Posted  |  Written by Gecko Hospitality

Hiring managers, recruiters, and employers see a lot when they’re busy interviewing candidates for a position. Finding top talent is always a challenge and these professionals spend an inordinate amount of time on the candidate selection process. It is inevitable during the rigors of hiring that we run across candidates that simply aren’t a fit. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s funny, but it’s always frustrating when workers are simply not prepared or a good fit for the role they’re applying for.

Here are some of the biggest candidate turn-offs that we consistently hear hiring managers complaining about during the recruiting process.

Ill-Prepared or Completely Clueless Candidates

How many interviews have you conducted where the candidate didn’t realize what kind of job they applied for? We’ve all seen it. Hiring managers discard countless resumes that don’t fit the position well before the actual interview occurs. But if the candidate does the interview, there is always at least one in the pool that clearly failed to research your company or review the ad they applied for before showing up for the interview. It’s just bad form not to be prepared in these situations.

The Candidate Who Can’t Follow Directions

What if your job posting says to apply online, and the candidate fails to complete the form but still sends a resume? Or, if you ask for a specific subject line in the application email, but the candidate leaves this requirement out? What if you ask for a resume in Word, and it comes in a PDF? These instructions are one of the ways we screen for potential candidates, and far too often, workers fail to follow even simple directions during the application process. If a candidate fails to follow directions, how likely will they fail to follow a manager’s instructions when they’re hired?

Resume Fibbing

How many times do you see employment histories that don’t quite match what you discover during the background check? It may be tempting for candidates to fudge dates a bit. But truly, it’s standard to check these things, so even if the slip was inadvertent, it casts doubt on the integrity of the candidate. In fact, it may even be the red flag that keeps the candidate from receiving an offer of employment.

The Overly Aggressive Candidate

The hyper-relentless candidate can be just as disconcerting as the candidate that ghosts the employer. But both are equally bad form. Sometimes there’s a thin line between being eager to get the job and stalking. Constant voicemails, persistent emails, social media contacts; most hiring managers and recruiters have seen it all. We’ve even seen candidates show up at a restaurant or hotel to check on the status of their job application. It’s a bad idea to interrupt work to inquire about an online or in-person job application because it disrupts the normal flow of business. If a candidate doesn’t use their common sense and professionalism during the application process, it’s unlikely that they will have the emotional intelligence needed later to handle a disgruntled customer.

For hiring teams frustrated with the quality of their candidate pool, the hospitality recruitment experts at Gecko Hospitality can help.

Gecko Hospitality

2 Responses to “The Biggest Employee Turn-Offs, As Told by Hiring Managers”

  1. Doug Nelson

    I agree…. from my Talent Acquisition experience… I have encounter this during my interviewing and candidate selection

  2. Laura Finley

    This is an interesting blog. However, it’s never taken into consideration that the average person applying for a job has to apply to at least 20-80 roles over the course of their job search due to competitors. Then when you take into consideration their ethnicity, age and gender the quantity of online submissions is higher. With new questions about what year a person was born or graduated and other tell-tale age or gender questions the person can easily be removed from the short-list with a click of a filter button.

    The real question is how many people over 35-years old, or is a woman, or person of color get “filtered” out? We know it happens often.

    Most hiring managers won’t admit that they are really just seeking someone under 35 years old and are either a male or a female depending on the title of the role.

    It takes 20-45 minutes to complete an online job application, craft a well written letter, upload all the correlating documents. Multiply that by 20-80. Let’s face it, the chance of landing a job after submission is 1-in-50 based on the number of candidates applying and the number of roles a person has to provide an application to to acquire one job.

    Now when one company interviewer has a strong belief that the candidate should know everything about their company before arrival, multiply that by the 20-80 companies the person had to apply to. Should the candidate know everything about 20-80 companies that he or she hasn’t worked for? It’s a lot to ask of any person. If you really want any person to know certain details that are critical to your interview conversation, send them a brochure upon inviting them to interview. When a person applies for a job they have only read up on the job task description and have applied based on feeling like they can perform the job.

    By the way, most men are hired on their “potential’ while women are hired based on “merit”, according to McKinnsey research 2019. So that in itself states that men who aren’t able to perform the job tasks as posted are hired anyway.

    If employers just sent out tests to candidates and assigned serial numbers to people in lieu of consideration of their Name, Gender, Age more people that qualified would get the jobs. Popularity contests are mostly what is seen today.

    It coincides with the ridiculous question posed to candidates and new hires about “what career path they want to take at the company” on the first meeting. HOW would any person who has zero experience at your company know what company path they want to follow when they don’t know the options but you do and haven’t explained them yet?

    It’s almost a question of “are you seeking to take my job if you are hired” sort of question. Career path questions should be asked at 90-days, or 180-days not the first day on the job or at the time of interview.

    Most people are seeking to work at a reputable company that has been in business for over 10-years, provides them with a good work environment where coworkers get along with each other, the pay is decent and they have benefits. What a company does for business is not considered as much.

    Most interviews feel like a Dog Show to the candidate because interviewers are most often ridiculous. The interviewer doesn’t bother to explain what they need from an employee in that role outside of the posted job task description.

    When the candidate meets all the job requirements as written but the interviewer is suggesting that there is another set of requirements that are not written nor provided it is very frustrating. It feels like a bait and switch to the candidate. It is also frustrating that the candidate was invited to show up for an interview for a sole purpose to substantiate that “other candidates” were considered too when there was a “pre-selected” candidate already chosen. What a waste of time, effort, and money for that candidate.

    Interviewers should be asking questions about direct tasks that need to be accomplished.


Leave a Reply