Everyone says that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But when you’re dealing with hundreds of job applicants a day, it’s hard not to feel the urge to make snap judgments to speed things along. All you want to do is take one look at someone’s lackluster resume, or someone’s shoddy interview attire, and just send them all out the door without bothering to go through a lengthy evaluation process.


Unfortunately, that just isn’t an option. You have to give everyone a fair shake, and that means putting in the effort to meticulously scrutinize each candidate. But even if a job applicant does not seem to display any glaring flaws, it would still be prudent to take steps to find out more about what’s underneath the surface. You can accomplish this through the following methods:


People Search


On people search websites like MyLife.com, you will find a person’s online profile along with personal and professional reviews left by their friends, family, and colleagues. This is an incredibly useful tool for finding out more about job applicants on a personal level, beyond what you see on their resumes and what they will (or will not) tell you during their job interviews.


Background Checks


If you aren’t doing so already, another way to perform a thorough evaluation and weed out undesirable candidates is by incorporating thorough background checks (take note that the Federal Trade Commission requires employers to comply with the FCRA and federal nondiscrimination laws when incorporating background checks in the hiring process) in your company’s hiring process. Background checks not only help save you time when it comes to evaluating potential hires, but they also protect your from facing possible negligent hiring claims.


In addition to these methods, the easiest way to weed out the bad hires is to have a simple checklist of what you want (and don’t want) in a job applicant. As long as you know what you’re looking for, spotting a bad hire is usually pretty easy to do.


Here are the types of job applicants you should never hire:


  1. The Can’t-Follow-Instructions Applicant


All employees should have the ability to follow instructions—no matter what the job may be. It’s the most basic skill any employee can have. If an applicant fails to follow specific instructions in your job listing such as “include three references” or “write a cover letter,” then clearly this applicant did not read your listing thoroughly or was simply too lazy to follow your instructions.


If this person cannot follow simple instructions, how can you possibly trust him or her to complete tasks and projects properly?


  1. The “What’s in It For Me?” Applicant


During the initial interview, you’ll notice that this applicant has more questions about employee benefits, sick days, promotions, salary raises, and any other company perks than he does about the job he is applying for.


There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get the most out of one’s employment. However, if the job applicant is more interested in what the company can do for him as opposed to what he can do for the company, then this person is in it for the wrong reasons.


  1. The Excessively Talkative Applicant


There are plenty of people in this world who talk too much. However, being “talkative” and a “poor listener” is a bad combo. If your applicant is one of these not-so-rare combos, then that might be a problem. People who talk too much tend to be very self-absorbed, which is why they have poor listening skills. They are only interested in hearing themselves talk. This is not necessarily bad, but it can lead to problems in the workplace. A person who talks too much and does not know how to listen is likely to have issues with following instructions, as well as accepting input from others.


  1. The Clueless Applicant


These job applicants are easy enough to spot. They don’t bother to do any research, so they come into their interviews not knowing anything about your company—except for the fact that you’re hiring. This indicates that this person only has a lukewarm interest in the job opening. Wouldn’t you want to hire someone who’s really interested?


Also, this indicates laziness, which is clearly not a desirable trait in any job applicant.


  1. The Co-Dependent Applicant


You’ve probably encountered this applicant before. These are the young job hopefuls who are always accompanied by their parents (or significant other, friend, neighbor, etc.) to their job interviews. Why shouldn’t you hire this person? You want someone who is mature and independent—someone who doesn’t need to bring his or her entire support system to every job interview. In the workplace, this person may have difficulty working independently and may need constant supervision at every turn.


  1. The Sloppy Applicant


This applicant either has a typo-filled resume (clearly he or she couldn’t be bothered to double-check for errors) or comes into the interview wearing ultra-casual or even inappropriate attire. These glaring signs just show how much this person wants the job. It also indicates lack of attention to detail, laziness, and irreverence.


  1. The Abrasive Applicant


Unless you are familiar with the specific markers of an abrasive personality, this type of job applicant may be harder to spot than others. An abrasive person won’t always show their true colors in the initial interview—unless you ruffle their feathers with some difficult questions.


Hiring this person can potentially have both good and bad repercussions. People with abrasive personalities tend to be very driven and hardworking, which is always a good thing. But on the other hand, they are also prone to unwanted office behavior such as incessant complaining, gossiping, constant clashes with co-workers, and more. These people tend to spread negativity and drama wherever they go, and clearly that is not something you want to bring into your company.


Save yourself the headache and take the guesswork out of filtering out bad hires by enlisting the help of people search websites where you can see background details about anyone, including the job applicants on your list.