It’s Not Grounds To Overlook Them, In Itself, But A Candidate With Hot Skills, ‘Looking’, Can Be A Red Flag For A Difficult Personality, Special Requirements, Or – Possibly – A Genius

Albert Einstein was labeled ‘slow’ by his elementary school math teacher.

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard.

These people, had they not done what we all know they went on to accomplish, may well have had employment problems. But they did go on to do amazing things.

Because of the demand for technical skills and security clearances, where these intersect, a given candidate should be employed, all things being equal. Similarly, a preponderance of movement in their work history can be in indication of something: a prima donna, a jerk, a person with an authority complex.

But it’s not always that simple. Again, Bill Gates (or Steve Jobs for that matter) didn’t really have a lot to learn from college professors, and may have told them as much. So, it shakes out that employment problems (unemployment or mobility) are signals of personality fit issues, all things being equal – when the candidate’s skills are highly sought-after.

But a personality fit can be for just cause, or not for just cause.

It could be that you have a paper security clearance and mediocre programming skills. More likely, however, is that you have a mismatch between a given individual’s personality, and the way many workplaces are structured. And within that segment, there can be times when the candidate has a 180 IQ and won’t fit in anywhere and needs to be running DARPA.

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