It's Not You, It's Them: 4 Signs Your Candidate is a Horrible Fit

Posted by Maria Talley on Mar 11, 2016 3:39:00 PM
Maria Talley
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There is a huge difference between getting applicants from your recruiting team and getting qualified applicants from your recruiting team.
While you can spend hours interviewing those who don’t really fit the position or have necessary skills to achieve the results you want, having a robust list of good quality candidates will set you on a path of building a team of dedicated and productive employees. 

The best way to separate the good from the bad is by defining what a quality candidate means for your business. Agree on this definition with your recruiter, and start weeding out the candidates who don’t fit. Finding the common traits among poor candidates is a process that comes with the trial and error, but it’s a good start for understanding the red flags that signal poor culture fit. Here are some of them:

1. Punctuality Issues

Inability to show up for a job interview on time without a call is a sign of possible accountability problems. If a candidate arrives late without calling or doesn’t sincerely apologize for being late, you may want to dig a bit deeper to alleviate any responsibility concerns. If an applicant can’t convince you through their good manners and sharp interview skills that they aren’t entirely dependable, consider moving on to the next candidate. 

2. Not Showing Enthusiasm

If a candidate isn’t excited about the position or doesn’t show enthusiasm about wanting to perform tasks listed in the job description, take note. Notice their expressions and body language when you mention busy workload or hectic schedule and listen carefully to their answers. Doing so will help you spot a slacker immediately. 

3. They Don’t Know What They are Talking About

Some applicants say they are qualified just for the heck of it, or they may truly believe they are a good fit for the position when in fact, some of the key skills or experience are clearly missing. In this case, go back to your job description and make it as clear and precise as possible. List all qualifications you are looking to obtain and ask for the specific examples of prior accomplishments that are necessary to determine a good fit. 

4. They are Overqualified

On the other side of the coin, there are candidates who are too overqualified for the position. While hiring great candidates can help you achieve much greater productivity and possibly expand the scope of the role, overqualified candidates may soon get bored with their position and start seeking an alternative employment. Again, go back to your job description and evaluate every aspect of the role you are looking to fill. Make sure you lay out specific job requirements vs. expressing vague wishes, and then measure up your candidates against them. 

Communicating with your recruiting team is the first step in establishing mutual grounds of understanding the type of candidates your company needs the most. Use hiring platforms to identify specific keywords that will attract the best talent. In addition, employing platforms that use predictive algorithms to reveal the best fit between a hiring manager and a potential candidate will  help you weed out those who aren’t destined to fit your organization.


Topics: employee culture fit, hiring, hiring mistakes, hiring decisions

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