Probation periods are there for a reason. They’re the only feasible way of working out whether a new employee is a good fit for the company, and vice versa.
Sometimes, a new employee can seem perfect on paper but something just doesn’t click when they start work. It could be a clash of personalities or it could be down to work ethic.
Whatever the reason, there are a few things you can look out for which could mean that your new employee or coworker is either going to bolt or might be asked to leave.
Business Insider spoke to an HR expert and came with a list of six red flags. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Too much tension
If people in a company get on and things are going smoothly, it’s not easy to pinpoint why. It just works. However, if tensions start to rise, it can be pretty obvious.
John Crowley, the content and marketing manager at HR-software company People, told Business Insider that if someone is finding it consistently difficult to get on with their colleagues, then it could be an early sign the end is nigh.
“Of course, diversity of opinion is a good thing, and a little bit of lively debate can take you in all sorts of exciting directions,” he said. “But keep an eye out for signs of personality clashes and excessive oneupmanship, as this kind of behaviour can damage your organisation.”
2. Falling short of expectations
When you’ve been interviewed to start a new role, the assumption is you know what you’re doing. But some people might talk the talk in the hiring process, but then not live up to expectations once they actually get the job.
“They may just be a slow starter, but the more they feel they are unable to do their job, the more likely they are to eventually fold under the pressure, and quit,” Crowley said. “This could also lead to you, as an employer, losing patience with their lack of results, and eventually replacing them.”
It’s important to remember, however, that a lack of early results might not mean someone is bad at their job. They might just need to be managed or trained differently.
3. Starting turf wars
When someone starts a new role and is claiming to be able to do everything within the first few days, alarm bells should be ringing. The first few weeks in a company should be spent figuring out where they fit in and what they can add to a team, not taking over everyone else’s responsibilities.
4. Staying in their shell
Starting a new job is nerve-wracking for everyone, and some reservation is to be expected. People need time to get comfortable with their environment and new people.
However, if they’re still acting like a scared puppy after a few months, then it might be a sign they have failed to integrate, which might mean they’re going to jump ship.
“Some people are quiet, and naturally avoid much social interaction,” Crowley added. “But if somebody has described themselves on their CV as a social livewire and excellent team player, yet is still unable to strike up a conversation at the water cooler after three months, then there may be something wrong.”
5. They are tactless opportunists
Beware of the person who only talks to people when they want something from them, or only pays attention to people they think have “influence” in the company.
If someone isn’t showing any interest in getting to know the people below them in the company, or even the receptionist, they might be someone to steer clear of.
Usually, this kind of behaviour is noticed fairly quickly, and soon the opportunist won’t have anyone to turn to if they need help.
6. Persistently breaking company rules
It’s good to stick to your guns sometimes. However, some people rebel just for the sake of it. These people might not be a good fit for the company at all.
“If a new starter is continuing to do things their own way, after several attempts to explain the company’s preferred position on a matter, it may be a sign that they do not agree with your visions or values, and they may not last much longer,” Crowley said.
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