All too often, companies fall into the trap of bringing on employees that just aren't into the position.  This can be an expensive mistake – hiring mistakes often cost huge amounts of time, energy, and money.  However, as any good recruitment consultant already knows, this just isn't necessary.

Recruiters should be able to gauge whether an employee will be a good match to the company by recognising some warning signs that may indicate that an individual just isn't into the job.  Prevent hiring mistakes before they happen by watching for these danger signs during the interview process.

Do they know the job?

Sometimes, job postings are pretty unclear, so think about that first.  However, if all other candidates seem to have a good grasp on what the job might involve and a particular candidate does not, the problem is the candidate, not the posting.  Job candidates who don’t seem to fully grasp what kind of work they will be doing is a major red flag, especially when there should be no doubt whatsoever.  This often indicates ill preparation.

What’s their track record?

During the interview process, recruiters are looking for someone who will get the job done, so potential employees with no experience or proven track record are going to be less likely to work out.  Additionally, another red flag here is their list of references. Be wary of anyone that does not include any former managers that may be able to speak well of his or her work. This should not exclude recent graduates or those making a career shift either.

What is their attitude like?

A major red flag is when someone takes it as a given that they are the most qualified individual for a particular position.  Typically, these individuals speak down to their co-workers and tend to negate others’ contributions to work achieved as a team.  Those who have an understanding of their own weaknesses are valuable employees – those that do not even acknowledge that they have weaknesses are going to be a problem

Handling the situation

Once an employer discovers that an individual is not interested in the position, immediate steps must be taken, otherwise the business will inevitably suffer.  Most managers will have a gut feeling that something isn’t right and the employee’s productivity will confirm it.  However, it is important that managers and recruiters check themselves for bias based on cultural differences and personal feelings – after all, everyone is human.

During this type of situation, many managers take an offensive approach by reprimanding the individual and perhaps even taking action to terminate employment. This is not always necessary – there are many underlying factors that may be at play as to why one is no longer interested in their job.  Managers, and recruiters, need to keep the lines of communication open, be clear with goals, effectively disseminate business objectives, and offer an objective plan of action for all teams.

Remember, don’t try to rationalise anything or waste time hoping people would be more predictable.  Focus on open and clear channels of communication with employees so that they understand what is expected. This openness often translates into employees that care about their jobs and want to do well for the company as a whole.