5 People You Should Avoid Employing at All Costs

When it comes to hiring, the usual advice revolves around identifying the best candidates for your company. But let’s flip the script. What about the ones you should never, under any circumstances, bring on board? Here’s a rundown of five types of people you should steer clear of to maintain a healthy and productive work environment.


1. The Over-Promiser, Under-Deliverer

They talk a big game but consistently fall short.

These individuals come in with impressive promises and a dazzling CV, but soon demonstrate a pattern of underperformance. They excel in interviews but fail to convert their words into actions. Their inability to meet expectations can hinder projects and demoralise teams.

Red Flags:

  • Frequently changing jobs with short tenures.
  • Overemphasis on their achievements without concrete examples.
  • Glowing references from unverifiable sources.


2. The Eternal Victim

Every setback is someone else’s fault.

This type thrives on deflecting blame and avoiding responsibility. They never take ownership of their mistakes and often foster a toxic environment by causing friction among team members. Their persistent complaints can undermine morale and create resentment.

Red Flags:

  • Negative talk about previous employers and colleagues.
  • A history of conflicts in the workplace.
  • Evasive answers when questioned about past failures.


3. The Lone Wolf

Teamwork? They’ve never heard of it.

While independence can be an asset, these individuals take it to the extreme. They refuse to collaborate, withhold information, and undermine team efforts. Their reluctance to engage with the collective can cripple projects that rely on synergy and cooperation.

Red Flags:

  • Lack of experience in team-based projects.
  • Overemphasis on solo achievements.
  • Reluctance to engage in group discussions during interviews.


4. The Drama Magnet

They bring personal issues to work, every day.

They are fuelled by workplace drama, thriving on creating and escalating conflicts, distracting everyone from their tasks. Their personal problems often spill into their professional life, causing unnecessary stress and tension among colleagues.

Red Flags:

  • A history of HR complaints or disputes.
  • Over-sharing personal issues during the interview.
  • Inconsistent job history due to "unresolved conflicts."


5. The Know-It-All

They have nothing left to learn (or so they think).

These individuals are resistant to feedback and believe they’re always right. Their arrogance can stifle innovation and discourage others from contributing ideas. Their inability to accept constructive criticism can hinder their professional growth and that of the team.

Red Flags:

  • Dismissive attitude towards new ideas.
  • Overbearing during interviews, interrupting, or talking over others.
  • A pattern of leaving jobs where they "didn’t get along" with management.


Hiring Smart to Build a Strong Team

Steering clear of these five archetypes can save your company time, resources, and potential headaches. A thorough vetting process that looks beyond surface-level charm and examines past behaviours and patterns can help you avoid these issues. Remember, the goal isn’t just to fill a position but to find someone who will contribute positively to your company’s culture and success.

By focusing on the right qualities and being aware of these red flags, you can build a team that’s not only skilled but also cohesive and forward-thinking.