Hiring is tricky. There are as many hiring strategies as there are hiring managers. And while you're not a mind reader, there are red flags to let you know you might be making a disastrous decision.
- Unprofessional personal branding. From the email address to the quality of the resume to your phone conversations you are in a position to assess your candidate's level of professionalism. If any of these are inappropriate, typo-ridden, or too casual, stop the process. It's only going to get worse from there.
- No homework or too much homework. If a candidate comes to the interview and clearly knows nothing about the company, does not have questions prepared, and can't give a good answer about why this position at this company is of interest, it's time to move on. On the other hand, if all you can get from the candidate is over-rehearsed, canned answers you may have someone who is hiding something.
- Discrepancies and gaps. If you've done your homework, you've looked up your candidate on social media. Finding a discrepancy between the resume, application, and LinkedIn profile can indicate that a candidate is lying or just sloppy. Either way, it should give you pause. And speaking of pauses, some gaps in employment can be easily explained - childbirth, education, self-employment - but if the candidate does not have a reasonable explanation it might be time to move that resume to the "no thank you" pile.
It's always important to remember the legalities surrounding hiring. Don't wander into grey territory and make sure you are getting sound advice from an HR professional before beginning the recruitment process.