As a hiring manager, it’s your job to hire the very best candidates for your company. The person sitting across from you may seem perfect, even down to their credentials and interpersonal skills. But what if the candidate you are interviewing is a disaster waiting to happen? You could be dealing with a toxic employee without even realizing it.

Toxic employees are those who often start out well, but over time they begin to tear down the team through their actions, words, and treatment of others. Their negative, or toxic, behavior is something deep-seated in their persona, and they may deny having any problems with others. They go behind others’ backs, including management, and they think they are above the rules.

How can you spot the signs of a toxic employee – before you take a chance and hire them? Here are some sure-fire methods to weed them out.

1. Ask for at least two additional personal and professional references.

Most candidates will provide at least three-to-four references that are standard on an application. But if you really want to get to the bottom of a candidate’s personality and background, you will want to ask them for a couple of additional references. Listen carefully to references to see if anything negative is mentioned about the candidate.

2. Note the candidate’s ego posturing during interviews.
Watch for subtle cues about the candidate’s ego. For example, the use of the word ‘I’ in every sentence can indicate somebody who takes credit for all of their work, and sees himself separate from including others. It’s more important to hire candidate to use the word ‘we’ more frequently throughout their speech patterns.

3. Screen candidates using a trusted personality test.
Workplace personality tests such as the DiSC assessment can help you to weed out any candidates who have possible toxic tendencies. A staffing agency can handle this. Consider the personalities of your existing team members to before you hire someone. You don’t want to hire a candidate who is insensitive to other people in your employ.

4. Use behavioral interview questions and watch for over-confidence/breaking rules.
Toxic candidates often speak negatively about previous employers and colleagues. They may also display tendencies towards being overconfident or bending corporate rules. Use a behavioral interviewing process and listen carefully to the responses to spot the signs of toxic behavior in the candidate.

If you are in need of quality pre-screened employees, please feel free to connect with our recruitment team at TempStaff in the Jackson, MS area. We have part-time, full-time, and temp-to-perm flexible staffing options that are perfect for your business. We also encourage you to follow us on Twitter @TempStaffInc for updates and alerts when we post new blogs.


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