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The process of hiring a new employee can be stressful. While it is important to recognize the positive qualities that may indicate that an applicant may be a desirable candidate for the job, there are also some red flags that may indicate that the applicant may not be the best fit for the job.

Flippant or Bad Attitude

The attitude that a potential employee has during the application and interview process is fairly indicative of the importance they put on the job and how they will behave once they are hired. If they don’t seem invested in making a good impression or they don’t have a good attitude, they probably won’t change if you hire them.

Poor Body Language

There’s a lot that you can learn from someone’s body language. Someone who has good posture without trying to dominate is more likely to be a competent team member than someone who is slouching or is trying to assert themselves over you. Additionally, if you are interviewing someone who can’t keep eye contact with you, they may be trying to hide something, or they may not be confident in their abilities to do what you need them to do.

Substance Abuse

While not a complete deal breaker, a history of substance abuse, whether it is drugs, alcohol, or something else, can be a red flag, especially if your employees perform manual labor or operate machinery. While potential employees may not volunteer this information, you can require them to take a drug test as part of the application. Not only will this protect your company, but it will also protect your other employees.

Lack of Good References

If you ask for references and they don’t have a decent number or those references don’t have a lot of good to say, this may be a problem. References should be coworkers or supervisors from previous jobs, and what they say about your potential employees is indicative of how they will act.

Job Hopping

While many resumes don’t tell the whole story, they can indicate a history of job hopping. There may be legitimate reasons for short durations of employment, especially if the candidate has recently graduated from college, but if they don’t seem to stay long term anywhere, they may not stay long with you.  

It’s important to find the very best employees that you can so your business does well. Don’t ignore any potential red flags. While they don’t have to disqualify someone, you need to get an explanation for them, before they get you in trouble.