Employers and recruiters beware – Don’t oversell the job!

Published July 1, 2015 at 17:32

We all know that job applicants can occasionally stretch the truth, CV’s are littered with key words and claims of great achievement and don’t get me started on the dreaded ‘personal profile’.

If I see ‘Highly ambitious, self motivated’ at the top of a CV I’m not that likely to want to read on… But I digress – that’s next month’s blog.

However the applicants are not the only ones who can stretch the truth, I’ve done it myself as an employer. Desperate to attract graduate talent to the Lancashire town of Accrington I notably failed to mention the town but stated very clearly that the position was within commuting distance to Manchester!

But being serious, there is a line between selling and misrepresenting a role. How often do we read the following in a job advert:

  • Ambitious and Growing business (Start-up business with one employee)
  • Opportunity to develop your career (Start-up business with one employee)
  • Challenging & Rewarding (Stressful with very low base salary)
  • In depth training given (Sit you next to the last recruit)
  • Flexible hours (We’ll tell you what flexibility means)
  • Highly attractive benefits package (Ok there’s a salary and a contributory pensions scheme that we have to offer)

Now don’t get me wrong if you say these things and they are true then I’ll apply! But if the words in brackets are closer to the truth then lets be honest how long do you think it will take the average applicant to figure it out? What does it also say about your employer brand? Candidates are also getting savvy, we love to ask the competency based question that starts with ‘Can you tell me about’. They may just turn the tables.

Ask yourself the questions and be honest, it’s what we expect of candidates and how you feel when the when the ‘Highly ambitious, self motivated individual’ turns out to be someone whose greatest ambition is to get out of bed every morning?