Do you remember when you were young and your dad promised to take you for ice cream if you behaved? You tried so hard to play nice with your younger sister and did everything in your power to listen to your babysitter in order to get that delicious chocolate dipped cone at your local Dairy Queen. If he did not follow through with his promise (and those times were few and far between), you would be disappointed and let down. How could he do this to me?

Making false promises or withholding pertinent information to potential employees is a costly issue in the workplace that should be avoided. Employees need to be given a realistic description of the role they are accepting prior to joining an organization. If they are not, you will find yourself dealing with a disengaged workforce resulting in high turnover and increasing recruitment costs. Sure painting a rosy picture in the interview process may be a sure fire way to attract the best candidate, however it also creates a shaky foundation on which to start a career in your organization.

As a Hiring Manager, it is important that you portray a realistic view of what is expected at your company and more specifically the role the candidate will assume. For example, if yours is an organization that encourages (or demands) overtime, it’s to your benefit to make this well known from the get go. This will prevent future disappointment, resentment and frustration as the employee has been fully informed of your expectations prior to accepting the role. Highlighting both the positive and the negative aspects of a position will weed out candidates early in the recruitment process and make for a more effective hiring strategy.

Employee engagement and retention is critical to the success of any organization. Misleading candidates or failing to be upfront is not only unethical but it can damage the company’s reputation. Those who maintain an honest and upfront approach from the start will find themselves ahead of the pack with a loyal and productive workforce.

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Comment by Dan Nuroo on January 20, 2010 at 6:12am
Nice post Sandra,

It always amazes me when people set expectations which are never going to be achieved, build a company up to something they are not and never will be.

We have a no BS policy. We have some quirks at our company, but we lay them all out on the table. I dont want anyone to invest in our company and us in them, only to be shortchanged, and leave when expectations are not met.

Sure it scares some people off, but those who keep going in the process come into the role with their eyes open and expectations managed.

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