In a hiring challenge course with Matt Gillogly CEO-Mentor-Investor of Practice Profit System podcast we identified some key mistakes people make when hiring. Here’s the next one:
We had a client who had a new role they wanted to fill, and they thought it would be about 70% client interactions and 30% admin. We found an amazing candidate who took the job and who the client loved.
Unfortunately, the candidate left after just three months. The reason was that the role was only 30% client interactions. The bit the candidate loved was the client interactions. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; they’d made their best guess at how it would pan out and got it wrong.
Making the job look good
You naturally want to make the job sound great, so you hype up some parts of the role and minimise others.
The down side of this is that, when a candidate takes the job and discovers it isn’t what was advertised, they are disappointed at best. This is one of the reasons so many people leave their job in the first year (70% of candidates do this, many in the first 90 days).
One of the difficulties is that we tend to write the ad to appeal to someone like ourselves, forgetting others have different tastes.
I learned this lesson many years ago when I was Manufacturing Director of an electronics company. I was keen that everyone enjoyed their jobs, so I asked some of the staff what they thought of their jobs. One woman, Margaret, was doing what I thought was a particularly boring job. Her whole day was spent putting the same 25 components into hundreds of printed circuit boards.
She said it was her favourite job in the whole factory. I did not believe her. I asked her why. She pointed to another job and said that would be too boring as you were sat on your own putting just 10 components into very small simple boards. I agreed.
She pointed to the prototyping job (the job I would have wanted if I had worked on the shop floor). She said she would hate to do that because she’d be too worried about making a mistake because each board was different, and you had to work from the engineering drawings. I could see her point.
She said that she particularly loved her job because it was varied enough to be interesting, but she could still enjoy herself, talking to her friends all day and listening to the radio. That made complete sense.
Then she turned to me, with a look of pity in her eyes and said: “But it must be awful doing your job because every time something goes wrong, everyone thinks it’s your fault.” I was astonished; I loved that job.
What to do
Be as clear as you can about what the role involves, including the parts you think may not be attractive to candidates.
Be factual and clear. If the job involves populating 200 printed circuit boards a day, say so. If it includes doing the washing up and cleaning the rest rooms, make sure you include that too.
If the role involves the candidate being responsible if things go wrong, you need to make sure that’s clear as well.
Strangely, there are usually people who enjoy all those aspects. They are the candidates you are looking for.