When you’re looking for a new job, it’s easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself to make a great impression with potential employers.
But when it’s done well, the recruitment process can and should be a two-way street.
Changing jobs is a big upheaval, and it’s important to make the right move. Almost a third of employees have quit a job within the first six months at some point in their career.
But how can you tell whether you’re stepping up to your dream role or into a nightmare before you hand in your notice and sign on the dotted line?
Here are eight red flags to watch out for.
- A Chaotic recruitment process
Last-minute interview requests, rescheduling, or a hiring process that seems either rushed or very slow are all potential red flags.
An interview process takes time and effort, and you want to see that reflected back in a structured, proportionate recruitment process.
Put this to the test by asking for details of the recruitment process and timings. Employers that are focused on finding great people will invest time in planning out the process upfront.
- A lack of communication
The way a company communicates before you’re part of the team gives a good idea what they’ll be like to work for.
A shocking 75% of job hunters have been ghosted by a potential employer or their agency – even after an interview.
Clear, friendly, and timely communication, as well as a dedicated point of contact throughout the process is a good sign.
- A vague job description
Almost three-quarters of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, but only 36% of candidates agree. Many employers don’t provide a job description at all.
Hiring Managers or recruiters should be able to really clearly explain the role and its responsibilities, going beyond the published job description to paint a picture of what the role and company are like.
In startups, a CEO or founder is often the one defining these roles and in many instances, there may be an element of the unknown for a new strategic hire or new team. As recruiters, our background can help to solidify what’s required and that finer detail.
Delving into role nuances, immediate priorities, and cultural fit is essential for both hiring managers / recruiters and candidates. This clarity facilitates informed decisions, fosters trust, and aligns expectations for a successful partnership.
This allows both sides to figure out if you’re a good fit, avoiding wasting valuable time if not.
- No interest in your motivations
The recruitment process is about much more than whether someone can do the job. It’s about finding a great fit, and 57% of candidates see a lack of shared values as a deal breaker.
If a potential employer isn’t asking about why you want a new job and what you’re looking for from the move, that’s a red flag.
Understanding a candidate’s motivations provides insight into their alignment with the company’s mission and culture. Ignoring this aspect can lead to mismatches down the line.
Effective recruitment involves mutual understanding and alignment of the opportunity to grow. Employers should demonstrate genuine interest in candidates’ career aspirations, ensuring a symbiotic relationship where both parties can thrive.
- Reluctance to talk about pay and benefits
Only around 12% of job listings in the US include the salary, so it’s important that potential employers are happy to have an open, transparent conversation about remuneration once you’re in the recruitment process.
This is especially true for sales roles, where different types of bonus structure can significantly impact the final take-home.
- Not being open to questions
Not making time for or half-hearted answers to candidate questions is a red flag. Getting different answers from different people can also be a warning sign.
If a company makes time to listen to you and answer your questions as a candidate, it’s a good sign they’ll do the same with their employees.
- An unprepared interviewer
Interviews are a time-consuming part of the recruitment process with candidates investing an average of 5-10 hours in prep time alone.
There’s nothing worse than an interviewer that’s still reading your CV as you answer their first question or someone who doesn’t seem to know what questions they want to ask.
If an interviewer hasn’t had time to read your CV and think about what they want to ask you specifically, it’s a sign that they might be interviewing too many candidates focusing on quantity rather than quality or simply not prioritising the recruitment process.
- Too many interviews
Whether it’s lots of people on the panel or just many, many rounds of interviews, an inflated recruitment process is a red flag.
For senior roles, there’s typically three interview rounds, occasionally four if it’s a close call between two similar candidates.
Wanting sign-off from lots of stakeholders could indicate a lack of autonomy within the company or indecision around the role and what they’re looking for.
Look for an employer that’s respectful of your time with a clear idea of what makes a great candidate for their business.
Red flags or not, sometimes it all comes down to something you can’t quite put your finger on. Are you excited by the role? Did you get that energy back from the employer? Is there chemistry?
At Finiti, we prioritise not just filling roles but ensuring the right fit for both candidates and clients. We take the time to advise clients on the recruitment process while deeply understanding a candidate’s real motivations and drivers for seeking a new role, ensuring these align with the opportunities presented.
As the only specialist Fintech sales recruiters, we often place candidates multiple times throughout their careers, and there’s a real sense of matchmaking behind successful recruitment. Our expertise lies not just in matching skills but in understanding the dynamics of the Fintech industry and the unique attributes that lead to long-term success.