In a very Candidate driven market, the awareness of bad managers and working environments, with the associated impact on Employee wellbeing and engagement, is ever more prevalent and there are some key warning signs that are there from the start!

We have listed some of the top problems for you to look out for during a Recruitment process, helping you to ensure that you are fully aware of the potentially bad choice you may be contemplating and helping you avoid accepting a ‘toxic job offer’!


Company Culture

It is always difficult to really understand the culture of a Company from just a few meetings, particularly if they’re intent on selling you the dream. The internet provides a convenient & easy method of checking on company reviews, look at sites such as Glassdoor, Google and Indeed – BUT be mindful, that often, the only people that post reviews are the disgruntled and not necessarily the happy & satisfied ?

Watch other Employees

If you meet other members of the team, pay real attention to how they seem ?

Are they smiling and what is the initial greeting like at Reception ?

If your meeting is at the start of the day, how do people seem when they arrive, are they waiting around in the car park?

If it’s at the end of a day, are they in an obvious rush to leave, or at lunch time, are they eating at their desks or going out as a team?

Ask for a tour ?

There’s real value in walking around an office or factory, observe staff, equipment, office space, warehouse space, even the Reception and car park can give warning signs.  Is everywhere tidy and well-kept in a manner that make the management and staff proud to work there ? Are employees desks tidy and organised, are machines in good working order with all the correct signage and safety equipment to hand?

Is there a HR contact ?

Having a dedicated contact in this position is a positive sign of structure & formality, someone who will take care of process and make sure that things like Contract documentation, Induction process & Developmental assessments/training are planned & monitored.

Are people leaving ?

Take a look on LinkedIn, do people seem to stay in the Business for a decent time, or do people rarely get past their probation ? Do people achieve promotions, or are people leaving in order to further their career aspirations. This can offer you a valuable glimpse into what your career journey within the new Employer may realise..

Positive or Negative Recruitment Process

How was the Recruitment process, was everything organised correctly, was all communication clear and did they manage your expectations.  If you are having to chase at every step, or they make errors in offer letters and contracts it is not necessarily a good sign of what’s to come.

Is there a formalised Job Specification ?

This should not always be construed as a key issue, but some people like to receive a formalised job description. Knowing what is expected of you before walking in to your new job is always a good thing, and often a clear demonstration that the Company has put the effort in to actually thinking/defining what they want.  Not having a clear Job Description can sometimes lead to confusion and ‘additional responsibilities’ which may cloud your future appraisals or role direction.

Did you meet the Boss

For senior appointments this is critical, but we often recommend that even at the lower level appointment, it can be a great demonstration of the fact that an MD has assigned time to meet you and shows both professional courtesy & a great deal about how he or she runs the Company and gets involved with day to day matters.


Spotting a ‘bad workplace’ can really make the difference to your career journey, as short term placements on your CV will inevitably create more questions the next time you decide to move, but as an overriding caveat, we always urge you to take everything on balance and trust your instincts.

All the Consultants @ Blayze Unguem come directly from the Sectors that we recruit in and uniquely, we spend significant time at our existing & prospective Client sites, getting a real understanding & appreciation of their Business, their Culture & the types of career opportunity that new employees can expect in reward for their commitment, hard work & positive performance. Please speak to one of our Consultants for an in depth & confidential discussion at the early stages of your plans to seek a new role….we will help, guide & advise in what directions or possible new Employers that your skills & aspirations should explore.