What?! You Didn’t Tell Me That Was Part of My Job!
A few weeks ago, we published a blog introducing and discussing the importance of using a Realistic Job Preview to avoid the Honeymoon Hangover. The Honeymoon Hangover refers to the early stage in the employee lifecycle where the employee starts to see the “job within the job” and happens when an employer fails to tell candidates early in the hiring process about the demanding and challenging parts of the job in addition to what’s rewarding and motivating. In this blog, I will take it one step further and discuss why using this technique is one of the best things you can do for your brand and candidate experience.
But We Want to Tell Candidates How Great We Are!
First, it’s understandable why employers do this. Employers think that promoting everything that’s great about the job (and nothing that is less than stellar) gets candidates excited about applying. They want to communicate to candidates how they are above the competition, and create a lasting first impression. (Of course, there are those employers that just communicate basic information through long, laborious job postings, but that’s a discussion for another blog). Telling candidates about how great it would be to work at your company is important to promoting your employment brand and we know that’s essential to attract the best talent.
So, you may ask “if it’s important to communicate these things why would I tell candidates the job also comes with a lot of stress and possible 60-hour weeks?” With all of the buzz (and solid research) over the last few years about candidate experience, that candidates are now in the driver’s seat and the importance of courting them, why in the world would an employer moderate that message with anything negative?
Talking About the Challenges of a Job Can Help Create a Great Employment Brand and Candidate Experience.
With all of the conversations going on about the War for Talent, providing candidates with facts about the stressors, working hours, what a typical day will look like, or the challenges of the position is touting your employment brand. It shows candidates you are respecting them by giving them information to help them make a better decision about whether or not to apply and use their time and effort. The candidate can infer that this is how they would be treated as an employee.
Giving candidates this information directly impacts your candidate experience. Providing well-rounded information about your culture, for example, allows a candidate to see if your culture matches with their personal values and needs. Giving them truthful information about working conditions that one does not typically see in generic job postings puts them in the driver’s seat and allows them to determine, way before they invest the time and effort to apply, whether or not those working conditions are something they can live with. That shows great respect for your candidates. Providing them this information helps candidates match their expectations of the job with the reality of the job. This is information your best candidates want. The benefits to the employer are increased job satisfaction and lower first year turnover.
Employer branding also involves communicating the unique strengths, vision, and benefits of your organization; by emphasizing both you can create a view of your enterprise that candidates perceive as authentic – and attractive.
When I applied to join the Corvirtus team, I was presented with some truly exciting and detailed descriptions of the work I would be doing. I was informed about the culture and common challenges and obstacles, hours, expectations, and how much I could expect to travel. This information made me feel respected and valued while conveying they cared about providing teammates with a remarkable work experience, and wanted me to make a decision that worked for me.
How Do I Do It?
Currently, I am working on developing a Realistic Job Preview with one of our highly visible customers. The goal is to frame the difficult job demands that future candidates need to understand, and that often lead to turnover and disengagement. For example, I will want them to inform candidates about the rigorous training schedule, the types of customers they deal with, the expectations the company has of employees to live and deliver the brand, the physical stamina needed, and the types of schedules they will have. If a candidate reads that information and still wants to apply, that’s great. If they read that information and decide they don’t want to apply, that is great also, because that candidate likely would not have been a good fit anyway.
Invest in keeping it real through the use of a well-defined, enriched Realistic Job Preview that respects your candidates and your brand and you can boost retention and performance by hiring candidates ready to take on the challenges of the job.
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