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5 Things Companies Aren't Being Honest About in the Hiring Process. Do Any Sound Familiar? Why it's important to be up-front with job candidates about what they'll be getting into: the good, the bad and the ugly.

By Andre Lavoie Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The hiring process is both time- and labor-intensive. So, some hiring managers do "whatever it takes" to get a candidate to accept the job. That can include being dishonest about the details of the position, and in some cases, flat-out lying.

Related: The 3 Most Common -- and Costly -- Hiring Mistakes

Lying? That's a problem because job-seekers naturally want to know the bare-bones truth about the companies they're considering. They want to know about the company's culture, mission and vision and what their normal work day would look like.

When these details are made known to them, and the candidates take the job, employee satisfaction improves, which in turn leads to increased involvement and productivity.

This was reflected in Virgin Pulse's 2017 State of the Industry Survey Report, which found that 56 percent of the more than 600 human resources professionals surveyed reported a marked increase in employee satisfaction and engagement once their companies improved their transparency.

The clear message, then, is that hiding the negative aspects of a job breeds mistrust, while transparency attracts qualified candidates and retains good employees.

To better maintain your company's transparency with job candidates, here are five things to work on -- five things companies aren't always honest about in the hiring process:

1. The right person for the job

Hiring managers face tremendous pressure to quickly fill vacant positions. However, making a hasty decision just to get someone into the job creates trouble down the road.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Your Company's Hiring Process More Fair

When hiring managers rush through the selection process and deliberately overlook the company's shortcomings in favor of making a quick hire, they risk making hires who will soon quit or not perform well. Then, the hiring process just has to start again.

While finding the perfect fit is rare, hiring managers should create and stick to a list of "must-have" skills and experience. Candidates who don't meet these basic requirements should not move on to the later stages of the hiring process.

Afterall, there's no sense in hiring someone who will soon quit or be unhappy and perform poorly. In the event that no acceptable candidate can be quickly found and placed, hiring managers should consider creating a temporary position, where the work duties can be performed while the search for the right person continues.

2. The upsides of the job

It's rare to find a hiring manager who will outright lie or fail to outline the positive aspects of a job; typically, these perks are selling points. However, by not mentioning the positives -- for whatever reason -- recruiters will not be giving candidates a total picture of the position and company.

For instance, work/life balance is important to employees. Let candidates know your company allows workers to leave the office once their duties are completed, rather than being bound to a certain number of work hours per day.

To avoid misconceptions, hiring managers should also provide candidates with a sample workday schedule. And it's mportant to introduce them to current employees. Those individuals can offer valuable insight into the real day-to-day operations of the company.

Positive aspects of any job are often taken for granted. However, in order to gain an accurate picture of the position and make an informed decision, job-seekers must be able to weigh all aspects -- both good and bad.

3) The downsides of the job

On the other hand, it's also important to be honest about the negative aspects of a role or company. While it seems counterproductive to "un-sell" a job, employees will soon discover the truth and either quit, slack off or discourage others from applying. When that happens, trust is broken.

Candidates, therefore, should be provided with an accurate picture of the workload, including any of the following factors that apply:

  • long hours

  • the expectation that they'll work nights and weekends

  • required travel/presentations at trade shows

  • a rigorous schedule entailing project-to-project work with few-to-no breaks in between

In addition, tasks that will take time away from workers' personal lives, such as the need to earn required certifications, job-related travel and mandatory retreats, should be illuminated in the interview. If there are added expenses such as parking fees and security passes, that information should similarly be offered.

Rather than focusing on the negatives and moving on, however, hiring managers should temper each negative with an honest positive. For instance, they might mention that there are "slow months" when workdays are shorter -- if that's the case -- to counteract the negative of long work hours.

Again, to counter the negative perceptions around a company's project-to-project work schedule, hiring managers might show the outcomes of project work and mention how candidates could add to their resumes the project work for major names/brands that they'll be doing.

4. Advancement and raises

While money isn't everything, candidates need to know the company is invested in their skills and experience and is willing to pay to retain qualified employees.

Honesty about advancement and raises is essential. If the company doesn't have a raise structure in place, that fact should be made known. Some organizations (such as universities) schedule raises using a pool system. Others adjust salary and compensation with a yearly cost-of-living increase. This happens without the employee having to ask.

In terms of advancement, some positions are static by design. Candidates should not be made to believe there's a chance to move up when no such opportunity exists.

The same tactics used in discussing the downsides of the job should be used to turn negatives about advancement and raises into positives. For instance, if the position being interviewed for is static, but the company looks to fill open positions from within, that fact should be made clear.

5) Work environment

Along with workplace culture, a company's work environment is also important to job-seekers. Hiring managers should take care to paint an accurate picture of the company's work environment and style.

This means that they should not suggest that candidates will be working alone when the nature of their projects will depend on teamwork. On the other hand, collaboration should not be suggested when work duties are largely individual-based.

Candidates must further understand where they'll be working. If possible, potential hires should be able to view the work environment, whether that happens in person or through a photo or video on the company website. Knowing whether they'll be working in a traditional office, a cubicle or among their peers in an open-office environment can make all the difference in the attractiveness of a job offer.

Related: How to Avoid Hiring a Psychopath

Being open and honest about all aspects of a position (the good, the bad and the ugly) may seem counterproductive at times, but in the end, it results in motivated employees who are loyal, productive and happy.

How do you create transparency in job interviews? Let us know in the comments!

Andre Lavoie

Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder, ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the talent-management solution that helps companies identify, hire and retain more A players. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter.


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