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As recruiters widen their reaches, they seem to get more rigid with their screening processes. In theory, rigid screening could be a good thing, but that assumes the process screens for the right things.

Today, I’d like to talk about the potentially stellar candidates who often get booted out of the running for insignificant factors. Are these five candidates really all that bad?

1. The Candidate With an Online Degree

While online degrees have gained more credibility recently, they still don’t hold as much weight with employers as traditional degrees do.

Not too long ago, TIME Magazine asked HR executives at several Fortune 500 companies for their thoughts on online degrees; unsurprisingly, the execs were wary:

“One executive was concerned about how students were graded and assessed, while another worried about the reputation of online universities and believed that online classes were generally not as challenging as traditional college courses. These are the challenges that MOOCs, for-profits, and corporate-academic partnerships still need to surmount.”

As online higher education programs become more common, employers are going to have to find new ways to assess a candidate’s education – or else they’ll miss out on a sizable portion of the talent market.

2. The Candidate With a Gap in Their Employment History

A Bullhorn study found that currently employed candidates who have criminal records can more easily impress hiring managers than candidates who have been out of work for two or more years.

Generally speaking, the longer a candidate’s employment gap, the harder it is for them to find a job. I get the reasoning, but I wonder: Are recruiters taking this a little too far? I’m inclined to agree with SmartRecruiters’ Laura Hong:

“[I]s an employment gap really a clear and justified indicator of qualification? I like to believe the answer is ‘No,’ because every candidate has a viable reason. You need only ask, or your company risks screening out those with amazing talent.”

3. The Job Hopper

A 2013 Gallup poll found that, worldwide, only 13 percent of employees are engaged at work. It’s no wonder a lot more people are job hopping these days. When talent feels dissatisfied, unrecognized, and/or unfairly compensated, they’ll leave – especially if they are quality candidates who know their worth.

HR expert Kazim Ladimeji contends that job hoppers actually posses some unique traits that make them particularly valuable in business, including adaptability, ambition, and a fondness for taking risks.

4. The Candidate With the Wild Social Media Profile

Recruiters should probably stop taking social stalking so far. A wild or unprofessional Twitter or Facebook does not indicate the type of worker a person is. If, on the other hand, a candidate is toking it up in their LinkedIn profile picture, then you can probably draw a line.

One in three hiring managers who research candidates on social media say they’ve rejected candidates based on things they’ve found on their profiles. That’s a lot of rejection based on information that has nothing to do with a candidate’s professional life.

5. The Bad Interview

Recruiters need to stop overemphasizing interviewing skills. A candidate’s knowledge of the company’s history and their ability to carry on small talk probably won’t be crucial for success in the role, will they?

I realize that a recruiter has to fly through a stack of resumes in the most efficient and effective way possible in order to meet deadlines and keep productivity going. Unfortunately, that often means great talent gets rejected when it shouldn’t.

When recruiters focus on what really matters – that is, finding the cozy spot where skill and cultural fit overlap – great matches are made.

A version of this article originally appeared on PeopleFluent.

Maren Hogan is founder and CEO of Red Branch Media. You can read more of her work on Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and her blog, Marenated.



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