Looking to Avoid Bad Hires? Look Out for These 6 Big Red Flags
January 5, 2022
The good news: there are numerous signs that can tell you if a candidate is a bad hire or fit for your company. So if you’re looking to avoid bad hires, here are 6 red flags to look out for.
Having too many demands or no questions at allAs far as trying to avoid bad hires, this red flag is the most common. Let’s say the interview is almost over and you ask the candidate if he or she has any questions. If the only response you get is a blank look, they may not be invested in the position (or company) as you thought they would be. To avoid bad hires, look for candidates who show eagerness and interest in the position. These candidates might even prepare a list of questions prior to the interview. Or they should have at least picked up something during the interview that peaked their interest. Perhaps they’d like to ask a question about the culture or work environment. Or at least ask the recruiter to clarify an earlier statement. If all the recruiter gets is silence – chances are the candidate is indifferent about the position. At the end of the day, a great candidate wants to know more about the workplace they’re joining. Alternatively, if you ask the candidate “Do you have any questions about the benefits? And they quickly bombard you with a list of questions about the salary, benefits, leaves, and vacation days all in one sitting – they might be more interested in what’s in for them, rather than your company. To completely avoid bad hires, look for warning signs like these – which show you that such behaviour could continue with the candidate as an employee too.
Inability to provide someone as referenceOne great way to avoid bad hires is to make your final checks as soon as you find the perfect candidate. Before offering any candidate a position, it pays to ask for a reference check from at least two individuals. Preferably, from the candidate’s last employer. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the prospective candidate isn't misrepresenting his or her responsibilities from the previous job. Non-existent or even poor references indicate that the candidate was unable to build great rapport with colleagues or previous employers. Or even worse, they might be hiding critical information. The red flag, however, occurs when the candidate refuses to provide a list of references. To avoid bad hires, look for candidates who have a list of references already in check and above all, are credible and reliable. These candidates are not afraid of what their most recent supervisors or employers have to say because they’re confident of their work ethic, achievements and value.
Only concerned with personal benefitsOf course, all candidates are interested in the pay, but those who are only obsessed and concerned about the benefits is a screaming red flag. In essence, candidates who keep going back to the salary discussion or perks and benefits, often signify that they’re solely motivated by monetary gains. After all, if the candidate is only interested in money and less interested in the value that he or show could offer, then this is definitely considered to be a red flag. So if you’re looking to avoid bad hires, look for candidates who don’t only care about their gains, but care for the company’s growth as well. Also, look for candidates who don’t have unrealistic or over-the-top salary expectations.
Showing up to all interviews unpreparedAll too often, it’s not hard to catch a candidate who hasn’t done their homework for the interview. For example, if a candidate can’t answer the basic questions (who's answers can be found on your website) – it quite clear that they haven’t bothered to do the basic research. Or worse, they’re just hoping to wing it by doing the bare minimum and well obviously, lacking motivation. To avoid bad hires, look for cues and cringeworthy signs that show the candidate is evidently unprepared. Such as candidates who don’t know what the company is really about or show disinterest to a certain extent; either for the company or the interview itself. Instead, look for candidates who have not only done their homework – but also have done their research about the recruiter as well! Perhaps they’ve noticed something interesting on their LinkedIn profile, and smoothly brought it up during the interview. In a non-stalkerish way, this could exemplify that the candidate is interested in learning about the company’s employees as well, and not only the products or services.
Having a pattern of job-hoppingWhile there’s nothing wrong with having a short-term employment with a designated company (especially if it’s contract-based), it slowly turns into a red flag once it becomes a frequent matter. Now, recruiters don’t rush to reject these candidates, but they will certainly be keen to understand the reason behind their frequent job-hopping. And sirens start going off when candidates don’t have valid or reasonable explanations. To avoid bad hires, be sure to carefully consider candidates who changed jobs frequently and avoid sharing any references. And most importantly, check for patterns. Does the candidate show any negativity about the places he or she worked at? Or perhaps maybe their bosses? As soon as you unravel the candidate’s reasons for switching jobs too fast, the question you should ask yourself is, “What does the candidates behavior mean for the company, and most importantly, the team?” If their answers seem logical to you, then you can give them a chance and mention to the candidate that you’re looking for someone who is making a commitment to a certain amount of time and ask if the candidate can make that sort of commitment to you. However, be sure that the time frame is reasonable and rational. And if you get a quick “yes” then perhaps you’ll never have to worry about their job-hopping again.
Lack of situational work samplesWhile we can’t deny that many candidates successfully manage to wow the employers during interviews with a convincing resume, they tend to fall short during the actual job. So if you ask the candidate situational work questions, and you get lackluster responses, it’s often considered as a red flag. Especially if they don’t have any work samples to support their resume. Work samples give a clear understanding of the scope of work that is being asked of the candidate. It shows recruiters whether the candidate has sufficient work experience with this type of work before they’re given an offer. So if candidates fail to dig up the most relevant and successful projects they’ve done in their previous jobs, it might spark off as a big red flag. Why else would they avoid showing their work samples? To avoid bad hires, be sure to look for candidates who are eager to stand out by sharing their previous projects, samples, or pieces of work. These types of candidates strive to show employers what they can offer the company once they’re hired.
Bottom lineTo spare yourself wasted time, stress, and money, be sure to keep your eyes open for common red flags throughout the recruitment process. Whether it’s candidates who don’t have questions, have no references, only care about benefits, show up unprepared, change jobs a lot, or don’t provide work samples – the red flags are often right there in front of you. So if you’re looking to avoid bad hires, watch out for a mix of these six red flags which all too often indicate a poor fit. This way, you’ll be able to steer your focus towards hiring great candidates that can contribute their expertise to the company’s overall success.
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A wordsmith, storyteller, and content strategist – Tima is an MBA graduate with 6+ years of experience in the world of HR. With over 2,000 blogs under her belt, Tima's expertise and insights have helped businesses across the globe take their recruitment to the next level and stay ahead of the curve.
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