These articles really highlighted for me a key problem with many recruitment processes and employment branding strategies – companies are just plain lying!
Ok, so “lying” might be a little harsh, maybe putting a “marketing spin” on things is more accurate. Have you ever promoted an EVP that you know doesn’t really match reality? Whatever we call it, the outcome is the same.
The problem with “spin” in the context of employment branding and recruitment is that you very quickly get found out. You might be able to sell a great story and get a candidate to accept a position, but if you’ve oversold it you’re in trouble the minute they start.
We all know it’s very expensive to hire someone who leaves within a short period of time. All that money and time spent on recruitment and training, only have to do it all over again. All the extra pressure that puts on your team and the distraction it creates. Basically, it’s a colossal waste and you’d actually be much better off not hiring someone in the first place.
But being honest about the harsh realities of the job doesn’t need to mean that you won’t be able to attract the right people. On the contrary, being open about the challenges will build trust and help you win the candidate over.
Imagine you work in a large, bureaucratic organisation where it’s tough to get things done. It would be many times better to say to potential candidates, “We have some real challenges here and you’ll need to be able to navigate them successfully. We need people who are able to cut through the politics and get the job done.”
Rather than, “It’s an amazing culture, there’s no politics and everyone gets on really well.”
People aren’t silly, they know that every company has its challenges. But if they’re not up for the challenges based on this small amount of information, you can be damn sure they won’t be up for them after they start.
I’m not saying don’t talk about the positives, you need to paint a compelling vision of where the company is going and where the role might take them, but once you’ve got engagement around the good stuff, it’s time for a reality check.
The bottom line is… tell it the way it really is. It might be painful to confront the reality but it’s better for everyone in the long term. We believe in this so much we’ve built a business around it.