Why A Realistic Job Preview Can Lead To Employee Satisfaction

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Have you ever started a job only to find out that it wasn’t quite what you were expecting? This happens more than you might think. If your employees are quitting shortly after they’re hired, you might want to assess how realistic your job postings are and think about what you’re telling candidates during interviews.

When recruiters and hiring managers don’t accurately communicate the most difficult or undesirable parts of a job, it can be confusing and disappointing when the new employee starts working and discovers the reality. Ultimately, this hurts your credibility and brand as an employer. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent this from happening.

  • Start by reviewing the job posting. Does it really reflect the day-to-day responsibilities of the job? If you’re not sure, talk with some folks doing that job and find out. Does the job title make sense? Calling a janitor a “Maintenance Technician” doesn’t change the job itself and will only attract the wrong candidates.
  • Be honest during interviews – there’s no point in sugarcoating things. Not all jobs are for everyone, and that’s ok. You don’t want to scare away your applicant, but you want to be realistic about the job and the company. Does this job deal with difficult customers? Is the company in a time of transition? Let them know.
  • Introduce the job environment. Is the interview going well? If possible, walk the applicant around the office or to the work area. Let them observe other employees and even chat with them. If there are difficult aspects of the work, knowing this before starting the job can increase their comfort level. (A word of caution: be careful not to cross the line of having a job applicant perform actual work for you.)
  • Allow the candidate to ask questions. Watch their reactions – verbal and non-verbal. Allow them to decide if this job is for them.
  • Set up a phone conversation between one of your current employees and the applicant. This will allow the applicant to hear a non-biased opinion on what it’s like to work for your organization. This is huge!

The realistic job preview is not a screening tool for hiring managers. It’s a chance for candidates to self-select out of the hiring process. Remember that job applicants are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them, and in this market your credibility and employer brand are priceless. Your organization might not be the best fit for everyone, but at least applicants will come away knowing that you are honest and direct.