Deal Breaker or Not: Making Exceptions for Job Candidates

By Team Hireology,
June 9, 2014

By the time you post a new job opening, you probably already have the ideal candidate in mind. You’re speaking to a specific person–one you’ve mentally constructed from their specific skills all the way to their mannerisms. In reality, however, it’s difficult to find someone who lives up to your exact expectations. 

You might come across a candidate who’s perfect in every way, but they can’t start until a month after you need them, or they don’t have quite enough experience with Excel.

Sometimes these really are deal breakers, and a selection management platform like Hireology will weed guilty candidates out from the get-go. But on occasion, you might find that working around a slight flaw is worth your time.

To help you figure out where your boundaries lie, we’re breaking down a few common “deal breakers.” Read on and consider the difference between the exceptions you can make and the ones you can’t. 


Their schedule conflicts with yours

Your candidate meets all of your requirements, but their schedule doesn’t. In this situation, consider the reason behind the conflicting times and the impact it will have on your business. Are you in urgent need of another set of hands in the office, or will your candidate be working on long-term projects in which quality outweighs simply getting it done? Examining their reasons and willingness to compromise can also tell you a lot about your candidate. For example, your applicant is asking for a late start because of a pre-scheduled conflict. If they’re already looking for ways to compromise, such as offering to start work remotely, this is a sign that bringing them on might be well worth the lost time. 

They lack a specific skill

All might not be lost on a candidate that is lacking in a single skill department. As long as their entire job doesn’t rely on that one skill, your candidate may be able to pick it up in no time. Taking a look at their performance in tasks that require the same core competency can give you an idea of long it will take them. For example, if an applicant has no experience in the specific software your business uses but has proven handy with other computer applications, consider working with them to develop their skills. New sales hires at Hireology receive a handbook called Hireology University that guides them through our Salesforce software. 

They don’t have a college degree

This deal breaker is a tricky one. Having a college degree is often assumed to be synonymous with having intellect and skill, but as we have all seen in the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world, it is not a requirement. Success in some jobs requires skills that aren’t guaranteed by a piece of paper. So how does this fit into your business? Consider the nature of your work. Jobs that require a high level of expertise in something like math will most likely benefit from someone who has spent hours pouring over the subject in school. Other roles, such as sales positions, ask for characteristics an applicant can possess naturally. 

The next time you’re making a hiring decision, keep these deal breakers in mind. Still unsure? Check out our guide on reference checks to help you make an informed decision. 

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