Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How to Spot A Problem Employee

Unfortunately, even the most qualified and talented hiring managers can end up recruiting a less-than-ideal employee to join the team. While there are a number of reasons that a new hire can start off strong and end up missing deadlines or creating issues in the workplace, there are a few key traits that a person can use to identify a problem employee before making the hire. Here are some red flags that an HR professional should keep in mind as they work through the hiring process:

  • Elusiveness
    As more and more companies adopt remote working policies, it becomes more important than ever that an employee is easy to locate throughout the day. Regardless of whether that individual is in the office next to you or is working in an entirely different state, constant contact is a must. If you have a hard time confirming an interview or contacting that person for a follow-up, you’ll probably face difficulties when you’re trying to get this individual to turn in assignments and get involved with meetings.
  • A disheveled appearance
    Regardless of the position they hold, everyone on your team ultimately represents the company. If a team member looks as if they haven’t showered or washed their clothes in months, it negatively impacts the overall appearance of the company. Employees should take pride in their work and in their appearance, and should show up looking clean and presentable.
  • Willingness to trash a former employer
    An employee who is looking to leave their current job is probably not happy with their situation, but they shouldn’t come into an interview trashing their current boss. While it may mean that they’re looking forward to joining your group, it also means that they’ll have no problem badmouthing you in the event that they end up departing from the company one day. A true professional will express their enthusiasm for a new job without trashing their current employer.
  •  Poor responses to follow-up questions
    An employee should spend some time preparing for an interview, and someone who stumbles and fumbles their way through the process may not have truly prepared for the interview. This can illustrate that they are not fully invested in landing the position.
  • Questionable employment history
    A potential hire who comes in with a resume full of employment gaps or short stints at various companies may not be a great fit for your organization. While unexpected situations occur and even the most talented employees may get laid off at some point, the right hire will not have gone through dozens of companies in just a few years. You want someone who can be a steady presence within your organization.

What are some of the red flags that you’ve encountered throughout your own hiring experience? Let us know in the comments!

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.

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