Red Flags of a Bad Hire: Important Factors to Consider

Young woman at job interview

As human resource recruiters, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for in new employees and know what it takes to succeed. But sometimes even the best hiring managers can make errors in judgment when it comes to hiring. With that in mind, here are some of the most common red flags during the hiring process that might tell you that your interviewee is not the right one for the role.

Lack of Manager References

When you ask for references, most potential employees know what you’re looking for and will list managerial references. If they don’t have good references from previous bosses, this could be a red flag. They may have short tenures in previous positions, or may have large gaps in their resume, but these issues could be explained through a conversation with previous employers. If they don’t have past managers’ information on their resume, you may be on your own finding out why these discrepancies exist.

Short Bursts of Employment

When looking at a prospective hire’s resume, pay close attention to how long they tend to stay in a role. If they have a history of leaving a job after a few months, they may have serious commitment issues or this may signify that they’re not able to complete difficult projects. The good employees you want to bring in for second interviews and eventually hire will have a history of staying with one company for 2 to 3 years before moving onto another role with more responsibilities.

Gaps in Job History

Be very wary of any applicant who has been out of work for 6 months or longer at any point during their work history. In some industries, there’s just no reason for top talent to be out of work so long. If you see a gap in work history that concerns you on a resume, be sure to ask about the reasons behind it. In some instances, the candidate may have been laid off despite stellar performance.

Asking what the potential employee was doing during that gap may be equally important as well. For instance, they may have taken a severance package and used the funds to travel with their family or have other meaningful opportunities.

Young woman holding hired sign

Admitting to Leaving Mid-Project

There are, of course, going to be some times that an employee has to leave a position. However, finding out when and why they left their previous roles is important. For instance, if you find that a prospective new hire left a previous role in the middle of a project, this could be a major red flag.

If an employee admits to having left a prior position before a project was completed, this could mean one of many things. First, it could mean that they don’t respond to conflict well and tend to shut down and jump ship rather than following it through. There are many potentially uncomfortable situations that could come up at work and you want someone who will dig their heels in and work through it the best they know how.

There are a lot of things that recruiters for HR jobs can do to ensure they get only the best of the best during the recruitment and interviewing processes. If you’re looking for top talent to hire for your organization, reach out to the professionals at The Christopher Group today.