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Employee Experience

Are the Signs All There? Know These Candidate Red Flags

December 3, 2015
5 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


Recruiters often have a tough task when finding the right candidate. Not only do they have to sift through candidates to find the ones they think will fit in with the company, but they need to establish how they sift according to skills, cultural fit and the hiring manager’s needs. In order to build the best possible team, you need to have better standards. And if you’re looking for ways to make sure a candidate just won’t cut it, you’ve come to the right place. 

Their Resume is Littered With Errors

Good candidates get rejected for all kinds of reasons. And when you let someone know they didn’t get the job, there will be some — good candidates, who fit all the criteria and could perhaps be a good fit for your company. But the application process is there for a reason, and if candidates can’t bother to double check their resumes, they may not be cut out for your company.

Whether it’s because they don’t care enough about your open job, they’re applying to so many places at once they don’t have time to check spelling, or are using the same resume for every interview and leaving errors due to the changes, 58% of resumes contain typos. But no matter what the reason, it means that candidate is probably best to overlook in favor of someone who took the time to carefully craft a spotless resume customized to the position.


CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png58% of resumes contain typos. Read more candidate red flags, right here:


They’re Unresponsive

As an employer, you have a bad rap to fight against. That is, being unresponsive to the needs of your candidates. Only 26% of employers give candidates regular updates on the status of their application. You need to communicate to your employees how much you want them in the process by communicating. Regular updates show you care.

But communication is a two-way street, and if a candidate’s not emailing you back, that’s an immediate red flag. A day or two might be okay to let someone hang, but if they’re an active candidate who has expressed an interest in your company and they’re not responding, it’s best to move on almost immediately. Recent studies show that 49% of candidates decline job offers because they’ve found a job with another company. And as employers know, silence is just another form of rejection.


CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png49% of candidates decline job offers because they've found a job with another company.


So if you have (had) a promising candidate who’s not talking, best to send them a quick email asking if they’re still interested, and consider them gone otherwise. If they’re still interested and give you a reply, it’ll be a nice surprise, but don’t count on it. 

They’re Trying to Be Perfect

You can sight this one from a mile away. Their resume is spotless, since they’re a pro at using keywords to get through your applicant tracking system filtering and told you only the things you wanted to hear. They’re talking themselves up as the perfect fit for your position and company, and when you ask them, “What’s your biggest weakness?” They reply with a snappy “I work too hard.” Translated: “I don’t have any I want to share."

This can be as much of a red flag as unprofessionalism, since not being straight with an employer from the beginning can indicate they’re trying to hide things employers may not want to hear. But as these candidates should know, 51% of employers browse their candidates’ social media profiles, so they’re bound to know things about them already. And if they’re completely incognito on social media, too well — that’s just a bigger red flag, as far as we’re concerned.


CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png51% of employers browse their candidates' social media profiles during the screening process.


Follow the Signs

This candidate is flippant with the secretary, negotiates salary on the first phone screen and generally makes you feel like he’s doing you a favor by taking your job. Sure he looks great on paper, but will a star candidate translate into a star employee? Be cautious when hiring someone who looks down on the job. Rarely do these hires work out.

ClearCompany’s complete talent management software helps streamline the recruiting and hiring process so you can pay more attention to the red flags.


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