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Are These Red Flags — Or Are You Overlooking Great Candidates?

Think These Are Red Flags? You’re Probably Overlooking Great CandidatesRemember when you dated and the guy asked for separate checks or showed up an hour late to your first date? It may have been a red flag, but you gave him the benefit of the doubt and he actually turned out to be a great guy your husband. (No, just me?) Similarly, there are so-called “red flags” in the world of hiring, which are sometimes unfounded biases that cause hiring managers to overlook great candidates. Here are some examples.

1. The currently unemployed or even long-term unemployed. The stats are sobering: Nearly 1 in 3 people who were previously employed full-time said they couldn’t even land a single job interview since becoming unemployed a year ago or longer; 1 in 3 long-term unemployed individuals are afraid their age or experience works against them. Why? Are employers letting their bias get in the way? It could be that some don’t even realize they’re discriminating against the unemployed or long-term unemployed, but smart employers know: Unemployed does not mean unemployable. For your own best interest, don’t overlook talented, skilled workers because of hidden, unfounded biases.

2. They don’t have experience in your industry. More companies are taking it upon themselves to build the “perfect” employee instead of waiting for one. Nearly half (49 percent) of employers say they expect to hire and train individuals who don’t have experience in their industry to get them skilled up, according to CareerBuilder’s Q1 hiring forecast. That number is up quite a bit (39 percent) from last year. Instead of waiting around seemingly endlessly for the qualified candidates your company needs, consider hiring for potential and investing in training and development to get new hires or current workers up to speed.

3. They’re overqualified for the position. Before you immediately dismiss an overqualified worker, take a moment to assess why you’re really discounting them – and if you should reconsider. For instance, are your biases getting in the way? Are you assuming too much, like that they’ll ask for more compensation than you’re willing to offer or that they’ll be too bored in the role? You’ll never know unless you try, so don’t miss out on a great candidate based on unfounded assumptions.

You may also be interested in reading about these other ‘traditional’ warning signals, which may turn out to be false alarms.

4. They want flexible scheduling. Nearly 3 in 4 (72 percent) of workers say it’s important that a company offers flexible schedules, according to the 2013 Candidate Behavior study. That means today’s workers will get the job done — but they want to do it on their own time. Don’t assume this is simply an unreasonable perk that those pesky millennials want or that it’s only applicable to parents or caretakers — data shows it’s by no means restricted to those demographics alone.

5. They’re military veterans looking to integrate back into the workforce. If you’ve ever found yourself asking the question: ”Why should I hire a military veteran?” an even better question is “Why wouldn’t you?” Consider the fact that the majority (71 percent) of veterans said they felt prepared when they entered the civilian workforce following active duty. Maybe you should join the 66 percent who would be more likely to hire a veteran over another equally qualified candidate, especially considering some of the skills veterans have been proven to have, such as leadership skills, ability to perform under pressure and the ability to adapt quickly.

Tell us in the comments below: What red flags do you think your peers need to overlook so they don’t miss out on great candidates?

Deanna Hartley

About Deanna Hartley

Deanna Hartley is a senior copywriter and community manager on the creative services team at CareerBuilder, where she writes about issues that are top of mind for employers and recruiters – including talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. An avid social media user, Deanna is the face behind @CBforEmployers on Twitter as well as CBforEmployers’ Facebook and Instagram pages, so it’s easy to stay connected with her. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Deanna was a senior editor for the Human Capital Media Group, publishers of Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive and Workforce Management magazines. Deanna holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves caffeine, social media, pop culture and dogs – though not necessarily in that order.


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