July 22, 2013, 9:37 PM — Well, this is a new one: Usually we’re writing about how to land a job, nail an interview and do everything you can to make yourself as attractive as possible to a hiring organization.
But Human Workplace CEO Liz Ryan says there are a half-dozen excellent reasons why job hunters should bail on an opportunity.
1. Mixed signals. If you get differing explanations of corporate direction, goals, philosophy, job description, etc., be wary. It’s never a good sign when key players are not on the same page on fundamentals.
2. All sunshine and rainbows. If it sounds like every employee is parroting the same line of everlasting wonderfulness and a corporate life free of challenges, that’s a red flag, Ryan says: “Either the people you're meeting are afraid to tell you the truth, or they're clueless. Either scenario spells trouble.”
3. Don’t jump through hoops. Ryan says any hiring process is half selling the candidate on the company and half evaluating the person’s credentials, background and experience to ensure it’s a good match. Be cautious of any organization that continues to make you jump through hoops, take tests or provide further information.
4. Don’t wait around. A company should not make you wait forever for an offer. Some headhunters expect an answer within 4 days. Notes Ryan: “Would we counsel our friends to allow romantic partners to treat them like dirt? We would not, because we believe that people should have healthy social relationships. Why would things be any different in the professional realm?”
5. Witholding key information. If a company won’t share its employee handbook, benefits or other basic details, be alert: “On Day One when you walk into New Employee Orientation, they're going to give you a handbook and require you to sign it,” Ryan writes. “Naturally, you need to see it in advance. If the firm balks when you ask for a written offer letter, that's another sign from the universe that your bread is best buttered elsewhere.”
6. Missing co-workers and/or office. If you’re not introduced to potential co-workers or your work area, basically, run. “Sprint away from a deal like that,” she says. “That's not just delusion (expecting you to accept a pig-in-a-poke work environment on faith) but very bad manners as well.”