The five people you should never hire

By February 14, 2014Hiring & Recruiting
Hiring & Recruiting Lazy guy with feet up on his desk

Finding the right candidate for any job can be a nerve-wracking experience. Your own job depends on you hiring someone who is the perfect fit to play a key role in your company’s operations. A lot of the time, candidates don’t appreciate this, as they can’t see beyond their need to get hired.

The search can get frustrating. Research indicates that employers are having a hard time filling roles due to a lack of skilled candidates – which may or may not be an employer’s or a candidate’s fault. This can leave others to pick up the slack and result in a problematic environment in your organization.

You need to fill those roles, and might find yourself faced with the option of choosing a less-than-ideal candidate. That’s not always a terrible thing. Your expectations might be way too high. On the other hand, there is a limit to which you should be willing to settle, and there are certain types of candidates you should not hire under any circumstances. Here are five of them.

He who lies. This one is obvious. If someone tells a lie in his resume or cover letter, that is a clear indicator that this person is not to be trusted. You might also get the feeling someone is not being truthful in the interview, but not quite be able to put your finger on why.

Certain body language cues my indicate when someone is being deceptive, but be extremely wary of relying on these. More often, they may indicate discomfort, and not necessarily a lie. That being said, if someone shakes his head “No” while making an affirmative statement, that indicates that they don’t believe what they’re saying. You have to decide when this is important. If he shakes his head when stating “I am hardworking and reliable!” there’s a good chance he isn’t. That’s bad. But if he shakes his head when saying “I really liked my former boss,” he might just be trying to be diplomatic. That’s not necessarily so bad.

She who shows up late for the interview. The job interview is the one thing for which you have to be on time. This is written in stone. That’s why this is so bad. Everyone knows this. The interview is when we’re on our best behavior, and it is not going to get better from there. Hopefully, it doesn’t get worse, but it’s not going to get better. Late for the interview is a pretty good sign that she will only be more irresponsible going forward. This person is likely a slacker.

What’s the excuse? Traffic? The weather? These things are totally foreseeable. Possible exceptions include: “My car broke down on the highway,” “My child was sick,” and “I stopped to administer CPR to someone who had collapsed.”

He who insults his former boss or co-workers. Another major rule of the job interview is that you must be diplomatic. Saying anything negative about anyone is an absolute taboo. At best, this person’s boss was horrible, and he simply doesn’t understand discretion – which can be a disaster for workplace and client relationships – at worst, he’s difficult, doesn’t get along with people, and has no comprehension of his own personal responsibility when it comes to relationships. Avoid at all costs.

That’s why you might be willing to overlook an obvious lie in this area. An inability to tell a convincing lie isn’t necessarily a terrible thing either.

She with the attitude problem. This person might show up late and diss her former employer and colleagues. She might also not be properly respectful of your role as interviewer and potential employer. She brags and boasts about her accomplishments and doesn’t give credit to the rest of the team. She gets defensive when asked difficult questions and seems to have a problem with authority. This person has no problem answering the “Tell me about yourself” or “Describe to me the way in which you have solved a problem in the past,” questions, but might struggle with questions about getting along with co-workers or working with a team. Or might simply insist she gets along great with everyone, but be hard pressed to give a credible example of her own likeability.

She might actually be extremely skilled in a certain area. But one thing you can’t fix is attitude. Skills can be learned. Attitude is unlikely to change.

The person who sets off your alarm bells. This is harder to quantify. Everything about this person looks good on paper, they come across well, and you feel like you should like them, but something in your gut says “No.” So, you think you’re being silly. And how are you going to explain to higher ups that you let the seemingly perfect candidate slip away because you had a “bad feeling?” Granted, that might be difficult. But what do you have if not your own instinct? You have to assume that someone put you in a position to hire people for a reason and that they trust your judgment, at least within reason. You also have to trust your own judgment, because if you can’t trust your own, whose can you trust?

If your gut is saying not to hire someone, don’t do it.

Are there more people you shouldn’t hire? Let us know if we’ve missed anyone.

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