Be on the Lookout for Anti-Social Job Candidates

October 21st, 2011

Just about all recruiters can remember one time or another when they moved ahead with a job candidate even though something didn’t feel “quite right.” Sometimes the result was simply a poor fit for the company and the new hire was eventually terminated or simply left. In the worst cases, a bad or anti-social hire resulted in damage to team morale and important corporate projects or even dire legal consequences.

Fortunately, there are warning signs and other avenues of investigation to reduce the risk of hiring an anti-social employee. Nothing is foolproof, of course, but if you keep these tips in mind you’ll be sure to weed out individuals who have no place in your organization.

“We or I?” Every candidate is on his or her best behavior during a job interview. But listen carefully to the answers they provide to your questions. If the candidate says “I” more often than “We,” it could indicate a “loner attitude,” or reluctance to work closely as part of a team. This may emerge more clearly if you ask them to describe projects they worked on in the past and how much collaboration was a factor in the project’s success.

Dig deeper into references. Checking with references provided by the applicant is part of due diligence, but you can always dig deeper. Ask the reference to direct you to another person the candidate worked with (a customer, co-worker, supervisor, etc.).  Also, seek out past employers not listed as references; while some may not wish to offer much detail, the answers they do give can be helpful.

Don’t skim over the background check. These days, there are plenty of ways to access information about a job candidate’s background. Start by securing his or her permission to conduct a complete drug test and criminal background check. You also want to know if the applicant has any pending criminal or civil court cases, and the reasons behind them.

Trust your gut. Always treat each job candidate with respect and fairness. At the same time, if something occurs during the interview process or background check and you feel it in your gut, don’t ignore it. If something about the individual bothers you or makes you feel uncomfortable, that same intangible feeling can crop up again once the candidate is hired–and then it’s his or her co-workers who are stuck with the situation.

Meador Staffing screens and accepts job candidates of the highest character.  Learn more about how we can help you fill the open position in your company.

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