Why HR should stop stretching the truth

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It’s an annoyingly accepted fact that applicants stretch the truth in interviews – but they’re not the only ones. 

Ken Hemphill, Vice President of HR for Back in Motion says misleading applicants can all-too-easily end in disaster; “If you bring someone on board under false pretences then it won’t take too long before they realise the job wasn’t what they were promised,” he said.

“They’ll feel a sense of resentment and if that’s happening throughout the organisation then it will impact morale, retention and productivity.”

Despite this, he says employers should never sugar-coat a role – no matter how desperate they are to fill it.

“You might be able to fill the position on a short-term basis but in the end, it’ll create more harm than good,” he said.

Alana Free, VP of People and Culture at GoodLife, agrees – “We’re really honest in our interviews,” she said. “We’re completely up front – the good, the bad and the ugly of what the role is, of what they’re applying for and what they should expect.”

The health club was voted one of the most engaged workplaces in North America this year and Free says part of the reason for this is because potential applicants know exactly what’s in store.

However, HRD Marva Bethune says employees shouldn’t shirk their responsibility to properly research the role.

“I would hope that most employers are honest in that there are always challenges in every position,” Bethune told HRM. “But I think it’s important that the prospective employee also does his or her own due diligence to determine what some of the challenges may be in their role.”


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