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Four Warning Signs When Hiring

One of the key challenges of any company is finding great people and leveraging their talents to service the company. This is especially true when adding employees quickly – effective hiring is critical. 


Effective hiring is a combination of attracting a lot of great people and then being able to choose the right person. Recruiting is both an art and a skill and leaders need to develop the skills necessary to hire properly. You have likely hired some “rock stars” over your time as a leader but also had a few mis-hires. Is there a trend you can watch for while you are interviewing?

Here are four key warning signs that you might be hiring the wrong person:

1. They don’t exhibit your core values 
Most organizations have developed a list of core values that they live by. All employees should exhibit these values to achieve team cohesiveness. Use the resume and cover letter to establish the skill portion of the role. In the interview to ask a series of questions that uncover if they have the same core values you do. 

Example….if Teamwork is one of your core values then test for it. Craft a series of situational questions that test their willingness to help out a team member, even at a personal or role sacrifice. Through this method, you can weed out some candidates who just didn’t share the same values. 

2. They would have to take a pay cut

This is the hardest warning sign to stay accountable to but perhaps the most important. Every business owner has come across this difficult situation: finding a great potential employee but not having the budget to pay them what they were used to making. If this candidate is willing to take a pay decrease for the job, it seems that you’ve hit the jackpot. An A-list employee within your budget – life is awesome. Life is awesome until that employee gets their first paycheque and realizes that they now have to cut their current lifestyle to accommodate their new financial reality. This moment is the first of many that whittle away at the excitement of their new opportunity. Look for candidates that view this as a step up in opportunity both in compensation and responsibility. If you have truly found a rockstar but it is more than you expected to budget for then either reevaluate what you can pay and start them at the same or higher compensation than they are currently experiencing or set a time in the near future where you can feasibly raise them to a higher level once they are proving their worth

3. They have a different definition of work-life balance

Millennials make up over 30% of the workforce. The term “work-life” balance means something different to every person and every generation. It is important to ask in every interview “what are you looking for in a job” and “what does work-life balance mean to you”? As you listen to the answers you can probe further into what this balance looks like on a day to day basis. Are they going to be happy over time working nights and weekends? Do they understand that part of the job is staying with that upset patient a half hour over their shift end time? Are they looking to grow further in this role and see it as a career opportunity? You want people that want to love what they do - feel passionate every day, and believe in what they do. If you surround yourself with people that are all rowing the boat in the same direction AND love to paddle – you’ll get there faster and enjoy the ride more

4. They don’t interview YOU

The best employees are the ones that personalized their resumes and cover letters, came prepared to the interview (researched the company and the role) and prepared a list of questions. How committed are people that accept a job offer without knowing much about the company or role? Those are people simply looking for something else and not something right. End the interview by being interviewed by the candidate.

In the end, the process is worth it. Implement and maintain a standard of non-negotiables in your hiring process. Demand a high level of ambition and passion from your employees and look for this dedication throughout your recruiting and interviewing.