Signs Your Interview Candidate Isn’t Right

Is it time to revisit your recruiting process?

The 2019 member survey conducted by the Australian Human Resource Institute (of around 1000 respondents) states that the average staff turnover rate across all small businesses and industries is at 17% – a figure that is up 1% from the previous year. Recruiting and training staff is an exceptionally time-consuming and often costly task, so it really pays (pun intended!) to get it right the first time.

So often candidates seem perfect on paper and knock their interview out of the park, only to disappoint once their role begins and they are already a part of the team. If you experience these frustrations when hiring new beauty therapists or practitioners, it may be time to look twice at your recruiting process. Is your vetting process stringent enough? Are you asking the right questions, and do you know the red flags to look out for?

We’ve gathered some expert sources together so we can equip you with the tools needed to spot stellar candidates, and weed out those that are less suited to the role.

  1. According to recruitment agency Robert Walters Australia, mistakes or gaps in CVs are a no-no, including poor structure, lack of information and spelling and grammatical errors. “A serious candidate would have a well-structured CV,” says Jennifer Rees-Gay, manager of the HR recruitment team. “Contact details, link to online profiles, general profile, experience, qualifications, and career summary. Good grammar and spelling go without saying.” Gaps in dates/between roles may raise some questions too, with the exception of legitimate reasons like travel or children. Rees-Gay also advises to discard any candidates that won’t supply references.
  2. Debbie Davis, general manager NSW at Davidson; another Aussie recruitment agency, says that online presence should play a vital role in your screening process. And while social media stalking may for some feel like an invasion of privacy, it can be very indicative of a candidate’s true colours. Another area to factor in aside from Instagram and Facebook is blogs or comments, to see what kind of commentary your candidate is engaging in. “If the candidate has posted negative or derogatory comments, a future employer may ask, is that the kind of behaviour they may carry over into their work life,” says Davis. “And a candidate’s LinkedIn profile should always match their CV. Otherwise, it’s a definite red flag.”
  3. Blaming old jobs and bosses is another red flag to watch, and blaming others can often demonstrate a lack of initiative. Manisha Maligaspe, the Oceania Transaction Advisory Services Recruitment Lead for EY (Ernst & Young) says “An interview isn’t an opportunity for a candidate to have a deep and meaningful session with the recruiter about a previous employer, personal struggles of finding a job, a horrible boss in the past or any other sob stories,” says Maligaspe. “If a candidate can’t articulate why they want to leave their current job or if they say it’s because they want more money or don’t like their boss, this is a massive red flag.” Sarah Smith, a VP in HR at Quora, agrees. “When I ask, ‘Tell me about your interest in this role,’ and I get an answer along the lines of ‘Well, I’m at Facebook/Google/Microsoft and have really tapped out on what I can learn here. There’s no more room for me to grow,’ you’ve pretty much lost me,” she says. “I’ve worked in some very mundane jobs earlier in my career and have never been ‘bored.’ There is always something to learn.”

While these are the major turnoffs for most recruiters, a number of experts also warn of the following bad signs to watch for:

  • Over-confidence or too much bravado
  • Standardised cover letters and resumes that could be used for any application, and aren’t tailored to this specific role
  • Poor listening skills
  • No questions to ask you
  • Too much upfront focus on compensation
  • Not having the ability to discuss their shortcomings
  • Acting too in-demand – many candidates may feel it’s more impressive if they have a handful of other interviews after yours, but if that’s the case, how passionate about your business and this particular role could they be?

Most of all, your perfect candidate should be honest, modest, passionate, candid, and always keen to learn and grow.

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