You are currently viewing Rules Were Made to be Broken

Rules Were Made to be Broken

When it comes to hiring, there are a lot of rules that need to be adhered to; rules that could mean the difference between a lawsuit and a thriving company. You should never ask a candidate about their age or religion, declaring a position exempt can’t just be done haphazardly, and hires of similar background and expertise should be offered the same amount, regardless of gender (you know that, right?!?)

But then there are the rules that are more like polite suggestions than truly unbreakable laws. These rules, in fact, sometimes deserve to be broken—particularly when breaking them can mean bringing on the perfect candidate for the job.


The Unconventional Resume

Most of us go into the search for a new hire on the lookout for very specific resume details. Our eyes are peeled for certain job titles, skillsets, and degrees.

We know what we’re looking for.

But every once in a while, a resume will cross your desk that doesn’t necessarily meet any of the must-have criteria you thought you were looking for. And yet, there’s something about that resume that speaks to you.

Sometimes people have experience that is incredibly transferrable to the job at hand. And occasionally, a resume will come across your desk with such a strong recommendation, it’s hard to ignore; even if, on paper, this person doesn’t seem like what you are looking for at all.

If your gut (or a trusted advisor) is telling you this person might have what it takes, give them an interview. Some of the best hires are the ones who wind up completely surprising you by what it turns out they’re capable of.


The Inside Hire

You’ve got an opening coming up, and even though you haven’t admitted so aloud to anyone just yet—you have a current employee you think would be great for the job. But surely you still have to post the opening and give those outside the company a chance first, right?

Wrong. Internal hires can be great for company moral, and can save you a great deal of time and money in the search as well!

The trick is that you have to post internally, at the very least. Which means you have to give all your current employees the same opportunity to apply. But the rule about posting publicly can absolutely be broken if you already have the talent you need on hand.


The Non-Hire

Conventional wisdom dictates that if you post a job, collect resumes, and interview a handful of those who have applied—you have to make an offer.

Conventional wisdom is wrong.

Look, we all know the pressure on filling an open position. Money is lost every single day it is allowed to remain open. But you know how even more money is lost? By hiring the wrong person.

Just because you’ve already jumped through all those new hire hoops does not mean you have to make an offer if you haven’t found the right fit. Pull the posting, send out “We decided to go another direction” emails to all those who applied, revise what it is you’re looking for, and then try again. Maybe this time with a professional recruiter on your side.


It is essential that you adhere to hiring laws at all times. But when it comes to those other hiring rules, the ones that are more along the lines of suggestion? Know that sometimes breaking the mold is okay.

In fact, doing so is occasionally essential to finding the right fit for the job!

Are we connected?