unusual interviews, such as team or surprise tests. You can still see an introverted candidate’s personality and gauge if they have the character to accomplish the job at hand.

2. Passive candidates.

If you are looking for the good in outgoing and reserved candidates and still don’t feel as though you have enough talent rolling in, you may be missing out on active recruitment. Waiting around for top talent just doesn’t work (unless you are Google and get recognised easily). Top performers are usually already either comfortable in another position or unfamiliar with your company. This means they most likely aren’t looking for a job, much less the one you are advertising.

How do you find these top-notch pros? Reach out! Build rapport with leading professionals and talent you think would mesh well with your company’s goals. Keep them in talent pools for quick engagement later. Since you’ve established a connection, recruitment emails should be a bit less tricky than usual. When your potential passive candidates go to check out you out, have a careers site that showcases your employer brand and allows them to easily picture themselves growing with your company. This is more valuable to leading talent than salary and perks.

3. Boomerang candidates.

Similarly, former employees of your company are most likely not thinking about applying there again! Unless, of course, you have kept in touch and are on good terms. It’s best not to burn bridges. Even Steve Jobs was a boomerang employee. There are several reasons why they can be beneficial to explore:

  • Minimises time-to-hire.
  • Easier to onboard/train/assimilate.
  • Less cost.
  • Boosts retention in other employees, because the boomerang employee leads by example.

4. Internal candidates.

Likewise, candidates that are still working for your company are often overlooked. It’s easy to pigeon-hole current employees into their specific field, assigning them only to jobs inside their visible skillset. However, room for growth is important to professionals and will set a good example. Also, it will take less time and resources to hire internal candidates, much like boomerang candidates. The predictive factor is there, as well, so you will already know what training techniques will work well with them. They are already assimilated into the company and know the inner workings.

Keep your mind and your talent pool open. 

All in all, it’s best to give unlikely candidates a chance. I’m not saying to hire just anyone. It’s not about giving a hire offer to someone quickly because you should give them a shot. If they don’t feel like the right fit, by all means, explore different options. At the same time, though, it’s important not to brush past quiet, boomerang, internal, or passive candidates for fear of it not working out. It very well may be a smart time and money-saving decision for the future of your company.

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