Realistic job previews aren’t new or groundbreaking. (But people still don’t do them.)

Why?

Honestly, I don’t know.

Here’s a little snippet from a recent SHRM article.

“One way to avoid quick quits is to be real in describing what it will be like on days 5, 50 and 150 for that candidate during the interviewing process,” Erker said. “Painting a rosy picture or pulling a bait-and-switch once they’re on the job will just mean you’ll fill that position again in six to 12 months.”

Realistic job previews in a nutshell

Tell the candidates what the job will be like. In real terms. Every aspect of it that you can quantify.

  • customers
  • teammates
  • managers
  • senior leaders
  • daily tasks
  • big projects
  • and whatever else you can think of

Sugarcoating or hiding any negative aspects of the job is the best way to ensure that the new employee doesn’t stick around for long. Why? Because you’ve lied to them. Yep.

Remember that it is not enough to abstain from lying by word of mouth; for the worst lies are often conveyed by a false look, smile, or act. Abraham Cahan

When you try to avoid telling someone the whole story just because you want to get them started in the job, that’s about as short-sighted as you can possibly be.

Measuring your success with realistic job previews

One of the recruiting metrics that I put a lot of stock in is first year turnover. Some measure of turnover is healthy in an organization over the long haul, but turnover within the first year is a negative thing.

I think there’s a high correlation in first year turnover and a solid realistic job preview during the interview process. Offering full insight into the job with time for both pros and cons lets the person make an informed decision about whether the job and company are truly a fit for them.

Omitting the negative aspects from the interview might get the person to accept a job offer, but you can bet that they won’t be sticking around a year later.

Take the time to give your candidates realistic job previews and you’ll have better hires.

Or you can lie. Fake it. I’m sure that will work out fine, too. </sarcasm font>

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  • One thought on “Realistic Job Previews Make Better Hires

    1. Sooooo at my last job when I was adding additional staff in the office I gave them the good the bad and the ugly with emphasis on the bad and the ugly. The problem was candidates thought I was exaggerating on the bad and the ugly, at least they must have, because three hires I made that I can think of off the top of my head acted surprised at some of things we had to handle. Of course that was a difficult environment to hire for, very few people have what it takes to be awesome at that job and once you factor in the crap structure the company had it made making a good hire almost impossible.

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