5 Negative Traits You Should Look For in Your Candidates

There is nothing worse in recruitment than putting effort in to sourcing what you think is a great candidate only for them to start ghosting you or accept a role they don’t show up for. Often some of the warning signs for these troublesome candidates can be seen right at the start of the process. Being able to identify them can help you avoid wasted time (and your fee waving you goodbye) and disappointment for both you and your client. And if you want to know where you can find top-notch candidates, have a read of our eBook.

As always, we come to the rescue! Here’s a list of the most popular red flags you should watch out for, so you never spend time on a candidate that’s not worth it:

They don’t have a good reason for leaving their current role

If your candidate gives you a vague reason for leaving their most recent role, it should be seen as a massive warning sign. It’s important to properly qualify your candidates at the start of the process and make sure you understand the reasons for them looking for a new role in the first place. This will not only help close them on an offer at the end of the process but also allow you to avoid candidates that might not be entirely committed to changing roles.

Candidates who are unable to articulate why they are leaving their current role pose a challenge around being able to stay long-term in a new one. They don’t know what they’re looking for, so what if after starting they decide the new position doesn’t suit them either? This can carry repercussions for you as a recruiter if your clients don’t think you can find candidates that last in a job – and you don’t want to lose your fee, do you?

They’re working with different recruiters at the same time

It’s understandable that we all want to keep our options open when searching for a job, however, candidates that are already working with multiple recruiters at the same time should make you want to think twice before you dive into trying to place them.

Firstly, the more recruiters a candidate is working with, the harder it is to find them opportunities that they haven’t already been presented with - unless you are lucky enough to work with all your clients exclusively. Secondly, you are more likely to have to close a candidate on one of your offers when you have competing recruiters trying to do the same thing - which makes the whole process more complicated and time-consuming.

They don’t show up to scheduled calls

If your candidate isn’t showing up to calls at the start of the process, a massive red flag should appear right in front of you. They are likely to not show up to the interview, or even the job itself if they do get a role.

Reliability is one of the most important traits a client is looking for in a new employee. Working with unreliable candidates will only harm your brand when they let your client down. Of course, if the candidate has a good reason for failing to show you should offer them some leeway, however multiple missed calls or disappearing without notice is a sign you should start looking for a better candidate.

They don’t have a clear view of what they want

Candidates who don’t really know what they want will be difficult to place. Being able to understand what a candidate wants from a new job and match them to a client who can offer that, is what recruitment is all about. You can’t do that - you simply don’t have a placeable candidate.

While some candidates might need some guidance (especially if they’re early in their career) on what they can achieve in their field, you should have a clear understanding of their objectives in changing jobs before even submitting their CV to a client. Why? Well, for starters, they will most likely be asked about it during their interview. But also, you can’t show your candidate how your offer is going to help them meet their goals if they can’t define those goals!

They oversell themselves

While we expect candidates to present the best version of themselves, one who takes too much poetic license in their CV is not the one you want to work with. If their resume is a 2-page long checklist of amazing skills, from programming to copywriting, it might be worth double-checking if those are legitimate. Furthermore, strong candidates will be self-aware of their weaknesses, and this is something clients are looking for. So if your candidate is overselling themselves it’s a clear sign they might be struggling to see areas they can improve in professionally.

For more tips on sourcing candidates, have a swim in our eBook linked below!

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David Connolly

David is a Senior Growth Outreach Specialist at Firefish. After working as a 360 recruiter, he loves innovating recruitment with Firefish Software.

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