Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How to Know When to Fire a Candidate

In recruiting, it’s important to find top talent, but sometimes top talent isn’t always the right talent when it comes to actually placing the candidate in a job.

But how do you know when it’s time to let a candidate go?  If you see any of these red flags with a candidate, you need to consider firing the candidate regardless of his expertise.

The candidate doesn’t respond in a timely manner.

If you have reached out to a candidate with additional questions or to simply schedule an interview, it is important that you notice how quickly the candidate responds to you.

If the candidate goes days without returning your calls or emails, that is a huge red flag.  Also, if the candidate does not supply required information such as references and has no explanation as to why, you need to question this candidate’s background and work ethic.

The interview and recruiting process is the time for the candidate to prove himself.  If he is already starting off on the wrong foot this early in the process, just imagine how he will perform when hired!

After each step in the process, the candidate continues to change his requirements.

Early in the recruiting process, you and the candidate are both working towards building a strong partnership.  This means that the candidate and you are both expected to be transparent in desires and requirements.

By the time you have submitted your candidate to the client, you should have a clear understanding of that candidate’s requirements.  If the candidate continues to change his requirements during the process, this reflects poorly on your assessment of the candidate as well as on the candidate’s ability to make decisions.

The candidate displays a lack of interest in the position.

If you start to get the feeling that your candidate is no longer interested in the position, it’s time to have a heart to heart discussion with him.  After speaking with the candidate, if you still have concerns over his interest, it is best to follow your gut instinct and let him go.

It is never a good thing to get to final offer stages with a client and candidate, only to have the candidate turn the offer down when he receives a counter offer from his current employer.

Believe it or not, many candidates only pursue opportunities with the sole goal of getting a pay increase from their current employer.

On more than one occasion, the candidate did not take your advice and bombed the interview.

When your candidate has bombed multiple interviews with different clients, you need to ask yourself why the interview failed.  If the interview failed because the candidate did not take your advice to ensure a successful interview, you need to stop wasting your time with this guy.

Sometimes, some candidates just are not placeable and it’s time for you to move on.

The candidate has attempted to throw you under the bus.

The biggest red flag is when the candidate has attempted to go around you in order to negotiate his own hiring deal with the client.  Not only does this show a complete lack of respect and trustworthiness in this candidate, but it also gives question to his personal work ethics.

When you are searching for the best talent for your client, that talent needs to have more than simply a required skill-set.

What are some other reasons why you might let a candidate go?  Please share your tips and experiences in the comments below.

Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.