Part of the job of any employer or recruiter is to convince people about the quality of an opportunity. Without this, an organisation will struggle to attract the required level of staff. Even though this is an important part of the process, it does carry with it a danger. If a job role is exaggerated too much, it can result in short-term gain, but long-term pain. It may lead to more interest initially, and potentially more placements being made. However, once the candidate actually starts in their new role, the reality must fall in line with their expectations. If not, the likelihood is that they may not stay at the company for long. Not ideal for either employer or recruiter, in more ways than one…

Potential problems for a recruiter.

A recruiter is always going to speak positively about the client they’re representing. It’s their job to sell an opportunity as attractively as possible, in an attempt to generate maximum interest. Without doing so, they will be unable to fill positions adequately, or make any money. As a result, it has been known for some recruiters to exaggerate the quality of a position. Even though this may seem like a good idea at the time, it’s likely to cause problems further down the line.

Once a candidate is offered, and accepts, a new role, the hard work doesn’t end there. A recruiter must ensure that they stay in the position for as long as possible. If they leave early on in their tenure, part or all of the fee paid to them will have to given back, depending on how early they left. This is where the idea of over-selling an opportunity can come back to haunt. A candidate will accept a role on the premise of it being what they expect it to be. If the reality is different, they will feel cheated, and are likely to look to leave.

What about for the employer?

Being honest about the realities of a position during the interview stage may result in some candidates withdrawing their application. In certain cases, this can come as a real blow to a company, if it was an individual who was of significant interest to them. However, it’s better to suffer the disappointment at this point, as opposed to when the candidate has started, and realised, that the job isn’t like what was described. Furthermore, some candidates will actually appreciate the honesty, endearing them more deeply with the company.

Problems will begin to emerge if an employer misleads a candidate regarding the quality of the role they are interviewing for. As touched on above, the individual is likely to want to leave shortly after starting, once they realise the reality. This will mean the company will have to look again for a replacement, and mark the time spent previously redundant. Moreover, the business will lose credibility if word spreads that they cannot be trusted, thus making any future hires more difficult to pull off.

Moral of the story? Don’t lie. Be transparent. The reality will not hide for long.