Recruiting red flags (and how to fix them)

March 14, 2024

By Kamber Parker Bowden
Founder of The YoPro Know

While blatant red flags like unprofessional interview conduct are easily recognized and avoided by young professionals, your company may be creating subtle hurdles that hinder your efforts to attract and retain top talent. Here are some key areas to examine to ensure your recruitment process isn’t unintentionally driving rising stars away:

  • Ambiguous Expectations: Uncertainty breeds frustration. While you may outline core responsibilities, surprise additions or unclear boundaries create confusion and dissatisfaction for potential younger employees, and can have a direct correlation to poor retention rates down the road. The goal is to be upfront about the full scope of the role, including both expected tasks and off-limits expectations, and to set realistic expectations that foster trust. A key thing to do is outline core responsibilities, expected skills, and even the “not-so-glamorous” aspects of the role. Clarity builds trust and sets realistic expectations. In addition, encourage candidates to ask questions about the role, company culture, and expectations. Be upfront about potential challenges and workload realities.
  • Inflexible Schedules: The post-pandemic reality demands adaptability. Yet, clinging to rigid in-office mandates ignores modern work realities and can cost you top talent who value flexibility. Clearly communicating expectations for in-person or remote work arrangements demonstrates understanding and cater to evolving preferences, but think about doing more. For example, implementing hybrid work models. These offer options for remote or in-office work based on individual needs and team dynamics. Also, communicate expectations clearly by defining when in-person presence is essential and trust your team to deliver results regardless of location.
  • Limited Growth Opportunities: Young professionals value growth potential. Empty promises of advancement ring hollow. Be honest about potential career paths within your organization, and if vertical promotions are scarce, consider internal mobility programs or upskilling initiatives to demonstrate commitment to their development and long-term engagement. In addition, map out career paths that showcase realistic progression opportunities within your organization. Highlight mentoring programs, leadership development initiatives, and internal mobility options. Finally, offer training programs and resources that help employees develop new skills and knowledge, aligning with their aspirations and your evolving needs.
  • Work-Life Balance Disconnect: Constant availability expectations are a turn-off for young professionals. These are workers that prioritize healthy boundaries. Leaders, practice what you preach! Avoid glorifying late-night office hours and ensure your expectations and support systems promote a sustainable work-life balance. Implement initiatives such as flexible work hours, paid time off, and stress management resources to demonstrate your commitment to work-life balance.
  • Authenticity Deficit in DEIB: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) are non-negotiables for Gen Z and millennial talent. Performative gestures fall flat. Ensuring your team composition reflects the diverse workforce of today is a must. Highlight your DEIB initiatives, progress, and challenges in a genuine and accountable way. Show young professionals that you are actively building a culture they can believe in.

Remember, not every company will be the perfect fit for every candidate. However, by addressing these hidden hurdles, your company can ensure your recruitment process attracts and retains talent who thrive in your culture and contribute to your success. Creating a transparent and welcoming environment benefits everyone, regardless of their generational preferences.


Kamber Parker Bowden is the founder of The YoPro Know, which promotes success in the workplace by being a bridge between ambitious young professionals and progressive businesses who want to recruit, engage and retain them. Learn more at