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Why You Should Pay Attention to Red Flags in the Recruiting Process


Red flags in the recruiting process aren’t always easy to spot. It’s the same with dating.

People are on their best behavior in the courtship phase, and then a few months later after you both get comfortable, the cracks begin to show, and things don’t seem as wonderful anymore.

In this highly competitive market for law firm associates, this meme stood out to me because each of us takes a big chance when we start a new job.

We hope we are finding a supportive, collegial environment that promotes our professional development and well-being, but that doesn’t always happen.

That’s largely because we work with human beings.

Remember that you are interviewing a potential employer just as much as they are interviewing you.

If you see any red flags or any inkling that things might not be as rosy as they are painted in the interview process, you should run – not walk – from this opportunity.

I once had an interview with a man who yelled at someone on the phone while I was in my final interview. Guess what? When I took the job, he yelled at me too. I didn’t even last a year there. It wasn’t good for my mental health or well-being.

It doesn’t matter how great you are at recruiting if you can’t follow through on the promises of providing a healthy work environment when people join your organization.

You will wind up hemorrhaging talent as well as get a bad reputation for doing so because employees have forums such as glassdoor now to air their grievances.

While it’s true that you need to read the Glassdoor reviews with a grain of salt (also, remember that no company is perfect), if the same issues keep appearing, there’s probably some truth to them. Be on alert for a slew of positive reviews written on the same day or week — they’re usually forced in order to bolster the organization’s current rankings.

Some of this may involve creating training programs to help current employees who manage and oversee others.

Employers must focus on transparency and retention in this competitive hiring market.

Candidates – look on LinkedIn to see to whom you’re connected at an organization or someone who knows someone there. Ask them for their candid, unfiltered opinion of the company.

You have the upper hand right now. There’s so much free information at your fingertips. Do your homework.

During the interview process, if you feel like you’ve been ghosted — steer clear. If this is how a company is treating talent before they’ve even been hired, imagine how they’ll treat you once you’re full-time.

If the people you’re interviewing with seem disorganized, caught off guard or run late for their meeting with you, those are red flags you should pay attention to.

Other bad signs are interviewers who haven’t looked at your resume before you arrive, or people asking questions that are clearly answered in your resume.

Conflicting information about position’s role and responsibilities is also something of which to be aware as a potential red flag.

And even if you join a company that didn’t live up to its promises, don’t be afraid of leaving if you’re miserable. Most people will empathize because they’ve also been there as well.

Ultimately, rely on your observations and your gut. If something is telling you something is off, you might be dodging a major bullet.

And employers, your people are yours to lose. In this Great Resignation period that’s become crystal clear.

Copyright © 2022, Stefanie M. Marrone. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 333

About this Author

Stefanie M. Marrone

Stefanie Marrone advises law firms of all sizes, professional service firms, B2C and B2B companies, professional associations and individuals on the full range of marketing and business development consulting services designed to enhance revenue, retain current clients, attract new clients and achieve greater brand recognition and market share. Stefanie has worked with a broad range of law firms of all sizes over her nearly 20-year legal marketing career from Big Law, to mid-size firms, to boutique firms to solo practitioners. She also works with accounting firms,...