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Job offers are a sensitive time of the hiring cycle. Everyone feels vulnerable. Employers may go with another candidate, even after numerous interviews and lengthy hiring processes. Candidates may find another employer. And no one wants to feel the fear of missing out on a job/candidate. But at the same time, red flags appear on both sides of the hiring cycle. That is, as wary as job seekers may be of your job offer, you too should be wary of who you hire.

While this seems like maybe the least of your worries, knowing who you hire before you offer them the job is more crucial than ever before. According to a report by RBC, even though the economy opened up this past May and June for workers, over 22% of Canadian job positions continue to be vacant. That means more employers will be making hiring decisions hastily, and will have to pay the cost. And sure, you could have a candidate who doesn’t quite fit the bill to start, but learns on the job. Alternatively, you could have someone who looks perfect on paper, but isn’t right personality-wise for the environment.

So, what makes a candidate a red flag? How can you tell if they’re coachable or a mis-hire waiting to happen?

Our top 4 red flags to watch out for before making a job offer:

1. Inconsistent information

If a candidate’s information doesn’t quite align with what they claim during their interview, you may need to confirm their claims with a background check. My advice: never skip background checks. Particularly if the position requires certain training to ensure qualification, this is a no-brainer. And while traditional background checks can take up to two weeks to come back, Workwolf’s Digital Work Passport removes the third-party entirely, so candidates are pre-verified before being offered a job. So, really, there is no reason to not do a background check; only reasons you should!

With this said, if your candidate is stretching the truth on their background information, isn’t that also a red flag to you about how reliable and trustworthy they are?

2. Poor communication skills

This one is simple to catch but goes overlooked very frequently. If they’re not responding reasonably promptly to messages,  emails, or phone calls, not only could this be a sign that they’re not thrilled or excited to get the job, it could also be a sign that they may be unreliable when communicating with on the job. As well, if they’re not able to clearly explain their reasoning behind leaving former places of employment, they may not ever be happy in their position. They should be able to express what they want in their career. That way, you can discuss it fairly and openly to work toward achieving this for them.

So, yes, this is a two-way street. You must create a clear path of communication with your candidates to offer them an equal space to speak, as well.

3. Poor Culture Fit

This may come as a surprise to many but, this can in fact be measured before you offer them the job. Most companies assume that in order to see how well a candidate will do in a position, they have to hire them to see them in action. And granted, some are able to adapt to their environments and work demands. However, if a candidate does not have a soft-skill that a job requires, they may not ever be able to achieve their full potential.

This to me doesn’t seem fair for anyone involved: the employer or the employee. Hiring a candidate who is not well-suited for a job can be incredibly frustrating. Employees may feel that their career failure is their fault, and may feel like a failure. And of course, it means you have to let the employee go, and start the hiring process all over again.

4. Consistently negative attitude toward their work

If in their interview with you, a candidate speaks only negatively of their previous employer, experience, and training, this is a big red flag. With all of these signs, it may be that they’re not in the right field of work. This also includes placing the blame onto former employers or co-workers. That is, if they weren’t able to take responsibility for their actions, this may continue at your workplace, too.

By no means is having something negative to say inherently bad. But if a candidate is not able to provide at least a few examples of what they enjoyed about previous experiences, it may be a sign that they won’t be happy working for you, either.

Our solutions for your red flags:


If your candidate is doubtful of their career path, or if you aren’t sure of their suitability for a position, Packfinder is just what you need. Packfinder is our free career fit assessment that will ensure your candidates are well suited for the position and work environment at hand. Packfinder is free for all candidates to take with a Workwolf account (which is also free!).

Click here to learn more about Packfinder and how it can teach you about a candidate’s culture fit and potential success in a workplace.

Digital Work Passport

Workwolf’s Digital Work Passport combines multiple services to offer your candidates, including:

  • Criminal reference check
  • Social media check
  • Driver’s abstract
  • Academic background verification
  • Employment background
  • Reference check
  • Verification of licenses and certifications

With our platform directly connected to credential issuers, background checking has never been so easy.


Ready to skip all the heavy lifting of checking for red flags? Want to try all of Workwolf’s solutions out for yourself?

Sign up here for your free Workwolf business account and get started today!


A free account with Workwolf brings in more candidates, provides better matches & reduces the effort needed to make great hires