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Hiring Red Flags

Attracting the best talent to your organization also involves looking for red flags. The wrong fit can waste hours of recruitment time, onboarding energy and focus. Worse, it can cost you money in hiring and onboarding costs. Fortunately, there are some red flags you can look out for at every stage of the application process to prevent this situation.  

Red Flags on Candidate Applications

A candidate’s application is often your first point of contact. There are a few things you will want to look for:

  • The application has no cover letter: No cover letter means a candidate has made no attempt at an introduction or explaining why they are the right fit for a position.
  • The application does not follow the instructions: If you have specified a certain subject line in application emails or a particular format, any applicant who does not follow the directions may have little attention to detail. They may also simply not care enough to get it right.  
  • No sense of research: Does the candidate misspell the company name or address the cover letter to the wrong person? Are parts of the application missing for the type of job advertised? Is there no sense that the applicant understands your organization or what the job entails? These are all bad signs.
  • There are signs the application is a form letter: There should be some indication an applicant tailored the application to your job ad. If you mentioned specific soft skills or technical skills mandatory for the potion, the application should highlight them.

Top 10 Resume Red Flags

Most candidates spend a lot of time on their resume. However, there are many points in a resume that could indicate a wrong fit:

1. Lies

Unfortunately, it is much more common than many business owners realize. It is important to verify credentials, past experiences and all facts on a resume to ensure nothing has been exaggerated or fabricated.

2. Unexplained Gaps

There are many legitimate reasons why someone might have gaps in employment. They may have been ill, caring for an elderly loved one or taking care of an infant. However, these gaps should be explained somewhere in the application or interview.

3. No Specifics

Resumes should have plenty of details, including duties, accomplishments, dates of employment and more. A very general resume simply does not show someone who is contributing and eager to make an impact.

4. Spelling Errors

Grammar and spelling errors suggest a rushed process or someone who has not carefully reviewed their application before sending it. In the workplace, this lack of attention to detail can be a drawback.

5. Irrelevant Information

A resume padded with hobbies or one filled with work experiences that do not match the needs of the position you have open generally suggests a bad match.

6. No Evidence of Career Progress

A candidate should be making progress in their career, steadily moving toward more responsibility and leadership. While professional journeys sometimes take a meandering path, you should see evidence past employers trusted this worker and saw enough potential for promotion.

7. Time Stamps or Stationary From Their Current Employer

It’s a bad sign if the applicant is applying from their current employer. If they are using their current employer’s stationery or sending a resume during their workday, they are abusing their employer’s time and resources, which may mean they see nothing wrong with this behavior and may repeat it in your workplace.

8. No Customization

A very generic resume that could be used to apply for any job could indicate an applicant is just mass-mailing their resume. This could mean they are not as excited about your position and may not be willing to bring 100% to the table.

9. Very Overqualified Candidate

There are many reasons why an overqualified applicant may apply for a job with lower pay and fewer responsibilities. They may want a break from more demanding positions or looking for any work in a specific region because they want to be close to family. In general, this is a red flag that could indicate a candidate intends to remain in the position for only a short time.

10. No Sense of Commitment and Contribution

A candidate who jumps from job to job often and shows no sense of follow-through might not be committed to your position, either. In addition, an applicant who cannot list how they contributed to their position is often a red flag. You want someone who engages and adds to the job description.

Interview Red Flags for Employers to Notice

Even if an application and resume are in good shape, there are some red flags during an interview to look out for. Even if a candidate seems like a good match, the impression they make in an interview may require a second look if you notice these signs:

  • Not on time: While traffic and emergencies can happen, candidates should show up on time unless something very compelling has happened.
  • Complaints about past workplaces or employers: While everyone may have previous negative job experience, it is unprofessional to bad-mouth a past workplace. It can be a sign the applicant may do the same in your work environment. In some cases, complaining about past employers and co-workers can also indicate a lack of self-awareness or an inability to take responsibility for their own role in a situation.
  • No specific stories about teambuilding and cooperation: A candidate should give you plenty of concrete examples of how they worked with others, collaborated, made contributions and were a positive worker.  
  • Little enthusiasm: It’s natural to be nervous in an interview, but be wary of candidates who fail to make eye contact or seem uninterested in the position. Look for people who are engaged with the interview process, know something about the company and ask questions. 

Do You Need to Find Qualified Talent?

Optimum Supply Chain Recruiters specializes in the supply chain and logistics discipline, helping you find top candidates for your organization. With one of the most far-reaching networks in the nation, we can bring you more qualified candidates fast. Contact us to find the right talent for your company’s future success. 

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