When it comes to the talent acquisition process, you want to entice and excite your candidates just as much as they want to impress you. Putting an effort into beefing up the sound of your company and the job – from the workload, to the environment, and the opportunities they’ll have – can pay off with a talent pool of enthusiastic candidates and easier hiring. The first opportunity those candidates will have to hear about their opportunities at your company will be in the job description, so your natural inclination may be to make that description as interesting and appealing as possible.
But is there such a thing as a “too exciting” job description? Absolutely.
When a candidate searches for a job opportunity, one of the things they look for is the responsibilities laid out for that position. Does this position fit their skill sets? Does it allow them to do something they’ll enjoy and not feel burnt out from? Are they capable of handling these responsibilities? These are all questions that candidates ask themselves when looking at a position, and helps them decide if they’d like to apply or not.
However, these also set up job expectations for the candidate, and much like a first impression, those expectations can be problematic if they’re unrealistic.
If your job description doesn’t depict what the actual job experience is, there are several areas you can run into problems with. First, it means your candidates aren’t applying to your job, they’re applying to a job they think you’re offering. This means that, if they get called into an interview, they may be focused on aspects of the job that don’t actually exist, or were exaggerated in order to sound appealing. And if someone from the company – an interviewer, for example – doesn’t differentiate between what the actual job is versus what was said in the description, the hiring process could move forward with both the candidate and the employer having different perspectives of what the job is that they’ll be doing.
But it gets worse – should the candidate actually be hired without having the position clarified from the description, the candidate will quickly learn on the job that what they’re doing does no match what the description was. For example, something like working weekends could come as a surprise to them if it wasn’t explicitly stated in the description or stated during the interviews. When this happens, the new employee might reconsider whether or not they want to continue working for the company that just hired them, resulting in a high level of early stage attrition. And if a recent employee leaves their position because they feel the job description didn’t describe the job, it can cost companies thousands of dollars to start the hiring process over – which can create a cycle of early stage attrition with new employees who all felt the job was too different from the description.
How can this be avoided?
Start with examining your job description and see if it accurately depicts the job the candidate will be performing. Are there important details being left out because they’re not exciting, or you’re worried will repel candidates? Are there interesting aspects of the job that are exaggerated so your job posting will stand out? Evaluate what’s realistic by examining the position itself, and then use the job description to make the opportunity sound realistic but engaging and exciting. If there are things that you feel might create an issue – such as working on weekends – make sure your hiring process includes a review of all the responsibilities the position will have. This will help get rid of unrealistic job expectations from a candidate, and also help reduce attrition because candidates will know exactly what they’ll be doing if they’re hired, without their own ideas getting in the way.
For more information on hiring, download the FurstPerson e-book below on talent acquisition commandments every mass hiring team should follow.
Topics: Talent Selection Ideas