Recruiting a Star Employee? Look out for these weaknesses

There’s a lot of advice out there attempting to teach recruiters how to get the employees with the best fit and qualities. It’s nothing new to say that the most common skills to look for are – good communication, interpersonal, self-motivated, and adaptability. While such qualities are a shoe-in in conducting talent sourcing, reality dictates that no matter how attractive a candidate may be, one would have his or her own share of weaknesses inevitably. 

Lori Goler, Head of People at Facebook, emphasizes that if you want to hire the best candidate and assess the totality of a person, you should accept that they are not flawless. Instead, recruiters need to look, intentionally, for a candidate’s flaws and see if these weaknesses are manageable enough to even contribute to the employee’s overall success with the company. Here are three of them: 

Too Much Obedience

While many businesses say that they need visionaries and innovators, individuals who will do what they are told are what they really need. Followership is a skill set companies need just as badly as leadership. In fact, every collective system needs the majority of its members to obey rules and regulations, and this should be known by the management. Conformism can hold the harmony and effectiveness of the current system of a business. 


A meta-study done by Blaine H. Gaddis, a known organizational psychologist, regarding dark characteristics of a leader shows that attention seeking individuals often come out as leaders and even become more effective once given such responsibility. The drawback of this, of course, is that too much attention might provoke the person’s ego-centric tendencies. 

The best case scenario is someone who likes to impress and be the center of attention, but without being excessively self-obsessed or entitled. In other words, a leader who develops a highly recognizable individual being, and is also concerned about the welfare of others.


The ideal employee is capable of both practicing diplomacy and adhering to the social norms, including  the ability to be cleverly dishonest like making a client feel that they are the most special person in the world even though you cannot stand their demands. 

Research suggests that at times, dishonest individuals are the more creative ones. This might be attributed to lying requiring some effort when it comes to creativity and imagination. That’s why you have to look out for applicants vying for that creative job – they might be altering some facts (hopefully not in a malicious way). 

Do not stop searching for the strengths and the best qualities of the candidates. If you are lucky enough to recruit workers who are capable, likable, and motivated, make sure they would also have the least (and manageable) flaws possible. When all is said and done,  recruiters should look for the yin and the yang of an individual in order to get a bigger idea on the person’s behaviour and character. 

About the author

Jowena Borral is an HR Generalist with more than 5 years of experience working with local and international companies. A business specialist with a knack for creative visualization, team engagement and human interaction.