Dissonance is Costly


A key ingredient in our approach to recruiting happens after a candidate is placed. Our Staffing Consultants check in with their placements shortly after they begin their new jobs, and then again six months later. Why? We want to know if their experience is lining up with the opportunity we presented. More often than not, our candidates are thrilled with their new roles and grateful for our help along the way. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

We can hear it in their voice the second they pick up the phone. Some mix of fear, frustration, and exhaustion. Usually, it's something straightforward like a longer road than expected to see the upper reaches of their variable comp, or, their manager is more demanding than they anticipated. These situations can sometimes be mitigated with a quick phone call to the exec team. Occasionally, though, the situation is more dire. 

Presenting an opportunity to a candidate only works when we can do so with integrity. Our Staffing Consultants must legitimately believe the opportunity is a great one. This starts in the sales process, doing our best to make sure that our new client is who they say they are. 

We have worked with organizations of all sizes and across industries. One would think that some of the larger companies, or organizations on the cutting edge of building something unique, would be the easiest to recruit for but this is seldom true. 

Well-known organizations usually have a charismatic leader at the top. These individuals have effectively rallied investors, employees, and even the general public in support of their grand vision. Why would these clients be difficult to recruit for? Because there is a dissonance between the vision they are casting and the actual boots-on-the-ground experience for their employees. This disconnect is a costly one. 

It has taken us a few years to realize that just because an organization has boatloads of open positions, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are in growth mode. We have found, occasionally too late, that many times the reason for the long list of open positions is simply because there is a ton of turnover. The attrition is often because of the dissonance between the vision and reality. 

If you lead an organization, it is your responsibility to cast a compelling vision and win people to it. However, if the gap between your vision and what is actually happening day-to-day in your office is too big, you are going to bleed talent. The integrity of an organization’s vision sits squarely in the lap of leadership. I am familiar with the temptation to paint the most optimistic picture possible for stakeholders, but make that a habit, and your organization is going to suffer. 

If you have big plans for an overhaul of your wellness and benefits package, it is just fine to talk about it with candidates, but be clear about what exists today and the timeline for rollout. If you hire a revenue generator, make sure their variable comp path is real. If you have to dangle a carrot to get someone to sign an offer letter, don’t do it. If a candidate wants to bet on what they think you will become as an organization that is up to them. 

Tell the truth, always. Big vision and integrity are not mutually exclusive. Go get ‘em.