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Warning Signs of a Bad Hire

Warning Signs of a Bad Hire

The Queenstown job market has been all over the map in the last few years and while there are more candidates available than this time last year, it remains incredibly important to find and retain candidates that will perform to your expectations and add to your business and to your other team members. While every business makes the occasional hiring error there are still some key red flags you need to look out for in the recruitment process?

Attracting, interviewing, and hiring new employees is a time-intensive, and can be a costly exercise, so it’s important to know the warning signs of candidates who aren’t going to be a good fit for your business.

Warning signs when reviewing a candidate’s resume.

There are three main red flags to watch for when reviewing a candidate’s CV:

1.       Employment Gaps

Check for the gaps in the timeframe and ask a candidate to explain them- do the answers ring true? Employment gaps are absolutely fine, if the reason is logical, such as to further a learning degree or having a child. Obviously for our region candidates who are travelling is also another one.

While most candidates will have at least one gap in their work history, the red flag is periods of unemployment that are not backed up with a reasonable explanation.

2.       Lack of attention to detail

Lack of attention can be a huge red flag.  A candidate should go through their resume and cover letter with a fine-toothed comb before hitting the submit button. Ultimately if there are errors, this lack of attention may reflect how they will behave if hired.

3.       Generic cover letter

A general resume and cover letter that could be used for multiple jobs is a warning sign especially if your role is specific, well paid and you are looking for a long-term candidate. The candidate’s documentation should be written with you in mind. Their resume should be tailored and the cover letter focused on the role they are applying for and show exactly what they offer and how it relates to your role.

Interview red flags

There are certain attitudes or ways of communicating that should also be red flags or at least be pause for thought.

1         Egotistical behaviour or arrogance

There’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence, but if a candidate comes across to you as a knows it all or speaks only about themselves, it’s a warning sign that they may find it difficult to accept feedback and may not fit well within a team.

1.       Late or moving the interview

A candidate who is late to an interview or pushes the interview out should be a red flag. If your meeting is not a high priority when they are looking for employment and then this is likely to be a way of operating when they are hired. 

2.       Short on the details

A candidate who isn’t willing to provide necessary information or bring required documents to an interview (such as referee details or visa status) is a concern. It should start to get you to question their suitability. Why aren’t they willing to participate in basic checks? What are they trying to hide?

What to do if you have concerns

It’s tempting in Queenstown’s employment market, to turn a blind eye to the warning signs and employers also need to give candidates the opportunity to explain their side of the story before making a decision.

However, identifying the wrong candidate before it’s too late comes down to doing due diligence from the outset. If your short list doesn’t have a worthy back up candidates, this leaves you exposed. Reference checking even if they are overseas and speaking to two or three previous employers and being prepared to ask hard questions to persuade yourself that this truly is a worthy employee. Finally, look at how the candidate presents themselves on public social media channels. These steps will help reduce the risk of the wrong employee being hired.