When you’re trying to find the right person for a job, résumés don’t always cut it.

I suspect that’s true for many jobs, but Rob Hunter, co-founder of HigherMe (part of the current batch of startups incubated at Y Combinator), told me that it’s particularly true in retail jobs and other hourly positions — location, availability, and personality can be more important than the jobs you have or haven’t held in the past.

That’s something Hunter himself saw when he owned multiple Marble Slab Creamery stores. He recalled hiring an early employee, Kendra, who — like most high schoolers — had an unimpressive résumé. After all, her experience on the soccer team and as a babysitter didn’t say much about her ice cream serving skills, and the typos didn’t help, either.

“If I’d just seen her résumé, I would not have given her the shifts,” Hunter told me. But he saw that she had “the brightest young personality that you could have imagined,” and perhaps even more importantly, she lived right by the store and was available for the shifts he needed.

Looking back, Hunter described hiring Kendra as a great decision, because she stuck around for years (before heading to college) and “made me a lot of money.” So along with his co-founders Jef Chedeville and Evan Lodge, Hunter built HigherMe to help employers find the Kendras of the world.

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