Lifeguard station red warning flag on the ocean beach

The biggest warning signs for candidates during the hiring process are a lack of communication (70%) and a negative interview experience (57%), according to new research from Greenhouse. Red flags like these have led 36% of job seekers to abandon the process altogether.

A negative interview experience is caused by things such as discriminatory questions, such as about their age, race, gender, and other factors. More than one-third (34%) of candidates report being asked these types of questions, despite the fact that they are illegal.

Take-home tests, which help companies measure a candidate’s skills, as well as personality and cognitive assessments, can also be the source of a negative experience — depending on the candidate.

About half (49%) say they strongly dislike take-home tests. But, members of historically underrepresented groups feel more positively about take-home tests because they help interviewers focus on the candidates’ skills and capabilities. The same pattern holds true for personality and cognitive assessments. Overall, just 43% of candidates agree with employers using them, with members of historically underrepresented groups being 21% more likely to approve of their use.

“The results show that many candidates face discrimination, poor interview practices, and a lack of human connection in the hiring process,” said Ariana Moon, Head of Talent Planning and Acquisition at Greenhouse.