Leadership / Management | Organizational Development

Want to keep your employees? Tell the truth

LieWe all read or listen to at least one nugget of business advice every day, and here's something we almost never hear:

"You really ought to lie more."

You know why we don't hear that? Because lying only leads to trouble. Take my word for it:  Telling lies -- in any situation -- is almost guaranteed to eventually turn around and bite you on the butt.

Mom was right: Honesty is the best policy.

That's especially true when you're hiring new talent. A sure way to disappoint your employees and send them packing, writes Mark Tootsey in "Best hiring practices: Full disclosure," is to lie to them about their jobs during the interview.

"I once had a client who was hiring for a position that, while otherwise desirable, required that the employee work in a warehouse, away from the company’s main offices and other colleagues," writes Tootsey, director of Branch Operations for Stephen James Associates in Rockville. "Knowing that this workspace would be undesirable to most applicants, the client refused to disclose it to interviewees. To him, it was an innocuous omission. But it resulted in his new employee becoming disgruntled and quitting after only a few weeks on the job.

"As an employer," he adds, "you expect a job applicant to present himself honestly. Employees deserve the same respect. Being deceptive about an open position or about your company is just as bad as an applicant lying on a resume."

Tootsey offers six ways in which you can help ensure job candidates know exactly what the job entails:

  1. Create thorough job postings.
  2. Update job descriptions frequently.
  3. Think of the interview as an information-sharing session.
  4. Discuss your company culture in the interview.
  5. Find a tactful way to disclose negative aspects of a job.
  6. If you’re a recruiter, encourage your clients to practice full disclosure.

Tootsey discusses each tip in detail in his article. After you're done reading, tell us how you encourage full disclosure during the hiring process.


Bill Sheridan