There was extensive press coverage of the case of Stella English, a winner of the TV show ‘The Apprentice’. Ms English won a £100,000 position at the end of the series but claims that the role did not turn out to be what she was expecting.
Previous winners had worked directly with Lord Sugar whereas Ms English did not. She claims that she was not given a genuine role and that she was “an overpaid lackey”. We won’t get into all of the details here but you can read more for yourself in this newspaper article.
What this case has got us thinking about is how transparent a recruitment process needs to be?
1. Honesty in the Recruitment Process
How honest should you be when you are hiring new staff? What if your business is facing some difficult times? Do you need to tell potential employees the truth or not?
This is a difficult decision and all businesses will take a different approach. Clearly we are not advocating lying to potential employees but I think everyone needs to be realistic about the recruitment process.
By it’s very nature it sees both parties put their best foot forwards. Candidates don’t sit there and tell you about all of the things that they really aren’t very good at. We all know this by the number of times we’ve asked the question “What are your weaknesses?” only to be told that the candidate is a perfectionist!
In the same way, employers aren’t going to give full disclosure about the challenges facing the business to an applicant. It may be hinted at in relation to some of the language that is used but businesses stay well away from any information that could be commercially sensitive.
After all, you have no confidentiality agreement in place with an applicant and their next interview could be with one of your competitors.
2. The Job Description
One area where we do feel that full disclosure is advisable is when it comes to the actual role. There is very little point hiring an individual to do a role telling them that it will be one thing when you know that it will be something different entirely. All this does is take up your time either dealing with a disgruntled employee or having to go through the entire recruitment and training process again when it doesn’t work out.
To avoid this we recommend making sure you complete a full job description before you start your recruitment process. This will not only help you create a compelling advert if you’re recruiting directly but will also make sure you There is very little point hiring an individual to do a role telling them it will be one thing when you know that it will be something else entirely. Think about what skills and behavioural traits you want to be checking for during the recruitment process.
It’s also a key part of the induction process as you’ll be able to give your new employee a document which states clearly what is expected of them and how their performance will be measured.
3. How to Create a Job Description
This may sound like a ridiculous heading but some people stay away from creating job descriptions because they simply don’t know how. They aren’t sure on what a job description should contain and what they end up with is a list of tasks but very little else.
The list of tasks is always a good starting point but there are other things to think about. You should ask yourself some key questions:
- Who does the role report to?
- Which other positions does the role impact upon?
- What is the overall purpose of the role?
- What type of skills and experience does the role holder need in order to be successful?