Embracing Honesty May Be Your Smartest Hiring Tool

You can’t hide a broken hiring process. Whether consequences are felt during the interview process or months after an employee’s start date, your company’s success hinges on getting this right. Even if a hiring manager brings on a great employee only to have him defect to a competitor 18 months later, the process has failed.

That employee may have left for any number of reasons, but decades of staffing experience has taught us that most problems could have been predicted and confronted before the hiring decision was even made.

Companies and candidates both want longevity, and although the hiring company may have the initial upper hand, they’re a mutually beneficial team in the long run. So start off on the right foot — with honesty.

Honesty About The Job

Attracting a high quality candidate is much different than retaining a high quality candidate. With an open conversation about the job description you’re able to size the candidate up against every part of the job, ensuring that they’re able (and willing) to meet long-term expectations.

Test out whether this person is the right fit by letting them know exactly who they’d be working with, who they’d be working for and what capabilities they’re expected to have. Instead of stooping to the level of vague phrases like “additional duties as requested,” run through all the duties you could foresee the job entailing, and what skills are needed to do them.

Not only that, but be honest about the aspects of the job that you feel may deter some candidates. If you’re looking for an employee with longevity, for instance, it pays to know whether opportunities for professional growth will influence their tenure — especially if advancement is unlikely.

Honesty About the Company

There are ups and downs to every company. Don’t shy away from conveying those genuine company insights — because you never know what a person will or won’t like.

If your company isn’t flexible with scheduling and commuting, let the person know — before they start asking for telecommuting and overtime options a few months in. Conversely, a different candidate could be looking for a fixed schedule with a clear indication of how long a given work day will last.

Company culture also plays a huge role in the hiring process. Be honest about what type of company you are and describe your company’s values and beliefs. By clarifying your company culture, and in turn, getting to know what a candidate is looking for in an organization, you can start to weed out a potentially bad hire.

Why Quality Hires Leave

In order to keep quality hires in the long run, hiring managers must give candidates all the useful information they can. It’s not just about being honest, but about being aware of what road blocks exist in your workplace.

A Forbes article shows that 50 percent of top talent quit because they have different values than their employer, 60 percent leave because they don’t feel their career goals are aligned with the plans the employers have for them, and 70 percent leave because they don’t feel valued by their employer.

With those three in mind, start to ask yourself a few questions. First, what are the main values of your company, internal and external, and how are they revealed? Second, what is your plan with the new hire, and what are the reasonable advancement opportunities? And finally, how can I involve higher level employees in the initial hiring process to fully express the value of the candidate?

Keeping an open conversation about the description of the job, the company and the future role the candidate would have all works to ingratiate quality hires into the workplace.