3 Red Flags to Watch Out for When Hiring

Hiring. Ugh, I know, it can be TOUGH. Building a strong team is one of the biggest challenges for any business owner and hiring the right team members is crucial for the success and growth of any online business. At some point, if you want to scale, you WILL need help. Plus, when you get it RIGHT, a talented and motivated team can drive innovation, productivity, and ultimately contribute in a great way to the bottom line of your business. 

BUT.  Like a big BUT…the hiring process can be challenging to say the least. In this blog post, I want to point out three red flags that you should watch out for when hiring, helping you avoid potential pitfalls and hopefully making some great decisions.

FLAG #1: Poor Communication Skills

Effective communication is VITAL in any role within an online business. Red flags related to communication skills can manifest during interviews or in your application process.  Save yourself some heartache and pay attention to the following flags:

  • Inadequate listening: Candidates who interrupt frequently, fail to fully understand questions, or provide unrelated responses may struggle with active listening. This can hinder collaboration and effective communication within your team.
  • Not following directions: If you have specific tasks or requirements in your application process and those are ignored right off the bat, that’s a sign they potentially don’t have a great attention to detail. 
  • Difficulty articulating thoughts: Communication skills encompass both speaking and writing. If a candidate struggles to express their ideas clearly, whether during interviews or in their application materials, it may signal potential challenges in conveying information and working effectively.
  • Lack of responsiveness: Timely and responsive communication is essential in the workplace. If a candidate consistently fails to reply promptly to emails during the hiring process, it might indicate a disregard for effective communication or a lack of organizational skills.

FLAG #2:  Lack of Accountability

Accountability is important, bottom line. We’ve been doing a lot of backend structuring and thinking about WHO is accountable and responsible for a specific task. Candidates who demonstrate a lack of accountability during the hiring process may exhibit the same behavior once they join your team. Red flags to look out for here:

  • Shifting blame: If someone deflects responsibility and blames others for their mistakes or failures, it may indicate a lack of ownership and accountability.
  • Lack of preparation: Candidates who are unprepared or fail to provide concrete examples when asked about their past experiences and accomplishments might not take their work seriously or be accountable for their actions.

FLAG #3: Negative Attitude and Lack of Adaptability

This is a big one! Think about your business values and how important it is that someone coming on your team meshes with that. A person’s attitude and adaptability can significantly impact team dynamics and the overall work environment…think about how not fun it is to stare at a zoom meeting for an hour and have one person with a giant sourpuss on their face the whole time. Look out for this: 

  • Negativity: Pay attention to candidates who consistently express negative opinions about previous employers, colleagues, or work experiences. This behavior may indicate a tendency towards a toxic environment and difficulties in maintaining positive relationships.
  • Lack of enthusiasm: Even if you are hiring a contractor for just a few hours a week, passion and enthusiasm for the role and the business are indicators of a candidate's motivation and commitment. If a candidate shows disinterest or lack of excitement during the hiring process, beware! 

Looking out for some of these red flags during the hiring process is really important and can help ensure you select the best team members. I know that hiring and building a team can be tough, but they say “Hire slow and fire fast” for a reason. Be thoughtful in bringing on new team members and once you have them, treat them great and invest in their growth because nothing will slow you down more than having to continually hire.  And OF COURSE, make sure you have a contract in place for ALL of your team members, outlining all of your expectations and their responsibilities. 

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