How to Avoid Bad Hires: Watch Out for These Red Flags

The cost of a bad hire is steep. Bringing on the wrong person zaps your company of time, resources, morale, and quality work. And, unfortunately, most companies aren’t taking proactive steps now to avoid the costs of hiring the wrong person.

Thankfully, you can avoid bad hires through a few careful steps—and it all starts with identifying common red flags.

Key Signs of a Bad Hire

Before we talk about avoiding a bad hire, let’s discuss some warning signs that suggest someone isn’t right from the beginning.

They Don’t Fit Your Company Culture

While everyone has different personalities, and no one is perfect, you want an employee who will thrive in your culture. If they seem uninterested in regularly contributing to new ideas, they won’t be a good fit for a company that values collaboration.

They Seem Uninformed About Your Company or the Role

Someone who is a good fit for the job will be enthusiastic about joining you. If you suspect the person you’re hiring didn’t do much research beforehand, it shows they aren’t specifically interested in your opportunity.

Lack of interest or vague answers to questions often means a candidate mass applied to jobs and ran with whoever answered. That’s a recipe for a bad hire.

You Notice a Pattern of Job-Hopping

It’s not uncommon for someone to switch between positions as they find their footing. However, if you notice a pattern of short-term employment — especially accompanied by a track record of negative hiring experiences — be careful.

You want to hire someone who will invest in the role and bring value to your company, not a candidate who will take the first job they come across.

They Lack Situational Work Examples

Some candidates are fantastic interviewees or know how to craft a convincing resume, but they fall short during the actual job.

If you get lackluster responses to situational work questions, such as how the person handled a conflict or completed a job, that’s often a red flag.

Tips for Avoiding Bad Hires (and Finding the Best)

According to a Finances Online report, the top hiring challenges include hiring candidates who lack soft skills, who didn’t seem to be a good fit at first, and who changed their minds during the hiring process. Without careful research and strategies, companies can end up hiring the wrong people — and paying for it.

Instead, here are some ways to land great (dare we say excellent) hires the first time.

Double-Check the Job Description

Does your job posting truly outline what you want in your new employee? An effective job post tells the candidate exactly what you want and shows what your company can offer.

If anything in the job description is confusing or only there for formalities, you could end up with a long line of unfit hires.

Remember: It’s Not All About Experience

Sure, experience and technical skills are important, but being a good employee goes beyond that. You need people who fit your company values, culture, and team.

Pay attention to how much research the interviewee has done on your company. How do they interact with the interviewer? And what’s their overall attitude towards potentially joining you?

Often, a great personality and work attitude trump a fantastic resume without the former.

Pay Attention to Their Questions

Job interviews should not be a one-way street. Candidates who are genuinely interested in working for you will come with questions about the role and your organization.

Be Mindful of Personal Biases

Businesses are highlighting the importance of inclusivity and diversity more than ever (as they should). However, it’s human nature to have internal biases, such as being drawn to hiring those who look like you.

Hiring managers should be very mindful of any biases and not unfairly influence hiring decisions—such as hiring the wrong person.

Don’t Rush It

If possible, take your time when looking over candidates and choosing new employees. Rushing a hire can easily lead you to take on a bad hire that you regret. Careful consideration will pay off.

Utilize Diverse Recruiting Methods

Go beyond the job boards and standard recruiting measures. Otherwise, ideal candidates — for example, those currently employed but starting to think about moving on — might never know about your position.

Passive recruiting, clever marketing, and a multi-channel recruiting strategy will bring more high-quality candidates directly to you. To learn more about how to avoid bad hires and recruit the best candidates first, contact Alabama Media Group today.