5 Red Flags That Lead to a Bad Hire  

New hires rarely hit the ground running, and it can take a while to find out if any new hire has been a good decision. However, there are a few red flags you can be on the lookout for when assessing a new employee.   

First of all, it’s crucial to distinguish red flags from screaming alarms, like lying, illegal or immoral behavior. Major issues should call for immediate termination, while minor issues could be handled in an effort to avoid termination. The following red flags need to be addressed before your new employee becomes a full-blown bad hire.  

1) They’re Already Talking About Moving Up  

Business leaders should appreciate ambition and confidence, but new employees need to take their time, gain an appreciation of the culture, and get to know their coworkers before seeking a promotion or new position.  

When a new employee starts talking about a promotion, it might be an indication of naïveté or nerves. It also might be a red flag. You should try to find out if they don’t have much interest in doing the job they were hired to do.  

2) They Need a Lot More Help Than Previous Hires  

Every new employee goes through a learning curve, and some new employees learn faster than others. But when a new employee struggles to grasp basic concepts and need a lot of help, it’s a red flag.  

It should be noted that if you see a pattern of new employees struggling to learn their job, you should review your onboarding process to see if there are systemic flaws that need to be addressed.   

3) They Talk Themselves Up Too Much  

Some new hires spend a lot of time talking up everything they’re going to accomplish, as opposed to actually getting to work. When someone spends more time talking than doing, it’s a red flag.  

Talking a big game just might be how someone expresses insecurity. The bigger concern is if they aren’t asking for help or taking concrete steps toward progress.  

4) They’re Already Making Plans for Time Off  

It isn’t unusual for a new employee to have a vacation, marriage or other event in their life for which they need time off. If the employee told you about needing time off during the hiring process, this isn’t a big deal. If you’re suddenly blindsided by a request for time off from a new employee, you should start asking questions related to their commitment.  

5) They Waste Time Online  

Companies that let their employees go online during the workday are showing a lot of trust in their people. When an employee takes advantage of that trust, it’s a red flag, and it should be particularly concerning if that employee is relatively new. From learning the specifics of their job duties to building connections with coworkers, new employees have a lot on their plate and the last they should be doing is going on Facebook.  

We Can Help Your Company Avoid Bad Hires  

At NSC, we are driven to helping our clients make the best hires possible. If your company is looking to avoid bad hires, please contact us today. 


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