Three Bad Candidates to Identify in the Executive Search and Hiring Process

By December 19, 2012 No Comments

We always discuss what it takes to make an employee exceptional and how to successfully assess for and recognize these traits in candidates and answers to these questions abound. The fact is that it can be difficult to determine what makes for a good match between a company and a candidate, there simply so many variables to consider given the role and its responsibilities, the organization’s culture, the industry in question, and any number of other factors. Understandably, the job of seeking out a single individual capable of meeting all of the necessary standards is an incredibly difficult one to say the least. However, a subject that is less discussed, but which can make the executive search and hiring process far more simple in allowing the employer to weed out undesirable candidates, is knowing just what to look for in these individuals, as it is a far easier a task to identify what makes a candidate unacceptable rather than what makes them ideal.

Finding Bad Employee CandidatesTo begin with, it is perhaps easiest to root out those individuals who are the absolute furthest from being desirable. Some individuals just seem to have no skill or drive and are looking for nothing more in a position than a paycheck. Such individuals are going to put on their best face and likely work as hard as possible to earn the job, but that’s about as far as their effort goes.

Only slightly better than the previously described candidates, yet still as unacceptable, are those individuals who, once hired, are willing to give the job 110% of their effort but are unable to fulfill their goals. Despite these individuals’ tremendous will to succeed they lack the skills or knowledge necessary to the role to translate their desire to succeed into real results for the company. While that desire and drive to work hard and go the extra mile is invaluable in a good employee, if the candidate does not have the ability to fulfill the needs of the role then all of that will and all of that effort is for nothing and they would only wind up costing the organization unnecessary losses.

Unfortunately, as helping to prepare individuals for the job seeking process, helping them to polish their resumes and rehearse their responses to the typical interview question, has seemingly become its own industry, it can be far more difficult now to recognize these less-than-ideal individuals right from the start and through the more basic interview processes. To offset these additional difficulties, now more than ever employers need to be sure that they are taking extra precautions in their executive search and interview efforts by conducting thorough reference and background checks to root out the truth of a candidate’s desire to succeed and their ability to do so.

Finally, perhaps the most difficult kind of individual to recognize as a poor candidate is one who, though they may possess all the necessary skills and knowledge, and though they may have the motivation to succeeds, is simply an ill fit for the organization’s corporate culture. Rooting out such an issue is one that will require yet further effort on the employer’s part, including employees in the interview process and setting up shadow sessions, to effectively assess for cultural compatibility.


Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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