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Things to Look Out for When Hiring a New Employee

When hiring future employees, you need to know exactly what to look for. While someone might be qualified, they might not be the right fit for your company culture, and while you may have loved someone’s interpersonal skills during the interview, they might not have the right skill set for the job you need to fill. Here are things to look out for when hiring a new employee. 

Header Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Negative Past Experiences

Hiring an employee without checking their references and running the right background checks can put your business at risk. According to ShareAble for Hires, “Negligent hiring practices are one of the top recruitment risks facing small business owners and hiring managers.” What this means is that you should know whether or not an employee is more or less likely to commit an act that could harm your business, like stealing from the cash register based on their past.

You can get some of this information by running a background check, but you should also make sure to follow up with past employers and check references to ensure that you’re not hirings someone who can hurt your company.


A resume can give you insight into a person’s skills and experience, but it won’t tell you anything about the person. During the interview process, you have an opportunity to get a feel for someone’s attitude toward work by asking them about their past jobs and why they left, or why they’re thinking about leaving their current position.

Employees with bad attitudes will be quick to blame their current or past employers for why they left rather than the circumstances behind their leaving. If a candidate starts talking badly about a company they used to work for, you can expect them to have a bad attitude at their new position.


Turnover is expensive for your business, so you need to know if you’re hiring a candidate who can grow with your company. Recruiters and hiring managers need to look for someone who has both the potential to grow and the potential to be a long-term employee within your business. You can look at a resume to get this information. If you see that a potential employee has never stayed at a job for more than two years without having a good reason, like being laid off or moving out of state, then this is a sign that they might only be looking for short-term work.

When you begin interviewing candidates, ask them for information about their past to determine whether or not they have the potential to stick around or whether they might leave at the drop of a hat.

Ability to Work within a Team

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

You need each and every one of your employees to be a team player. There are some times that they’ll need to collaborate with others, lead, or maybe just be part of a team. Even if the job requires most tasks to be completed alone, you should look for an employee who thrives in a team environment as well to ensure that they’d be successful when collaborating with others.

When interviewing, you can ask how well they work within a team and what type of work environment they prefer. Some will say that they prefer to work alone but will happily be part of a team, while others will be looking for jobs in which they won’t have to collaborate with anyone else.


You want your employees to be ambitious so that they can start taking on tasks themselves without your help. Not to mention, ambitious employees stick around because they want to be promoted and get more responsibilities at work. Motivating and driven people who will go above and beyond what is asked of them will help your business thrive.

These employees will work hard and think of ways to improve their work. An ambitious employee will have a greater chance of being considered for promotions, so if your company offers upward mobility, you should always be looking to hire candidates based on their drive.


An employee’s personality can be just as important as their skill set because working requires the ability to work among others, even if they aren’t working with them directly. A happy, joyful personality can bring lightness into the office that improves everyone’s moods no matter what’s going on at home.

A negative or rude employee can be disastrous for your company because it will rub off on everyone. IF you’ve ever seen an unhappy employee in a workplace, the odds are that those around them are also unhappy.

Look for candidates who seem honest and genuine during the interview process. When they receive a compliment, see if they share credit with anyone else who worked with them on the project. By appreciating and lifting up their coworkers, they can strengthen morale, which has been proven to boost productivity in the workplace.

Look for self-assured, confident employees who don’t come off as arrogant. These individuals should take credit for their work while recognizing other people who were a part of it.


Being responsive shows respect and courtesy, something that’s important in any workplace. Whether you have clients or customers that come into the office or your employees will only be among their coworkers, it’s important to find candidates that respond thoughtfully to both questions and comments. Make sure during the interview that the candidate responds with “thank you” and “you’re welcome” when appropriate.

Anyone who lacks the proper responsiveness likely doesn’t have the social interaction skills that you’re looking for. Remember, this interview is a key indicator of how they will interact with coworkers, customers, and clients once in the position.

If your candidate makes a good first impression during the interview, then you can expect them to make good impressions on everyone they come into contact with.

Hiring New Employees

When hiring a new employee and talking with multiple candidates, you need to pay attention to both hard skills and soft skills. If someone is going to be working with other people all day, they’ll need the social skills that are necessary for the job.

This article was translated in French by Marie Pireddu.


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