Building a successful company starts with employing the right people. The workers are the lifeblood of any company, after all. As such, it’s incumbent upon the hiring managers to ensure that they only hire the best applicants.
Yet the hiring process can be a little complicated. It’s not just about measuring talent or verifying the applicant’s past experiences. It’s also about evaluating a candidate’s attributes and personality, not only to see if they’re qualified to do the job, but also to assess whether they’d fit into the company’s culture.
A bad hire can be costly. Fortunately, as hiring managers or business owners, it’s something you can avoid. There are little signs and cues you can pick up during the application and interview process that will help you make better decisions in hiring.
In this article, we’ll discuss the red flags to look out for as you hire new workers.
An applicant’s resume will say a lot about them. It’s their first opportunity to make a good impression. It is, on many occasions, the determining factor whether they even receive an interview invite in the first place.
Seeing a CV that’s full of typographical errors, improper formatting, and lacking in detail is your first red flag. In this day and age where finding ready-made CV templates online only takes a few seconds of Google search, it’s completely unacceptable to have a poor-quality resume.
It’s difficult to employ someone who couldn’t do something as simple as making a proper resume. Even if the work they’re applying for doesn’t require computer skills, your applicant’s resume says a lot about how much they want the job and how much they prepared before sending their application.
Another essential detail to look out for in resumes is the background reference provided. Not supplying contact information of colleagues or the HR of their most recent employer can be another red flag. That’s enough reason to think that they didn’t leave their previous company on good terms.
A thorough review of your applicants’ resumes can go a long way towards your goal of hiring the right people. You’ll be able to save precious recruitment time and effort by paying close attention to possible red flags on the CVs you receive before you even schedule interviews and exams.
Unjustified Employment Gaps
It’s relatively easy to spot employment gaps just by taking a glance at an applicant’s resume. However, this shouldn’t deter you right away from considering their application, especially if you feel like they have the qualifications for the job.
It’s fine to have certain periods without work as long as the applicants were doing something productive during those times, such as schooling, putting up a business, or raising a family.
Some applicants may have gone through tough times in the past that kept them from working. They’re probably applying as a way to try to turn their life around. That’s also a valid reason as long as they’re upfront about it.
Employment gaps will be a red flag once they’re unable to justify that in interviews. If you receive vague or questionable explanations for these gaps, you may start thinking about moving on to other applicants.
Unjustified employment gaps speak volumes about an individual’s lack of work motivation. You run the risk of hurting your company’s productivity when you hire someone who hasn’t demonstrated an inclination to work hard.
Let’s make one thing clear – job-hopping isn’t inherently bad. In fact, there are several benefits to doing that, which include:
- An opportunity to learn new skills
- A quick increase in salary
- A better chance for promotion
With these benefits, it’s perfectly reasonable for people to switch jobs or companies several times in their careers. As hiring managers, you have to take that into consideration before dismissing applications from job-hoppers.
You can forgive the younger workforce for going from one company to another. It’s usually during the early years of working that people try to find the right job, the right management, and the right company that would fit their career goals and priorities.
It becomes a red-flag for mid to senior-level employees as it’s a clear indicator of their serial job-hopping tendencies. There’s a risk in hiring workers who haven’t shown the ability to stay with one company for an extended period.
They might also leave your company at the first sign of trouble or opportunity from others, thereby hurting your employee turnover rate.
Proceed with caution for applicants with job-hopping tendencies. You may still consider hiring them if they’re qualified enough, and they can justify it, similar to those with employment gaps.
Lack of Preparation
During interviews, this may include the little things like failing to bring a pen for an exam or coming in later than scheduled.
We’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but the applicant’s overall appearance is another indicator of how much they prepared for the interview. Are they dressed in neat, appropriate clothes, or are they dressed shabbily? It’s not a significant factor, but it matters, too, in the hiring process.
You can also tell how much an applicant prepared for the interview by asking them questions. Ask them about the job they’re applying for and about your company. People who really want the job will do their due diligence in researching as much as they could and would have no trouble answering your queries.
Applicants who come unprepared for interviews demonstrate their ineptitude and lack of interest in the job. You wouldn’t want to hire people who don’t even really want to be working there in the first place. These types of workers could potentially hurt your company productivity, morale, and culture.
Underwhelming Responses and Poor Body Language during Interviews
You can tell a lot just by observing the applicant’s body language and the type of responses they give.
Applicants who only give short, unenthusiastic answers and don’t ask questions show that they’re not interested in the job.
No eye contact and a nervous tone in their voice might be a sign of a lack of confidence. This will matter if the job they’re applying for requires them to mingle with a lot of people.
Vague responses to questions about their previous work experiences may indicate that they’re not entirely honest and that they may be hiding something that you don’t want to find out.
Again, these are not outright reasons to disqualify an applicant. Some people may simply lack the skills to excel in interviews, but you should still keep these in mind when making your hiring decisions.
Spotting These Red Flags Will Lead to Better Hires
These red flags may not completely eliminate bad hires. There will always be those who excel at exams and interviews only to falter on the job, after all.
But paying attention to these red flags is still crucial. It will only aid you in your decision-making. Recognizing these red flags will help you better scrutinize your applicants and help you separate the good ones from the bad ones.
As a result, you’d be able to employ the right people in most cases. And that should ultimately lead to a more productive and more successful company.