What should recruiters be looking for in the hiring process?

The hiring process can put a great strain on both recruiters and candidates, with both sides forced to put their best foot forward in an attempt to impress the other party. 

While every organisation will have their own list of things they are looking for, there are also traits that are guaranteed to get applicants turned away. Thankfully, they are easy for employers to look out for, as they can be precursors to disruptive behaviours within the workplace. 

What should employers look out for?

Research prepared by The Creative Group resulted in a list of red flags that the majority of surveyed hiring managers believe make candidates ineligible, no matter how good the rest of their application is. These behaviours and other aspects of the process can be managed through recruitment software, ensuring that businesses hire the best staff for them. 

The number one deal breaker according to The Creative Group's study was checking a mobile phone or other device while the interview is taking place. This can indicate a lack of interest in either the company or the process, meaning the candidate probably isn't the right one for you. Up to 76 per cent of the survey's respondents wouldn't hire someone who was caught doing this during an interview. 

Another major mistake that applicants can make involves forgetting important or requested materials when attending an interview. Research reveals that 70 per cent of hiring managers would not recruit someone who did this, as it can reflect a lack of professionalism or responsibility. 

Employers should also watch out for applicants who speak ill of the companies they have worked for in the past. If they are willing to say this about their former bosses behind their back, what could they be saying about you?

It's just as important to look out for these little mannerisms as it is to focus on qualifications and experience, as employees need to provide the complete package if they are to be of maximum value to your company.

How can these behaviours be mitigated?

Some of these traits could be the result of nervousness, as candidates are likely to put themselves under pressure before facing an interview. However, these behaviours may also be observed in regular employees when they are put under stress. 

Thankfully there are some easy techniques to manage high-pressure situations, allowing staff and candidates to perform to the best of their ability when it is required. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) has discovered some of the reasons people struggle in these scenarios, and what they can do to minimise the effects. 

"Most people have experienced a time in their lives when they aren't performing up to their potential. They take a test or have a performance review at work, but something holds them back," explained Lead Researcher Sonia Kang, PhD. "Performance in these situations is closely related to how we are expected to behave."

Put simply, when people are put under pressure they often act differently to how they want to, being able to handle the stress of the situation can help them to cope. 

The SPSP recommends focusing on self affirmations before approaching difficult scenarios, such as by listing positive attributes about themselves or the situation at hand. 

"You should reflect on things that you know are good about yourself," said Ms Kang. "Anyone has the potential to do really well. It's how you respond under pressure that makes a key difference."

Like most difficult tasks, preparation is key, as it can inspire confidence and allow people to excel at managing high-pressure situations. 

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