We are currently in a market that favors workers over employers – many workers feel empowered to seek out different positions and have reevaluated what they want in their careers amid the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many workers left their jobs in search of greener pastures because they were ready for a change, and others were more than happy to leave behind toxic workplaces that only burned them out.
As you can imagine, they've become rather adept at noticing red flags during the interview process and beyond.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor taylortaylortaylorrr asked the online community,
"What is a red flag from an employer that people might not immediately recognize as a red flag?"
"It can be hard to tell..."
"When an employee quits or gets fired from the job and the company doesn't hire anyone new to replace them."
" It can be hard to tell as a red flag at first, but the temporary workload they added to your own over that was left over after the person left, slowly becomes your new permanent workload, without any changes to your pay or benefits to compensate for the additional tasks."
"The further out it goes without the position being filled, the larger and more obvious the red flag becomes."
Very good to know. Not only will the red flag become more prominent but the likelihood of burnout will increase as well.
"The CEO/boss/whatever drives a conspicuously expensive car."
This does say a lot about company leadership, particularly if the rest of the workers are feasting on scraps.
"If it's a private/family company..."
"If it's a private/family company, do a Google search for '[company name] defendant' and '[company name] plaintiff.'
"If the company has been sued, or is in the habit of suing others, that can be a red flag- although something there are legit reasons for. But it's something worth paying attention to."
You probably wouldn't want to be involved with a company that could land you in legal trouble, would you?
"If the company brings alcohol..."
"If the company brings alcohol into the office for 'end of week' sessions on a regular basis. I know they can be fun but it's a stupendously bad idea for all kinds of reasons and if leadership hasn't figured that out then I'd think twice before joining."
This is a big reason why it is so important to have boundaries to work and your personal life. Alcohol can certainly make things messy.
"If it's a job in a manufacturing or distribution facility, is it messy or tidy? Messy, cluttered facilities are indicative of poor management, plus they can be dangerous."
Dangerous indeed. That's how lawsuits happen!
"Pay attention to the feeling in your gut. If something feels 'off,' then it probably is."
Probably the most important piece of advice here, arguably. If it doesn't sit right with you, it's probably for an excellent reason.
"When you don't get a review..."
"When you don’t get a review until you ask for a raise. Then, all of a sudden, your work is being questioned and you’re being berated."
How convenient, right?
Many people fall into this trap and it exhausts them. Talk about toxic workplaces!
"I know people..."
"I know people (rightfully) like to hate on HR, but if a company brags about 'not having an HR department to deal with,' expect them to be very disorganized at a minimum."
You definitely want an HR department! Not having one can create an environment in which so many boundaries are crossed.
"It tells me that..."
"Open interviews. It tells me that people leave faster than you can bring them in, and with good reason."
This often happens in fast food establishments, which have very high turnover rates. While horrible customers are one thing, bad management definitely contributes to the revolving door effect in these establishments.
"If you’re being interviewed/hired and they tell you have/will have multiple managers to report to. Basically if there is not a clear chain of command."
"What’ll happen is eventually one manager’s directions, goals or instructions will conflict with the other’s, and you’ll get caught in the middle of it. And one or both will use it against you in performance reviews."
This is crucial to remember – a clear chain of command is important, with each party willing and able to take responsibility for their part. Anything less can backfire.
Now that you've listened and absorbed some of these, you're bound to feel more empowered, right?
Now get out there and slay your next interview. And remember – trust your gut.
Have some advice of your own to give? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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