How Many of These Green Flags Does Your Hiring Process Have?

Crawford Thomas Recruiting Blog

Linkedin’s recent article visits the positive side of job search.

Does your company have these green flags?

The same low-frequency signals that employers glom onto in job interviews are beamed back to candidates trying to decide whether or not a company is the right fit for them. We call these flags, of course, and they’re most often red. 

But they don’t have to be. 

“What about all those details that make you go ‘Oh wow, this looks like a great place to work!’” asks Daniela (Dani) Herrera, a recruitment and DEI leader in New York. In a recent LinkedIn post, she turned the tables, offering her own list of green flags, or hints that tell an applicant “this is a safe, welcoming, inclusive environment.”

Here are four major green flags that you should strive for in your hiring process, plus a bunch of others that caught our attention. 

1. The job description is clear and free of jargon

Think of the job description as the front door to the position you’re trying to fill. It should be clearly marked and accessible. A description that’s easy to read and not junked up with empty phrases says that your company values clear, thoughtful communication. 

Last year, graphic design platform Canva conducted a study that analyzed millions of job postings across multiple industries and found that 38% of them contained confusing words and phrases. Top offenders include “team player,” “self starter,” and “proactive.”

And which group is most put-off by this corporate gobbledygook? A separate study showed that two-thirds (66%) of workers 16 to 24 found jargon to be alienating and unhelpful in understanding the role for which they’re applying.       

2. The company is transparent about compensation

This one ranked high on Daniela’s list, and appeared multiple times in the comments section of her post.

“Favorite green flag is giving a salary range in the job description but not asking for a salary expectation in the interview,” shared an administrative assistant in Boston. “The organization should be intelligent enough to know how your credentials and experiences align with their needs and how much they’d be willing to offer you for it.”

Meg Boberg, a content specialist in Des Moines, got more specific: “This should happen during the very first phone call with the recruiter and/or hiring manager. It’s a complete waste of time to go through multiple interviews only to find out in the end that they won’t meet your compensation expectations.”

Another upside to salary range transparency: It signals that your company is committed to pay equity. Studies show that women and professionals from other underrepresented groups are paid less than white males in the same positions. Publicizing salary ranges, as some states are now requiring companies to do, is an important step in shrinking that gap.

3. The interview feels like a conversation, not an interrogation

Reciting a checklist of prepared questions in an interview is a sure way to make your applicant see red. Candidates say they feel at ease when the exchange is more fluid, and expands beyond immediate business objectives.

One job seeker told Buzzfeed that a major green flag is when the interviewer reveals something about themselves, such as their hobbies, and asks you about yours. “It shows they’re interested in you as a person” and not just as a position that needs to be filled.

Equally important is who’s present during the interview. Many candidates say they like when non-senior staff are included, a good sign that the organization values the input of people who aren’t at the top of the org chart. 

4. The employer follows up in a timely manner

Waiting to hear back on a job can be agonizing, especially when you’re in the thick of the interview phase. Marcia Vélez Romero, a corporate events manager in Mexico City, appreciates when recruiters send weekly updates and “offer feedback in every step of the process.”

Just outlining the process from the beginning can be a huge green flag. “It helps everyone know what to expect and what timeline you’re working on,” writes Nina Berman for Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit that provides business tools for artists. 

“Without a clear sense of what the interview process will look like,” Nina says, “it can feel like you are throwing applications into the void and going to interviews only to get ghosted afterwards.”

But what happens once you land the job? Should the flags be folded up and put away?

Responding to Daniela’s post, Brittney “Bee” Fells, a marketing manager in Cleveland, says that one of the best green flags she’s ever experienced came in the form of an offer letter that explained why the company chose her and planned to compensate her accordingly. 

“I felt valued as a candidate and appreciated for the time I spent with them,” she wrote, then added, “it made accepting the offer an easy ‘yes.’”

Here are 18 more green flags that people rave about

1. The website is accessible and easy to navigate.

2. The interviewers pronounce your name correctly — or if they don’t know, they ask.

3. Learning, development, and career path opportunities are clearly outlined in the interview.

4. They offer closed-captioning on their Zoom calls. 

5. The interviewers offer examples of internal mobility.

6. They encourage you to meet other employees on the team.

7. The recruiter is respectful of your time.

8. The interviewer is on a first-name basis with the receptionist.

9. The interviewers genuinely seem to like one another.

10. They offer a tour of the workspace.

11. They are transparent about why your predecessor left the role.

12. The hiring manager is realistic about how long it takes to get up to speed in a role.

13. Job offers are clear and detailed.

14. An interviewer isn’t afraid to be real about the challenges of the job.

15. They send you a message immediately after you submit your resume thanking you and informing you that a human will contact you shortly.

16. The interviewer asks what you do to take care of yourself outside of work.

17. The company has a “culture” page where you can learn more about their day-to-day organizational life.

18. All of these green flags and smiles!

About Crawford Thomas Recruiting:

Crawford Thomas is a team of leading HR recruiters. We not only fill staffing needs, we partner with organizations to find out how their recruiting needs tie into their business objectives. Through this, we are able to meet your staffing needs in a way that achieves organizational success.

Start securing top talent by visiting our page for employers today.

Crawford Thomas RecruitingHow Many of These Green Flags Does Your Hiring Process Have?