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Setting Expectations- Part 2-Employers

In Part two we are going to explore the employer’s responsibility with setting expectations.  As with all sides to the equation, it always comes back to the classic phrase—“Do what you say you are going to do!”

One area that gets really tricky in the interview process is setting expectations regarding next steps.  HR and internal recruitment should guides hiring managers to either leave it open-ended or stick to their word.  Some hiring managers don’t realize that when you say to a candidate, “I want to move forward and have you speak with others”, but then change their mind and disconnect the candidate in the process, that can leave a very negative taste for the candidate.  You are better off giving yourself some grace in the process and leaving it open ended with the candidate so you can think through your decision and/or compare the candidate to others you are considering.

Another thing that may seem SO silly on the surface is the offer letter delivery.  If HR tells a candidate on Monday, “You will see an offer letter from me by COB today” and COB comes and goes and now it is noon on Tuesday, they are starting to get a little panicked.  It is easier to tell someone a day or two and do a classic under-promise and over-deliver.  It is human nature to have moments of self-doubt so when a candidate has verbally accepted an offer and the written letter is not a quick next step, they can get a little anxious about their decision and commitment.  It is CRITICAL to keep positive momentum going!

At the end of the day, just like with external recruiters, the experience a candidate has in the interview process does tell the story of what to expect working for the organization.  This may sound odd, but in my opinion, I like when something minor does not meet the expectations of the candidate (key word being minor) because I think it is a GREAT way to gauge interest level.  If you are the candidate and a hiring manager says they will provide feedback by Tuesday and now it is Thursday and still no word, and this COMPLETELY throws you off and you decide to withdraw your candidacy, then your expectations of people and your ability to be agile may not be well aligned.  We all have to give people a degree of grace when interviewing, as in life!  Now if this happens sort of thing happens around every single interaction you have in the interview process, well, okay this might be a trend and an indicator of management style!