Entice Only To Scare Away

What do companies do when talking to a potential hire? They talk about great qualities of the organisation, right?

  • The founders are from IIT / IIM. Former XYZ employees
  • We are on the way to closing the next round of funding
  • There is tremendous potential in the segment we are focusing
  • We work hard and party harder
  • You can make 2x your current pay

So, what is wrong in the above statements?

Nothing. They may be true and there is nothing wrong either. But when they are the only ones discussed, it is almost like baiting. Here are some things that can be done so that the process does not look like a sales pitch.

1. State Upside As Facts

Whatever is the upside / awesomeness of the organisation, state them as they are. If the candidate is smart enough, they will understand the importance. Instead if the upside is sold, it looks like it may not be true or the organisation is having a tough time finding employees.

2. State Current Challenges

Talking only about the plus points does not help. State the current challenges which the employee might also need to face.

Not giving clarity on challenges is guaranteed to hit back like a boomerang.

3. State Compensation Criteria

For roles that have variable pay, the criteria, factors and any data matrix that arre used to determine the variable pay need to be clearly communicated. When this part is not explained well, the employees usually come back after getting first month salary, with lot of questions and frustrations. If the criteria is not straight forward, better to show some examples on how the pay might be. This might scare them but not doing this usually results in unpleasant situation.

4. State Specific Expectations

  • Challenging environment
  • Fast Turnaround
  • Need to be Flexible

These are generic statements. All of them can be interpreted in different ways. Ensure the expectations are clear.For example, When we have a production push or important fix, we may work over weekend / overnight is lot clearer than flexible. Other aspects like remote working, office hours (this may vary based the role / function) need to be clearly communicated.

5. State Specific Responsibilities For The Role

Sometimes same role / designation may mean different responsibilities. For example, senior tech role might involve hands on coding, senior sales roles might involve cold calls based on the need. These need to be explicitly discussed during the hiring process. Getting a buy in on these aspects is as much important as discussing the compensation and benefits.

6. State Culture

  • Great Culture
  • Inclusive Workplace
  • Employee First

Again these are generic statements. What aspects are great. Also it requires the candidate also to have similar attitude so that the culture can be retained. What are those attributes that candidate need to have. These need to discussed.

Downside of Enticing

When candidates are told only about the positive aspects, we are already setting them up for frustration. Either they will stay being a frustrated employee or leave immediately. Either way the damage is done.

Also this can trigger similar attitude from employee and they may see this as an indicator that complete honesty may not be expected out of them as well.

Hiring always needs a long term vision. Compromising the hiring process for immediate recruitment goals never ends well.