3 Candidate Green Flags to Look Out For

You have spent boundless time and money establishing your hiring process. The process steadily brings in candidates…now what? It’s easy to explain the candidate you DON’T want to hire. In fact, you can probably think of a list of red flags almost immediately. The real challenge is classifying those green flags that aren’t so obvious. Our recruiters share their job candidate green flags to help you distinguish a good candidate from a great one.

Clear and Defined Goals

An interview where the interviewer is seeking candidate green flags

Candidates should be able to articulate their career goals clearly and confidently during the interview process. They should also define timelines for these goals, demonstrating a level of commitment and drive. Career development ranked 2nd to compensation as the reason employees left their organizations. The alignment of a candidate’s career goals with the values and direction of your company can lead to a mutually beneficial and long-term working relationship.

Emotional Intelligence Green Flags

Analyzing emotional intelligence during an interview can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips on specific questions to ask and how their responses give insight into their emotional intelligence.

  • Ask questions that require candidates to share their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. This can give you a sense of their ability to express their emotions. A question to ask can be, “Can you tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a significant change in the workplace, and what were your thoughts and feelings throughout that process?”
  • Ask questions that show you how self-aware your candidate is. A question can be “How do you stay aware of your own limitations and what are your strategies for seeking help or support when needed?” If they are honest and self-aware, they should be able to accurately assess their own emotions and how they directly impact the process of the business which is a huge candidate green flag.
  • Ask questions regarding communication, specifically with those who have different backgrounds. For example, you can ask, “Tell me about a time when you had to communicate complex or technical information to a non-expert?” or, “tell me about a time you had to communicate feedback to a coworker or manager. How did you approach this?” Pay attention to how their responses differ based on whom they communicate with.

Researched the Company Beforehand

A green flag to keep an eye out for is if a candidate researched the company beforehand. This is usually very obvious with the right questions. It shows that they are serious and not just taking a shotgun approach where the apply anywhere and everywhere. This part can be easily missed, so make sure to ask questions like “What do you know about our company’s products/services/mission/milestones?” or “What attracted you to our company?” A green flag candidate will be specific. For example, a good response might mention the individual’s experience with sustainability initiatives if a company is recognized for being sustainable.

As you sift through potential job candidates, remember these green flags that will surely help you distinguish a suitable candidate from a great one. These include clear and defined goals, emotional intelligence, and the ability to research the company beforehand. Focusing on these critical areas during the hiring process can increase the chances of finding an ambitious, emotionally aware, and prepared candidate.

For questions or help with your hiring initiatives, call us at 203.881.2037. Our expert recruiters are constantly on the lookout for candidates displaying green flag characteristics and skills for your business.

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