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Maybe you shouldn’t make that hire

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job red flags

Red flags for the hiring manager

by Jennifer Barnett

For better or worse you find yourself with an open seat on your team. Perhaps you’re replacing your #1 Allstar or perhaps this is an opportunity to hire up. Either way, hiring should not be taken lightly. Consider a new hire as important as a marriage commitment or, at the very least, a live-in situation. You are going to be spending just as much time (if not more) with them as you would a spouse with a helluva lot less up-front vetting. That being said, here are some red flags that may help you avoid hiring the wrong fit.

 

The Six Second Review

Once you’ve identified and prioritized your company’s needs and required skills to execute the job, you’re ready to start the matchmaking process.  If you’ve spent a fair amount of time on the job description you should be able to quickly identify and exclude talent. But before we dive into skills, let’s take a high-level look at the resume. Fact: recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume before they add it to the yes or no pile. Here’s what we’re looking for…

  • How’s the format, spelling and grammar? This is a direct indication of basic computer and organizational skills as well as attention to detail.
  • How many jobs have they had in the last 5 years? It raises a loyalty concern. You don’t want to train someone and lose them before you even see an ROI. Obviously, you’ll want to take into consideration economic trends such as the pandemic and the 2008 financial crisis.

 

Sniff Out the Fluff

A resume is meant to be a snapshot of career history and accomplishments. Unless you want to review a 20-page, single spaced document from each candidate you will need to assume there’s more to the story. Look for keywords, core competencies, relevant education, certifications and or training. If you can draw a correlation map to the tangible items then the “easy” part is complete. 

Here are some additional ways to sniff out the fluff on a resume…

  • Titles that don’t match years of experience. Titles can be ambiguous. Think of a VP at a bank. They could have earned a sales accolade that gave them a prestigious title, but they may not offer the level of experience you need. 
  • Are they a doer or a delegator? Look for words such as executed, developed, facilitated for “doer” roles and lead, oversaw, and managed for “delegator” roles. 

hiring red flags

 

Time Kills All Deals

Have you ever heard the phrase “haste makes waste?” It’s quite the opposite in the recruiting world. Time is money, but also you don’t want your competition to beat you to the punch. We like to say in the biz, “time kills all deals”. Once you’ve identified your talent pool, start scheduling! 

Some red flags are…

  • Multiple attempts to reschedule or a candidate pushing out an interview date too far. Their lack of concern for your open need is an indicator of their sense of urgency, but it could also mean they’re delaying the process to see through another opportunity they like more. 
  • Lack of professional voicemail or email address. Need we say more?

 

The Meet and Greet

You’re ready for the meet and greet! First impressions are so much easier in-person, but let’s be honest: we’re not shaking hands for quite some time and most of your 1st interviews will be done via video. Although you won’t be able to tell if someone greets you with a limp fish instead of a firm handshake, you can vet for other professional indicators such as…

  • Their ability to use technology. Is the video up their nose and under their chin the duration of the interview? Were they late due to tech difficulties? 
  • Professional demeanor. Did they take the time to remove the clutter from their background? Did they come dressed to impress? These qualities should not be overlooked due to the change in interview style. 
  • Lack of preparation. Think about all the time and energy you’ve put into getting to this point. If a candidate hasn’t done their research on the company or the interviewer, then you most likely have not met your match. 
  • Articulation of experience. Providing evidence of business impact is the best way to identify skill depth. 

Asking too many questions that are self-serving. The initial interview is meant to elaborate on relevant experience and identify a culture fit. If candidates ask unsolicited questions about compensation, PTO, benefits and work-life balance they may not be in it for the right reasons. On the flip side, there are several ways to indicate compensation on the front end (including working with a staffing firm😉).

 

A Look Behind the Curtain

Last but not least is the behind-the-scenes vetting process. What you don’t know can bite you. Checking references, running background checks, and taking a looksee at social media accounts are common ways to vet a potential candidate. 90% of employers consider applicant’s social media activity during the hiring process. Here are some red flags to look out for…

Reference consistency and validity. Ask open ended questions that relate specifically to your position and concerns that may have come up during the interview.

Dirty background check results. Did they disclose it up front or try to sweep it under the rug? If disclosed, allow for an explanation. 

Unapologetic social media accounts. Do they bad mouth previous employers? Are they posting inappropriate party pictures? Do they use foul language? Know your threshold.

 

When it comes to recruiting it can be a drain on your productivity and ROI until the match is made. Working with an experienced firm can expedite the process and optimize your time spent. The Headhunters, LLC can help. Contact us today to learn more.