As my son was applying to colleges, I was amazed (but not really) at how colleges seem to be looking for reasons to reject people. Then I realized that’s not a lot different from companies that pick at the tiniest thing about a candidate to reject them when they had an otherwise excellent background!
Unfortunately, I think it has gotten worse in the past few years. Organizations that now go on face book, my space, Google etc. bother me to no end. I can find anything negative about someone. People fall into this trap and use bits of information in the hiring process to reject great candidates. Do people want to feel like they are some kind of super detective and it gives them power. Who knows!
What I do know is that we should be looking at traits that people bring to the party because it is proven that the best way to get the most out of your people is to manage to their strengths. All you can do is try to minimize weaknesses. Don’t over think every little detail. Some of our brightest people have idiosyncrasies. Rejecting them may leave you with an organization of non-committal, fence sitting, vanilla clones that make you no different than anyone else you are competing against.
Here is some food for thought….as a hiring authority or Human Resources professional, your real power comes from finding people for the organization to move it forward, not from finding ways to exclude good candidates from consideration. Your role should be to look at what strengths candidates will bring to your organization. You might not get credit for that but you will have more of an impact on organizational results than anyone in the organization if you do.