HR Management & Compliance, Recruiting

4 Ways to Conduct Realistic Job Previews

Most people, at some time in their lives, have had the experience of buying something that is different from what they thought they were being sold. It’s bad enough if this experience occurs with purchasing a new appliance or even a car, but when an employee accepts a job offer and soon finds out it isn’t what he or she expected, the result isn’t good for employer or employee.
Realistic job previews can help.

What Is a ‘Realistic Job Preview’?

Interviewers may sometimes come across a great candidate for a job and feel tempted to alter their description of the job during an interview conversation to meet the desires of the interviewee. Or maybe they add a description in a job posting they think will attract the best applicants even though it isn’t the most accurate description of the actual position.
This may achieve the short-term goal of filling a position with a great candidate, but it isn’t an effective long-term strategy. It may seem counterintuitive, but talent and hiring managers should really strive to give job candidates a realistic view of the job and the organization—even if the candidate decides he or she just isn’t a fit.

Realistic Job Previews

Realistic job previews, as the name suggests, reflect ways that organizations can ensure employees fully understand what the job entails, as well as how they might fit within their department and the company as a whole. These previews are being delivered through videos or simulations that provide a real-world feel for candidates. In an article for HireVue, Jon-Mark Sabel offers examples of four main types of realistic job previews that can be delivered online—offering employers a chance to let employees “opt out” or “opt in” early during the hiring process to avoid the expense of wooing, interviewing, and making an offer to an employee who later says “no” or, worse, who comes on board for a short period of time and then finds the job simply isn’t for him or her.
Here’s a look at these four options.

Employee Testimonial Video

Just as word of mouth plays a role in marketing products and services, word of mouth in recruiting can also help to influence candidates’ perspectives of a job and company. “The value of these previews comes from their authenticity and specificity,” writes Sabel. An important best practice, therefore, is not scripting these videos but letting employees “speak from the heart.”

Interactive Simulations

Simulations take the form of a game that allows employees to interact in ways that reflect the type of work they would be doing in a particular job and what the typical day on the job might both look and feel like. While videos can easily be do-it-yourself projects, these simulations generally require assistance from a third-party vendor.

Hiring Manager Testimonials

Prospective employees also benefit from getting a sense of who their direct supervisor or manager will be. After all, this is the individual who will have the most direct impact on them once hired. According to Lighthouse Research, 46% of candidates surveyed were more likely to consider a job, and 30% were more likely to respond to a recruiter or reply to a job posting, if they could see a hiring manager video. In fact, they would prefer this type of video 2.5 times more than company overviews and 10 times more than HR or recruiter messages.

The Interview

The final type of realistic preview covered by Sabel is the online interview. “While interviews at a later stage of the hiring process should be geared toward screening, interviews near the beginning of the process can be used to inform and sell the role,” he writes.
By using one or more forms of realistic job previews during the recruitment and hiring process, companies can help to cut the costs of spending time on candidates who will not be a good fit for the job or company and boost the odds that a candidate who accepts an offer will have longer tenure with the company.

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