We love to help!

What are four recruitment red flags for 2024?

We are coming to the end of 2023 and recruitment continues to be a challenge for businesses. While we don’t like to keep mentioning the pandemic, its effects are still with us. Post-Covid has seen changes in both employers and employees wants and needs and brought about early retirement for some as well.

What no longer counts as a red flag?

There are recruitment red flags for 2024 that we want to talk about but firstly we want you to consider removing red flags from years gone by. We are in a candidate-led market and the days of an organisation being able to choose from a wide pool of ‘good eggs’ are behind us. That doesn’t mean you can’t find your ‘good egg’ but we’d recommend:

  1. Looking past employment gaps
  2. Asking for detail on frequent job changes
  3. Searching past qualifications

We’ve all had a turbulent couple of years and it has caused many of us to have a different employment than we might have expected. Coupled with a lot of us changing career direction and looking for a different focus makes us, as a recruiter, ask more questions of potential candidates.

We also ask our potential candidates about any frequent job changes. It might be due to relocation or career progression that these have occurred. And while both job changes and employment gaps can feel like red flags the reasons behind them need to be understood first. Especially if you’re recruiting for a new role in your organisation. One that might benefit from the right person coming in for a year or so. Where they can create the position or if you need someone returning to work that you can envisage being loyal to a role.

Finally, we would recommend searching past qualifications. We appreciate for certain jobs these will be a recruitment red flag where a specific degree or qualification is essential. But, if this isn’t the case then we’d advise taking a wider look at education on a CV. Having a university degree in an unrelated subject doesn’t rule someone out if they can show experience elsewhere.

What are the red flags in 2024?

So, having said all that what are the recruitment red flags for the year ahead? And while talking about flags, we should also raise that not every business will have the same ones.

However, the four below are common ones that apply to the majority of sectors:

  1. Badmouthing previous employers
  2. Lack of research
  3. Thinking that anyone can do the role
  4. Not investing in recruitment

Our first two recruitment red flags apply to candidates. It might sound pretty obvious but any candidate who badmouths their previous employer is a red flag. Not everyone leaves on a positive note but placing too much blame without accountability is not the level of professionalism you necessarily want.

If a candidate comes to an interview unprepared and without some research on your organisation this might still be a red flag. While not all the information on your business might be online, you would hope that the potential candidate will have looked at your website at least. If they aren’t doing that ahead of interview, are they really interested in working for your organisation?

The final two red flags are for businesses. There can be a tendency for MDs, Directors and Managers to think ‘well anyone can do this role’. While there will be plenty of people that can, not everyone will be able to or be right. We’re urging businesses to not fall into the trap of thinking ‘my next door neighbour could do this’. Finding the right people is a combination of factors and a ‘good egg’ will help your business grow and thrive.

And on that note, our final red flag is not investing in recruitment. We recently heard Steven Bartlett speak about ‘unless you invest in recruitment, you do not have a business. Your recruitment strategy needs to tie into your growth plans or your employee retention rate. Proactively looking at when you need to employ and for what positions will leave you in a better position than having to react. Especially in the current job market. You may find you need to train people in a role. Or you need to plan ahead by six months or more to find the right person for a role.

Ready to invest in your future workforce?

If you’re still unsure about removing those red flags alone then don’t worry, we can help. Chat to Nicola at or Annette at on how to overcome red flags and find yourself the good eggs that will help grow your business.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for resources and updates!