5 Major Candidate Red Flags A Digital Recruiter Need To Watch Out For

10 Jan 2022

As a digital recruiter, how can you identify a walking nightmare? The one that will say anything and do anything to get you to sign on the dotted line?

The one that has been pre-taped and is automated, knowing nothing about you and your strengths?

The one that has been programmed to pick the winners for a lifetime of unemployment and financial struggles?

The one that cannot stay in its lane on the highway will stop you at every fork to offer comparison shopping on all your requirements and wants?

Filtering job hoppers, the financially challenged, the psychologically unstable, and the criminally insane from your pipeline is a HUGE part of your job as a technical recruiter. And it is NOT EASY. But here are 10 of the most common ways people will try to snow you into hiring them and then screw you out of a job in one way or another.

If you don’t know how to spot these red flags, then you will be feeding “Game Of Thrones” style drama into your workplace on a daily basis.


1. Unwilling to negotiate salary and/or benefits –

ANY negotiation is a test of trust. A good candidate will have not only researched what the market pays but also understand YOUR USP (unique selling proposition) and WHY you’re worth more than the average for the position.

What's your counteraction for this? Simple. A technical recruiter should not respond to the email or cleaning service inquiry with an ROI, salary, benefits and compensation package until you have reached the 1st level of contact in your pipeline. If a potential talent  is not willing to negotiate at that point, then nothing moves forward. Period.


2. Non-committal answers – The more information a candidate is willing to give, the better you can know them and their fit for the role. If a candidate gives loaded answers that reveal their pre-conceived ideas, they will make you do the work of providing information.

What's your counteraction for this? Get the candidate to tell you as much as they know. Get them talking using questions like, “Tell me about...” or “Really? Tell me more", "Can you further elaborate..". This will help you determine whether they are truly ready for the role or if you should push them to a 2nd interview.


3. Exaggerated experience – The best candidates will tell you what they actually do know and not embellish their resumes (and in turn, you!). If they are exaggerating past positions or titles, this could be a sign of deception.

What's your counteraction for this? Be careful when deciding whether to move forward or ask for a 2nd interview. Ask questions like, "Can you elaborate on your titles and last 3+ years of experience?", "Could you explain how long your last job was?". This will help you determine the best candidate for the role.


4. Unrealistic expectations – If a person is unrealistic about how the job and workplace will be, they will probably be dissatisfied, which will affect everyone around them. Example: If they complain about a $50,000 salary for a junior IT role, this signals that they will cost the company money, not to mention their own time, on their lack of planning.

What's your counteraction for this? First, determine if they are making unrealistic demands. Then use the pushback skill, through positioning and indirect communication, to help them see the perspective of realistic expectations. If they are unwilling to see reason, then it is time to move on.


5. No research about your company – Some candidates want to get in at any cost. You may think you’re getting a rock star eager to take up the mantle. But if the person has no idea about what you do or how you are different from anyone else, this will show.

What's your counteraction for this? Thank them for their interest, and let them know that you are interested in learning more about their skills and abilities to see if they are a good fit. Dig deeper by asking questions like, "Could you tell me what you have learned about our company and what we do?". This will help you decide if they are the right fit for the position.

Digital recruiters want to hire their ideal candidates. But to do so, you have to know what you are looking for and be able to spot red flags before they become a problem.