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Are you having a hard time finding a decent candidate to fill a post? Or you have found some perfectly competent workers to join the team but somehow they flee for another job in a month or two? If your answer is yes to these questions, then your company might have at least one of these qualities that applicants try to stay away from.

A recent post on Glassdoor shared 7 characteristics of companies that may scare potential candidates away, and here is a summary.

1. High turnover

Rapid hire and fire, especially in management or leadership, signals that either the leadership cannot decide what specific qualities they are looking for in a candidate or the company culture is despicable that people just won’t stay. Candidates may consider the job a waste of time even if they get it, as they know they may sooner or later be the next victim.

2. Bad reputation

In an age where the younger generation values company culture more than ever, a bad reputation may hurt your company like never before. If your recruitment effort so far has gone nowhere, chances are your employees, current or those who have left, speak negatively about your company. Also, don’t ever try evading candidates’ questions about company culture during interviews. Candidates are smart enough to smell out the truth.

3. False publicity

Companies spend handsome amounts of money on marketing and branding. They may have a stunning website, roll out top-notch campaigns and get featured in top publications. However, none of these really matter to candidates if they are going to spend more than a third of the day in the office but the day-to-day operation doesn’t live up to the expectations that these companies try to set up. Are you still using computers from 10 years ago? Do the leaders get an ocean view room while the rest of the team has to cram into small cubicles? Start making your office a better place for your employees if you want to keep your most talented staff.

4. Top heavy structure

While brilliant leadership is crucial, overly centralised management may not be the most effective structure to have in a company. Employees trust in senior leadership, but at the same time, they want to be trusted. Also, potential employees will read reviews of your company, so make sure your company reviews and hiring process reflect that you care about all team members, and more importantly, recognise their effort. If you place too much emphasis on the rank and file employees and neglect others’ effort too often, employee satisfaction may flop, leading to low retention.

5. Not keeping promises

Over-promising doesn’t make you look good. As a matter of fact, it does the exact opposite. As the talent war wages on, many companies are guilty of making more promises than they can actually deliver around the job, from compensation packages to company culture and branding. Trust is an asset of any company. Once your employees lose trust in you, your company is doomed to fail.

6. The “stagnator”

A stagnant company is one that places little emphasis on growth and development of its employee. This kind of company usually lacks learning opportunities, fails to promote mentorship, and doesn’t offer much room for career or personal growth of its staff in general. While it could be ideal for a certain type of job seeker, many of the best talents find the life in a stagnant company extremely unsatisfying.

7. Lack of a clear direction

It’s understandable to not have a clear direction at some point. Just like our personal lives, sometimes we are blindsided by situations beyond our control. We need time to reconsider our choices and explore new possibilities. That said, if your company doesn’t have a clear plan or any long-term goals for the future, it is definitely a red flag in a candidate’s eyes. Also, the hiring team should be ready to talk openly about what direction the company is hoping to go in and any major challenges.

This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at