Red Flags to Ignore When Hiring Your Next Employee | WorkSmart Systems is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)


Red Flags to Ignore When Hiring Your Next Employee


We all know the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover,” yet it’s the “cover art” that is often the first qualification used to sort candidates when it comes to hiring a new employee. There are times when a candidate applies for a position in your company, yet at first glance, they are out of their league. It could be that curious gap in employment, maybe it’s been months since he or she held a professional position or perhaps it’s the lackluster work experience that raised your eyebrow. Regardless, it can be easy to quickly cross that candidate off your list.

While many hiring managers don’t have time to second guess candidates that don’t meet basic standards, it is important to keep in mind they may have more to offer than what is written on paper. Sometimes we need to ignore what we would typically consider a ‘red flag’ and move past the first impression of the applicant.

Look beyond the job qualifications of the position you are trying to fill and think of the employee profile. Does the applicant’s experience seem like it would fit in well at your company? If that potential employee meets all other criteria, don’t let what could be considered a ‘red flag’ get in the way until you have the full story. When reviewing a resume for the first time, keep these things in mind:


Compare the time the candidate was unemployed to what current events were transpiring at the time. Was the candidate unemployed during troubled economic times? Could they have been the victim of a poor job market? Keep this in mind in looking at unemployment gaps.

Rethink standard qualifications

Just because someone doesn’t have the most exciting list of qualifications doesn’t mean that those skills won’t be of value to your company. Something as simple as “managed a team of 25 people” could coincide with your company’s need for team unity and leadership. Learn what other qualifications or experience the candidate has to offer and see if your company could benefit from such skills.

Multiple interview rounds

A piece of paper can only tell you so much about a person. If you’re still unsure about a candidate, suggest doing a video interview with them before moving forward with the hiring process. This is a great way to better understand a candidate and gauge whether an in-person interview is warranted.


Have you ever been put in a situation where you have ignored red flags on a resume? Want to share your own experiences? Follow WorkSmart on Twitter or Facebook and share your advice.



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