Red Flags to Look For When Hiring Tech Talent


Hiring and retaining tech talent in today’s market isn’t easy. You must find someone with the right skill set for each role, and you also need to keep an eye on the right personality and cultural alignment. However, as you check off all your “positive” boxes, it’s equally important to keep an eye out a few important negatives, so you can avoid a potential bad hire. Here are some of the red flags to look for when hiring tech talent.

They Misunderstand The Problem

When you’re assessing skills in a tech interview, candidates should ask clarifying questions to be certain they understand the problem presented. Candidates who don’t ask clarifying questions and then approach the problem incorrectly might lack serious attention to detail.

Shutting Down When They Get Stuck

In the real world, problems aren’t always solved on the first attempt. If a candidate hits a roadblock when working through a problem, pay attention to how they handle that challenge. You’re looking for someone who talks it out, backs up and tries something different, or asks further clarifying questions. People who shut down and give up might not be the person you want on your team.

Sloppy Code

The key to great coding lies in cleanliness. Someone who uses an inconsistent style, who doesn’t pay attention to indentation or spacing, or duplicates code could end up causing your team more work if they are hired. Team members need to understand each other’s code when it comes time to debug or integrate new code. Sloppiness should always be avoided.

Ignoring The Interviewer’s Suggestions

Sometimes, when working through a problem, an interviewer will step in and offer suggestions. If the candidate continues down the wrong path despite those suggestions, it is a red flag that the individual will be difficult to work with on projects.

They Don’t Know What You Do

Candidates who haven’t taken the time to research the organization to learn what you do, how you do it and your position in the market show a lack of interest in the role. It likely means that the person is just looking for any job, not your particular job. Successful team members will be genuinely interested in contributing to your organization.

They Don’t Explain How They Fail Forward

Everybody makes mistakes. You want to look for candidates who can admit to a mistake and explain what they learned and how they moved forward. People who don’t admit mistakes might be immature, difficult to work with and hard to coach.

Are You Looking For Tech Talent?

If your organization is seeking tech talent, effective recruiting, hiring, development and retention strategies are a must. If you are looking for new ways to improve your tech hiring processes, Footbridge IT can help. Contact our team of experts today to learn how we can help you achieve your technology hiring goals.


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