Sunday, 20 September 2009

Does this job sound too good to be true?

The extracts below have all been lifted without alteration from adverts for HR roles in this week's HR online media. Although the HR Case Studies editorial team wouldn't recommend a total "warts and all" approach to attracting applicants (after all, no-one is likely to apply for a role stating, "Relatively tedious job in declining business; would suit mediocre and dull candidate") there is a serious point to be made about whether some job adverts do "sell the sizzle" a little too much, potentially leading to the expectations of the successful candidate not being met, and this subsequently developing into a rapid departure, requiring the whole recruitment process to be repeated.

A fantastic opportunity
An exciting opportunity
Worldwide, prestigious blue chip organisation
The fastest growing organisation of its kind
An exceptional opportunity
A true market leader with a global presence and an enviable reputation
A progressive independent government department
'The' market leader
A high profile services organisation with a great reputation in the market place
A well respected UK retail brand and major player in their niche market
One of the world’s leading organisations
An exciting opportunity for a passionate Training professional
A fantastic opportunity to join our client
A leading national business and a market leader
A superb opportunity has arisen to work for a world leading household name

  • What are the dangers of over-selling a role to applicants?
  • If an organisation found that it was losing a high percentage of its new recruits, what would you recommend that it might do to improve the situation?
  • How important is effective induction to ensuring that new recruits to a company stay there?
  • Graduates are notorious for moving on as soon as their develoment programme has been completed. Is this to be expected or are there measures that a company can take to remedy this?

1 comment:

  1. As most people I am attracted by ‘sizzle’ (although I think that once you’ve been burnt you can become slightly cynical about the trumped up claims)! And actually who can blame them because, thinking about it, if I were writing an advert to sell ‘me’ I would describe myself as world class and passionate whereas, if truth be told, I probably fit better into the mediocre category!!

    It is fair to say that even if the recruitment process lives up to the adverts claims of the role/organisation, often an individual’s experience on day one does not - no PC on the desk, first salary payment is wrong, no manager to explain the role etc. It is therefore really important to look at the whole on-boarding process and ensure that an individual is given everything they need to do their job – be that knowledge or equipment. I think organisations should look to put in a touch point with new starters about 2/3 months in to find out what, if anything, could have made their transition into the organisation smoother. Then, having asked the questions – act on the responses.

    Recruiting for staff, especially for specialist roles, can be a time consuming and expensive process. To ensure this effort isn’t wasted I think there are some basic things that an organisation should do:

    1. Have a realistic role description and person spec – not a wish list devised by some senior manager
    2. If there are aspects of the role that might not suit people e.g. a significant amount of travel – be open about it. Better people self select themselves out than join and not be able to fulfil the role
    3. Choose your advertising medium wisely – The Times for a local HR job might not be the best place
    4. Remember that potential candidates are potential customers and treat them accordingly
    5. Pay attention to Day 1 and beyond
    6. If things don’t work out, find out why and try and do something about it

    But then, since when has common sense been common practise?