Rhona Barnett-Pierce


Image of Rhona Pierce, a Black woman, smiling and pointing at the words: Increase Retention Rates, Newsletter #015

Transparent Recruiting: The Key to Hire For Retention

Are you unintentionally deceiving candidates? As recruiters, we often feel pressure to highlight only the most appealing aspects of a role. However, embracing transparent recruiting and being fully upfront benefits both the candidate and the company in the long run.

hand pouring sugar on a donut that is placed in a bowl

Why Transparency in Recruiting Matters

We’ve been told for years that recruiting is like sales & marketing, so we tend to focus on the positives when we write job postings. And don’t get me wrong, you should include the great things about the role. You should tell candidates about all the great things you’re doing at your company. But you should also let them know about the not-so-great things. Hear me out on this one.

You will attract more qualified candidates when you paint a complete picture of what they are getting themselves into.

Sometimes, we’re so close to the “problems” that we don’t remember everyone working at your company is at least somewhat ok with those problems; they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t.

How to Be Transparent in Your Job Postings

When it comes to transparent recruiting, being honest about aspects like the following can attract better-fit candidates:

  • Slow moving decision-making
  • Multiple meetings per day
  • Constant shifts in priorities
  • Very hands-on CEOs
  • Lean teams
  • Huge teams

I could list 1000 things, and some people would inevitably look at one of the items and say: “That’s not a bad thing.” Those are the people you want applying to your roles. When candidates have an accurate, unembellished preview of what to expect, they can better self-select whether the role and environment are truly a strong fit for their needs, goals, and working styles.

But if you’re painting a rosy picture and only mentioning the positives, you’re setting yourself and the chosen candidate up for failure.

We’ve all experienced it. You apply to a role that says they are a fast-paced company looking for someone agile and used to making decisions quickly, and then on your first day, the onboarding manual is 50 pages long, and there’s a 10-step process to request an additional pen. If only you would’ve told people that you are a highly structured company that values a robust process, over shooting from the hip, you would have found your people.

The Benefits of Transparent Recruiting

Being upfront and painting a complete picture of the role and company culture is not only the ethical thing to do, but it’s also in your best interest as a recruiter. When you clearly lay out the potential challenges or “not-so-great things” along with the positives, you increase your chances of attracting candidates who are truly a good fit. They go into the role with realistic expectations and are less likely to experience buyer’s remorse.

Thanks to employer review sites and social media, candidates often already have visibility into workplace realities. Being upfront allows you to frame any potential downsides from the company’s perspective.

The goal isn’t to dwell on the negatives but to create a culture of transparent recruiting that attracts candidates who are a genuine match. A little honesty upfront can go a long way in improving your recruiting results and reducing turnover.

Let’s Chat! 🗣️

Have questions about how to implement transparency in your recruiting process? Schedule a free discovery call with me today!


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