We are all aware of what the hiring process is… position available, post position, interview hire. However, in my experience the most important part of the process is the most overlooked. In falls right between the position available and post position.
This valuable and often forgotten step is the assessment of why the position became available and an honest “meat & bones” assessment of your offering. Now what I mean by a “meat and bones” assessment of your offering is: how does your compensation package measure up, what is your true work environment, what are your honest expectations of the position in terms of hours and commitments.
Let me give you an example. I once worked with a large corporate restaurant chain. I asked them why would a manager in the same market segment want to leave their existing company to work for them? The recruiter excitedly told me about the “extensive training”, great benefit package, salary and bonus plan. My response was “I hate to tell you this but that is almost identical to all of your competitors. So why would someone want to leave their existing employer to join your company?” To this there was an awkward silence and then to their credit they said “really, I didn’t know that. Let me get back to you.” Not to mention that I was told how great they were to work for while the truth was that they were having a great deal of difficulty recruiting managers.
If it is a rebuild situation, be honest, if the expectation is that you will need to dedicate your time for the next 6 months, be honest about it. If you have a “tough” work environment, be honest about it. If the company above had been honest with me (and their potential candidates) and said “we are rebuilding, we do have some turnover and here is what we are doing to fix it and how you will fit in.” I believe that candidates would have appreciated their honesty and when they did check them out through their network they would have been impressed that they were told the truth. What really happened was they were told of a great company and when they did their homework things didn’t add up and you can guess what the result was.
Think about this for just a moment. An aspiring or new manager takes everything you say at face value. What you tell them they will believe to be true. If you are not real about your offering and their impression is that everything is great and then they slowly (or quickly) learn what you told them is not the case, what do you think happens next? They call me!
Over promising and under delivering is one of the main reasons I hear when I ask the question “why are you looking to leave your current company?” The value in terms of productivity and turnover is in being honest with a potential candidate and having them walk in to the situation with a real view of the operation. When you focus on the good and omit the challenges you are in a sense gambling with the longevity of that employee. You are either hoping that they won’t notice your company’s short comings or when they do discover them they won’t mind them enough to dust off their resume and call me.
Every environment is perfect for someone – if you are honest about it, your chances of finding the right person will be greatly increased!