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Scared Tactics

Layoffs beat the job pool to a pulp. Give your potential hires some reassurance.

This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

"I promise, it won't happen again." These are exactly the words laid-off dotcommers want to hear from you in the interviewing stage-they're looking for some guarantee that they'll never be forced to endure a companywide pink-slip party again. But you probably can't realistically commit to those words. How much, then, do you have to reveal about your company to gun-shy layoff victims? You don't necessarily have to spill every detail to prospective employees, but, according to experts, you'd best be truthful in all your dealings with them. "It's far better to provide realistic and let the applicant make an informed decision than to provide inaccurate information that unduly raises [his or her] expectations," says Caren Goldberg, an assistant professor of human resource management at University.

In that sense, a laid-off dotcommer isn't much different from other applicants. "If you're afraid your plan may scare off a dotcommer, then, in all likelihood, that same information would scare off other applicants as well," says Goldberg. And you should let job candidates see your business plan-showing it often will give you incentive to keep it up-to-date.

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