Counterintuitive Hiring Tips You Need to Know

Counterintuitive Hiring Tips You Need to Know

If you’re a recruiter or a hiring manager, you know certain tactics tend to be valuable and effective when you’re in the process of filling open roles. For example, if you’re hiring an executive, you might coordinate with an executive hiring firm. Leveraging their expertise and resources will help you identify and attract the right candidates.

That’s a fairly basic and practical hiring tip. However, it’s important to keep in mind that some effective hiring and recruitment tactics aren’t so obvious. There are in fact several counterintuitive methods you can use that can deliver results. The following are simply a few noteworthy examples to consider employing in your own hiring process.

Consider Details Others May Overlook

It’s of course important to prioritize candidates with relevant experience and qualifications. You need to know the people you’re hiring have the skills necessary to succeed in their roles.

That said, it’s also valuable to consider other factors that many hiring managers overlook. For example, perhaps a candidate was involved in some sort of extracurricular activity or volunteer commitment for a long period of time. They may have achieved a significant goal related to that activity, such as becoming editor of their college newspaper, coordinating a successful charity drive at their church, or becoming an Eagle Scout.


Such achievements indicate a candidate is hard-working and dedicated to success, even when they aren’t being paid for their work. Although this isn’t a guarantee they’ll be equally dedicated to your company, it’s certainly a sign that they are internally motivated and conscientious.

The main point to remember here is that the job history listed on a resume isn’t the only factor worth paying attention to when evaluating candidates. If you want to find strong employees, look for people who thrive in a variety of ways.

Identify Company Culture Experts (and Use Them)

This will take some work at first. Identifying the right employees for this particular team may be somewhat time-consuming. However, doing so is valuable.

The prospect of working at your company will be much more appealing to jobseekers if you have a strong company culture. Additionally, if you develop and understand your company culture, hiring for culture fit becomes much easier. You’ll be able to quickly identify candidates who feel like genuine team members.

Once you’ve defined your company culture, organize a team of culture experts among your current employees. The specific people who should be on the team will vary from one organization to another. That said, it typically makes sense for the team to consist of long-term employees and decision-makers who were involved in developing the company culture. Don’t limit the team to these people, however; including some enthusiastic newer employees or entry-level workers can give the group good perspective.

Whenever possible, this team should interview candidates as a group. However, the potential manager of the candidate should not be included in this particular interview. (A manager should obviously interview any candidate they may supervise, just not with the culture team.) Managers are typically focused on candidates’ more concrete qualifications, such as their work experience, skills, and education. They may overlook culture fit as a result.

That’s why it’s good to have a team of culture experts on hand to interview candidates. Instead of focusing on job history and skills, they can ask the types of questions that can help them assess whether a candidate will be a good fit for the organization’s culture. Their unbiased assessment will help the company make smarter hiring choices.

Consider Overlooking Some Weaknesses

Don’t misunderstand this tip. If a candidate lacks a skill that would be essential to their success at your organization, you shouldn’t hire them.

employee hiring

That said, there are instances when hiring managers and team leaders reject candidates based on perceived weaknesses that aren’t as relevant as they initially seem. Instead of focusing on a candidate’s strengths, the hiring team allows their perception of these weaknesses to cloud their judgment.

For instance, perhaps you’re trying to fill the role of digital marketing specialist. Maybe part of your hiring process for virtually all roles involves giving candidates a test consisting of various types of questions. Perhaps a candidate for this role fails to perform well on the questions that require analytical thinking.

Yes, this does indicate the candidate may be slightly less adept in analytical thinking skills. However, this weakness may not prevent them from succeeding as a digital marketing specialist if analytical thinking skills aren’t crucial to the job. It might be a mistake to reject them based on this one issue. The point here is to think carefully about which skills or experiences are truly relevant for the position in question, and which probably don’t matter so much.

Remember, while some hiring tips are conventional and popular because they work, there are also hiring tactics you may not be leveraging. The fact that they’re counterintuitive doesn’t mean they’re ineffective. Give them a try, and you may be surprised by the results.