Recruiting employees can be very expensive. You’ll need an entire department dedicated to scouting out candidates, reviewing resumes, retrieving applications, and setting up interviews. It doesn’t end when the candidate exists your interviewing room. After that, you’ll spend resources on career testing to assess aptitudes and other resources on background and credit checks.

After spending all of that money, there’s really no telling if the relationship will work out even if a job offered is extended. The best thing that you can do is to learn how to evaluate prospective employees while they’re right in front of you. Here are four things to look for so that you can lean towards hiring the right employee instead of a disengaged one.

Place the Right Value on the Candidate’s Degree

Having a degree should be more than a required condition for a job. As the hiring manager, you should be able to look at someone’s degree information and use that information to evaluate how the candidate performs under pressure. If you require a bachelor’s degree and you come across someone who has completed an MBA degree program, you might see someone who has gone above and beyond to earn an advanced degree while still maintaining employment. These are the best multi-taskers.

Don’t automatically frown upon online degrees; ask the employee how they balanced their work life, student life, and at-home life. If you have an applicant who can wear multiple hats and complete an accredited degree program at the same time, they may be a keeper because they don’t quit when it gets hard and they put their mind to the task at hand.

Ask Questions to Determine If They Are Toxic Employees

It’s only natural for a candidate who really wants a position to be on their best behavior during the interviewing process. It’s almost like going on a first date. You don’t let all of your bad habits shine through until later on. As a recruiter, you need to identify the toxic employees before they get on the payroll.

One of the easiest ways to identify these employees is to ask potentially toxic questions. You can find out what the employee didn’t like about their last job, ask about a bad working relationship, or ask about the worst qualities in their last boss. If the employee responds with plenty of negative things to say, it might reveal their toxicity.

Try Having a Team Interview

You want your team of employees to get along. There’s nothing worse than adding a team member to a team and having the whole dynamic change.

If you don’t tend to see the bad in people, it could help to have a one-on-one interview and then to bring the team in to ask their own questions. You can gauge how their tone shifts when they are talking to someone who might be a colleague and you can even assess answers differently.

Spotting a Disengaged Employee

Disengaged employees are one of the primary reasons previously successful businesses will fail. It’s only natural for a disengaged employee to contribute to companies losing their competitive edge. If you don’t want to hire a candidate who already needs to be re-energized, look for the signs that they are prone to be disengaged.

They might not be easy to spot but employees who previously had no initiative to climb the ladder or who shows a lack of learning might be inherently disengaged. These are also people who waste their time off instead of pursuing passions or who adopt unhealthy habits.

Consider these four keys when you’re evaluating prospective employees and you can avoid making expensive hiring mistakes. It’s important to look at the candidate’s experience and also their personality when making hiring decisions. This will help you choose an excited and motivated worker who will make your office more productive.


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A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here .