Companies and hiring managers often don’t tell the whole truth to candidates while they are interviewing. Often the lies are unintentional, merely a convenience. For instance, when a person resigns and gives two weeks’ notice; the easiest thing to do is to dust off the old job description and use it without thinking of how the job (or the company) may have changed and evolved since the job was last filled.
Sometimes the lies are told to try to quickly attract people to an open job. Sometimes companies believe their own B.S. They really do. Like the president of a well-known sweat shop who told me, with a very straight face, that people at his agency were so turned on and happy that they actually wanted to work late and on weekends.
Here are some of the common lies I have heard. I am sure you can add to the list.
Our clients loves us
We have heard this story too many times. We can only guess that it is said because the hiring company or hiring manager likes the candidate and does not want to scare him or her off.
The truth is often quite the opposite. Corporately, the client management may love the agency, but it turns out that the brand or day-to-day people really do not like the agency or the work. This clash between corporate and operations is very common and makes the account difficult.
We rarely work too late and we have summer Fridays off
I had one candidate tell me that a noted sweat shop actually said this. The truth was people rarely left before 9pm, often worked in the office on the weekends and, while the office closed on summer Friday’s at 1pm, they were still there most Fridays at dinner time. And on the rare occasions when someone wanted totake the afternoon off, it was discouraged.
We are like a family here
Oh, yes, we all know that family. It is the one where no one talks to each other.
We have several candidates interviewing for this job
This is a favorite ploy of many hiring managers and human resources people when the candidate it is said to is the only one interviewing. I suspect the reasons are two-fold. First, they don’t want the candidate to know that they may have salary negotiating leverage and second, they think it gives the agency the upper hand when making an offer.
Business is really good
This has been said to many a candidate immediately following massive layoffs due to loss of business. Worse still, many candidates have been hired to work on an account which is practically out of the door. Often, people are hired to try to shore up a weak piece of business, but the new person is not told that the account is on shaky ground.
There is about 20-40% Travel
I once placed a candidate who was a newlywed on one of the largest accounts in the world. As an account supervisor she was told there would be a lot of production, which she loved, accompanied by twenty percent travel. Once she was hired, she discovered that the account was in production virtually all year and she was expected to travel at least three to five days a week. She left at the end of six weeks when she had not been home for a single weekend.
The truth is that there are lots of people who love difficult situations. They actually thrive on the adversity. If a recruiter knows, they can screen for it. If there is no recruiter, candidates should be told the situation on the first interview. It saves a lot of aggravation later on.
Being honest with candidates up front, saves a lot of problems down the road.