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My secret recruitment weapon...

As a recruiter, people often assume that I'd be cool with telling a few white lies during a recruitment process. Well they're wrong.

Posted by Jessica Ferguson, Monday November 11 2019

Secret Weapon Blog

As a recruiter, people often assume that I'd be cool with telling a few white lies during a recruitment process. Well they're wrong. In-fact, I'd go as far as to say that honesty is my secret weapon.

When you disclose a slightly shocking and unexpected truth to a candidate (and let's be honest, every business has a few)-

"Well last year was pretty tough in terms of staff retention - we lost about 50% of our team - which is why we've re-evaluated our EVP and ramped up our efforts on the employee engagement front and we're seeing some real progress!"

-yes, they might be a little taken aback at first, but this kind of brutal honesty will immediately instill trust and respect.

In contrast, I know from personal experience that when someone comes across as salesy, or when they over-egg their opportunity-

"Oh every single one of our staff absolutely loves their job and we've totally nailed the company culture!"

- I'm instantly suspicious. Why? Because every business has problems - fact.

Of course I have to caveat all of this by saying that your positioning of said truths is crucial! You need to show your candidate that you recognise the issue and that you're invested in building a strategy which solves it. And don't forget that there's great opportunity in being part of the solution! If they're up for the challenge, that's a positive sign.

Not only does honesty help me to build rapport with candidates, but I'm also very mindful that this is someone's life. Career choices can bring happiness and fortune, but likewise if things go awry, it can cause a great deal of stress. Being honest about the challenges of an opportunity will mean that the person who eventually accepts the role can start their journey with all the facts, rather than facing any nasty surprises.

Final thought: don't be afraid to pass on the home truths of the job at hand (being careful about your positioning!). Not only is it the decent thing to do, but it could be the thing that lands you that dream hire.

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