13 Red Flags To Watch Out For When Hiring A New Employee

Hiring the right person for the job is the best way to set your company up for success, but before you make a hire you have to sift and sort through masses of job applications, read countless resumes, and interview potential candidates. Hiring is a time consuming and costly project, but it must be done. And done well.

Job Candidate In Pajamas At Interview Cartoon

The ideal candidate that you want to hire will have the personality, attitude, enthusiasm, education, and experience that you’ve been seeking. They will fit into your company like the missing puzzle piece you’ve been desperately searching for. But you have to find the right person.

As an HR professional, it’s your job to pick the candidate that stands out from the rest. Here are some red flags to watch for when hiring a new employee:

  1. Timeliness – Job applicants need to be on time. They can’t be late or have other commitments that rush them out of a meeting. Don’t waste your time with any applicant that is late for any meeting during the hiring process.
  2. Poor References – It’s important to hear how a candidate did at their last job or in a professional setting. A poor reference shows that a candidate isn’t going to perform well or is unable to choose their references well. It’s also important to see if they list former bosses or supervisors as references. A candidate that lists a co-worker or a friend may have something to hide.
  3. Lying – No one likes lying. If they lie to get the job, they are capable of lying while on the job. Any hint of lying is a reason to immediately eliminate them as a job candidate.
  4. No Weaknesses – Every job interviewer should ask a candidate to identify their weakness. If they can’t or won’t, they are either unprepared or dangerously confident.
  5. Negativity – Complaining or bad mouthing a former employer or job is an immediate red flag. Negativity has no place in your workforce and has the potential to infect everyone.
  6. Lack of Research/Preparation – Your questions should make sure the candidate understands the job, the company, and the industry. If they haven’t put the time in to prepare for the job interview, they might not be the best choice to be your latest hire.
  7. Multiple Job Applications With Your Company – When a job applicant applies for every job on your job board, get ready. It could mean two things – either the candidate is so passionate about your company that they will work any job to be employed there OR it means they are totally desperate and unqualified. Use your judgement.
  8. Not Asking Any Questions – A job interview goes two ways. Of course you are interviewing the job candidate, but the job candidate is also interviewing you. It has to be a good fit for all parties. When you’re done asking your questions, the candidate should have questions too. If they don’t, you have to wonder why?
  9. Not Listening – It’s easy for a candidate to get frazzled during a job interview, which can directly effect their listening skills. But if a candidate doesn’t listen during an important interview, will they be able to listen when they are working?
  10. Only Focused On Pay And Benefits – When a candidate only talks about pay and benefits, you should immediately be wary. A job isn’t always just about money. It’s also about finding a candidate who is passionate about the job and the company. If this comes up, use some crafty interview questions to dig deeper.
  11. Poor Communication Skills – The ability to communicate is a huge part of any job. If a candidate is poor at returning emails, misses scheduled phone calls, or is unclear in his communication this is bad news.
  12. Inability To Follow Directions – When you write your job listing, you need to supply directions on how to apply. There may be further directions for a job interview. If a candidate misses steps or disregards the directions, watch out. This might be a trend they take into the office space too.
  13. Unprofessional Appearance – When a candidate shows up disheveled, dressed unprofessionally, and reeking like the late night taco stand, take a step back and reassess their ability to be a professional in the workplace. If they can’t pull it together for a job interview, they probably can’t pull it together for work either.

If you spot any of these red flags during the hiring process, make a note and reassess that candidate with extra caution. Your job is all about picking the right candidate. You have plenty of people to choose from and one false move by a candidate can cause them to miss out on a job opportunity.

You want the best and these red flags to watch for when hiring a new employee will help you hire the best.

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