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Hiring and retaining engineering talent is no easy feat. First, you must find someone with the right skills for each role, but you also have to be mindful of the candidate’s personality and their cultural alignment. While it’s necessary to focus on the positives, it’s equally important to watch out for red flags that could let you know immediately that a candidate isn’t the right fit.

Tardy for the Interview

Being late to an interview demonstrates more than just carelessness, it also signals a lack of respect for people’s time. It is ok to give someone the benefit of the doubt if they call you from the road 30 minutes out to warn of a potential traffic snag, but strong candidates will start their trip early enough to account for most unforeseen travel issues. If someone is late and they don’t raise any other red flags, ask their references about their history with punctuality to gain a clearer picture.

They Haven’t Researched the Company

A candidate who doesn’t have a grasp of your services, clients or history hasn’t conducted the most basic research available through a simple internet search. Qualified candidates research the company in depth before they even send in an application. They may not know the company inside and out, but they can answer fundamental questions and at least appear to be familiar with what you do.

They Treat “Lower-Level” Employees Differently

A great test of a candidate’s character is the way they interact with people who hold different positions in the company. You can get a feel for this through a few strategies. You can have your front desk person or other employees engage candidates in the lobby, or you can include people from different levels in the interview process, and note how they interact with each person. Someone who seems to treat people differently based on their job titles likely isn’t the right person for the job.

They Speak Poorly About Past Employers

Bad bosses, bad colleagues and bad co-workers do exist, but wasting precious interview time to bad-mouth past employers should raise red flags. Someone who speaks negatively about past employers will probably speak poorly about your organization and/or employees – perhaps even while employed.

They Don’t Acknowledge Failure or Weakness

No one is perfect – everyone has weaknesses and everyone has experienced failure in their careers. Strong candidates have the self-awareness to identify their own shortcomings, they can address them openly, and they can tell you what they’ve learned from unsuccessful experiences. Someone who won’t acknowledge weaknesses or failure or who is quick to toss blame on others should send up a slew of red flags.

Are You Looking for Engineering Talent?

If you are looking for more effective ways to locate, vet and hire top engineering talent, the team at Selectek can help. Tapping into our proven recruiting processes will instantly shorten your time to hire and improve the quality of your hires. Contact Selectek today to get started.

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