September 2, 2014

5 Signs Your Perfect Job Candidate Wouldn’t Fit Your Team

It’s always encouraging to come across perfectly fitting resumes that indicate rich and exciting experiences. These folks would be great additions to your team and make a faster impact on the business.

Warning Light

However, a rock star candidate must be vetted in terms of attitude and culture. The simple fact is that people can be awesome but they need to fit together well. Here are a few tangible points that can help your decision on the next 10/10 candidate:

Energy and Passion

Your small business may not have a household brand name and the best package. Most of the early team members come together in a startup because they are excited about what you are doing. If you are unable to feel the candidate’s excitement for your vision – their skills maybe irrelevant to you in the longer run. A lot of energy drives the early growth in a small company. If the person does not care at all about why you are in business they might not be a game changing employee.

The Wrong Questions

If the candidate’s questions hover around your current milestones but not your final vision, you should make more of an effort on communicating the longer timeline again. For instance, the discussion should definitely weigh more on why you are doing this and what your final goal is. This provides insight into the candidate, which may be missing on that 8 by 11 inch resume sheet.

If the discussion doesn’t seem to move beyond the current revenue level or ongoing projects (depending on the job profile) – something is off.

Know It All

A candidate may have a lot of relevant experience for the role, but if he has an arrogant disposition about what he knows then it might be hard to share thoughts and feedback with him. You have to think about the rest of your team and make sure that everyone is going to be comfortable with the team chemistry.

Flittering Focus

Is the candidate inclined towards doing everything at once? They might be talking to you about a particular role, but suggesting that they enjoy doing a little of everything and always had a varied focus on all previous jobs. This could be really valuable in a certain context, but a disaster depending on what you are looking for. There is a clear line between multi-tasker and task jumper.

Greener Pastures

Has this person been changing jobs every one to two years? Well, then your hypothesis of a 10/10 candidate needs to be revisited. Enough said.

So make sure you look at your entire stack of applicants a little more carefully – there might be diamonds with rough resumes.

Warning Photo via Shutterstock

6 Comments ▼
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Raj Sheth


Raj Sheth Raj Sheth is the Co-Founder of Recruiterbox, an online Recruitment Software & Applicant Tracking System designed especially for small businesses. Growing a small business himself, everything he writes is based on what he has experienced in his ventures.

6 Reactions

  1. Finding the right person is very important, especially to an SMB. Taking the extra time to let them meet and interact with multiple team members is always worth it. The more people interact with them, the more likely you are to weed out a poseur.

  2. Raj, I think your tips here can also apply to businesses who are hiring virtual/remote team/workers. Thanks for sharing the list, anyway. I love the first item on your list and passion is that ultimate motivator that will push anyone to conquer any obstacles – just to reach a goal. It always has something to do with a long term vision and the ‘interest’ to make things happen.

  3. Thank you for the great insight. I especially found the concept of differentiating between a multi-tasker and a task jumper very interesting. Although it may be that a candidate knows a little of everything, they have to be mastered in a specific area that applies most to the job role.

  4. Good article, but just one additional observation. Please keep in mind that sometimes people have to change jobs every 1-2 years due to lay offs or impending lay offs which they want to choose their departure time. Also many have been forced to contract on short terms.

  5. I would also add that anytime a potential candidate shows less interest in my company and where we are going, but far too much interest in what’s in it for them, how soon can they get promoted, what can they earn, when will we be adding in other product lines.

    It’s an interview-killer for sure. They need to buy in on what a great opportunity I’m offering right now, and get excited, like we are, about where this may lead for the company as a whole, and not just for their own personal ambition.

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