Sifting through a pile of resumes might not be the best way to find superb talent. That's according to Mark Newman, founder and CEO of digital interviewing platform HireVue, who says instead of perusing an employment history, you really want to know a candidate's passions, ideas and stories to figure out how you can harness them for the benefit of your team. In fact, he recommends getting to know candidates before using a resume as a screening tool. Here are five valuable demographics you may miss with a resume-first approach.

Mothers returning to work

Their main problem is a gap on a resume that may knock them off a candidate list, which would be unfortunate considering the caliber of these workers. "You have a workforce that wants flexibility, but has an incredibly high level of retention and low turnover," he says. "And it's a highly skilled workforce."


Newman says companies such as J.P. Morgan, Hilton Worldwide, and Frontier Communications are exceptionally good at hiring veterans whose experiences may not line up exactly with a job description. What they're doing: Aligning military virtues such as problem solving and working well under pressure with skills traditionally valued by business, such as project management and the achievement of goals. "It's like speaking two different languages," he says.

College graduates

There's no shortage of these job seekers but it can be tough for them to differentiate themselves. "Almost every college graduate comes out having the exact same resume [with] a four-year degree and GPA of 3.0 and above," he says. So, in this demographic it may make more sense to vet candidates according to personality traits or skills assessments instead of using resumes as a primary screening tool.

Free agents

It used to be that a certain percentage of the population stayed with a job because of benefits, but Newman says the Affordable Care Act has ushered in an era where more people can be their own boss because of accessible health insurance. As a result, he predicts this group of people will continue to grow, a boon for companies that can get work done via contractors, consultants and freelancers.

The long-term unemployed

Last year about 300 U.S. businesses agreed to implement best practices related to recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed, a White House initiative. In October, the White House released a report (PDF) highlighting employer progress, specifically calling out HireVue client Frontier Communications for its use of video interviewing, which the report says removes biases against the unemployed that may exist with a traditional resume. "Frontier Communications hired almost 3,000 new people, a third of which were unemployed and 16 percent of which were long-term unemployed," he says. "They ended up proving that not only were the long-term unemployed a great workforce to go after with a unique set of tools, but they actually outperformed other demographics of employees."