The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
As a job seeker, you can and should look out for your best interests as much as an employer should look out for theirs. Talented candidates, such as those fit for assistant project manager jobs, sometimes feel they need to jump through all the hoops without considering what they truly want from the role or the company. With the pandemic bringing record levels of vacancies amidst the so-called ‘Great Resignation’, the balance of power is firmly with candidates. Against this backdrop, it’s understandable that many people will have red flags when looking for their perfect next role.
Red flags can differ for each person based on her or his situation, values and goals. For example, young, single employees might not mind working weekends, while others with young children might find that less than ideal. Unfortunately, not all red flags are so apparent for candidates during a job search, especially if you are trying to find a job without the support of a reliable recruitment firm that can help you detect, decipher and avoid them.
Here are some red flags to watch for during your job search.
1. High Employee Turnover — Why Are Employees Leaving?
If you are following a specific company, you might notice several job postings. This could mean that the business is expanding and wants to hire new talent, but it could also mean that the company experiences high turnover. Check sites such as Glassdoor to get a sense of employee satisfaction. If you find several negative reviews, read them objectively, but keep an eye out for signs that the company may have issues with retention.
It’s not unheard of to ask a prospective employer why a particular position is vacant, and the answer can offer many insights. Put it on your list of red flags if their answers seem off or incomplete. With equal parts courtesy and determination, keep digging deeper to understand why the company is hiring. The hiring staffer might not want to share the whole picture, but you can probably draw solid conclusions and trust your instincts if the facts don’t add up.
2. The Hiring Process Drags on Too Long
While there are some varying reports about the average length of a hiring process—somewhere between 23.8 and 39 days — there are some red flags to watch for that can let you know if it’s going nowhere. For instance, if you go through the first phase of interviewing and haven’t heard anything for a few weeks, the chances are good that the hiring manager went with another candidate and either dropped the ball or lacked the professional courtesy to notify you. In either situation, it’s a good time to mark this company off your list unless you hear something in the future to explain and apologize.
3. You Can’t Find or Get Transparent Information About the Company
It’s normal to apply to a company even if you don’t learn everything you need to before an interview, as it gives you more question fodder for the interview. However, if the hiring manager can’t or won’t elaborate on information such as the company history, corporate culture, or mission and values, you have to ask yourself how comfortable you are with a company that is either secretive or without a clear vision that it can express to candidates.
4. The Employer Is Inflexible and Won’t Negotiate
It is more critical than ever for employers to maintain some degree of flexibility, whether in terms of salary, benefits, or allowing remote or hybrid workplace opportunities. While your desire to work remotely a day or two per week might not be a deal-breaker, the organization’s refusal to consider it might signify that they are not as pro-employee as you’d like them to be.
Take the Right Job at the Right Time
Red flags often signify rocky detours that could result in lost time and energy. Keep an eye out for these red flags and any others you detect to make sure you’re available to accept the perfect position when it comes along.
About the Author
Nicole Marie is Senior Content Executive at Michael Page, an international recruiting firm. Before joining the recruitment industry, she worked in media and journalism. She now covers employment trends and insights in a variety of industries such as construction, technology and marketing.