4 Types of Quality Candidates That Recruiters Overlook

Steve Lowisz
Reading resume after resume can be a mind-numbing process. Many recruiters naturally begin to reject any CVs with minor issues just to thin out the herd. They believe this elimination technique will leave them with only the highest quality resumes; but that’s not necessarily true.

The reality of the situation is that recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds looking at each resume. Within this small window of time, recruiters are assessing the quality of applicants and estimating how well they’re able to perform. Although this can be efficient at times, it can also lead to an elimination of a solid candidate.

The next time you’re cruising through resumes, keep an eye out for the top 4 types of candidates that are most frequently overlooked.

1. The Overachiever 

Recruiters and hiring managers jump to the conclusion that overqualified candidates will ask for more money than the client is willing to pay. This isn’t always the case.

Job seekers may be on the market looking for a better work culture, opportunities for upward mobility, or more flexible hours. Salary range doesn’t govern every decision for every applicant. It’s never a good idea to make assumptions on behalf of the candidate!

2. Industry Transitioner 

Candidates without industry experience can still check the boxes. Let’s say I’m a recruiter, but I also taught myself how to develop basic websites. I apply for an entry-level developer position because I’m not happy recruiting, but “Recruiter” is listed as my current position.

By industry norms, I’d be out of the running… simply because I don’t have industry experience. Long story short: candidates who transition out of one industry can be just as competent as an individual with 5-years of experience in another industry. You’ll never truly know candidates’ skills and competencies if you don’t give them a shot.

3. Long-Term Unemployed 

Almost half of all employers say that they prefer job seekers who are currently employed. Many recruiters and hiring managers assume that an employment gap on a resume is a red flag.

Instead of immediately dismissing these candidates, remember that life happens. Consider their previous experience and give them an opportunity to explain the gap before passing judgment.

4. The Job Hopper

We’ve all seen our fair share of job hoppers… and we usually avoid them. The assumption is that they’re disloyal and expensive. In reality, it’s far more likely that they were dissatisfied in their role. Perhaps it was a string of bad luck, like poor culture fit, lack of growth, etc. Regardless of the reason, so-called job hoppers can still bring a lot to the table. Their choice to leave a previous role shouldn’t discredit their skills, ambition, and experience.

There is no such thing as the perfect candidate. Being a successful recruiter means thinking outside of the box and following paths that hiring managers may have never even considered. These 4 overlooked candidates are a great place to start when searching to fill that impossible role.