The influence of Facebook and Google has given some job seekers certain expectations for their new work perks and environments that are difficult to uphold for many companies: On-site physicians, extra time off, spending money for new parents, video arcades, and candy shops.
While it’s fair to say that these large and innovative tech companies have positively transformed the standard workplace, it’s not fair to say that every company can offer what Google or Facebook can.
This causes a gap between the expectations of many new hires and what their employers can actually offer.
This gap in cultural and environmental expectations is a somewhat new phenomenon that recruiters and human resources professionals are finding is an increasingly important factor to finding and keeping talent.
In order to close this gap and align expectations with reality, you have to start at the very first encounter in the recruitment process:
The people you’re recruiting are probably envisioning their job to have new and fun surprises at every corner, along with an open bar and back-to-back innovative meetings for clients. They will eventually realize this is not the way of the real world, but you need to keep them excited about the prospect of working for your company while aligning their expectations with reality.
To do this, play up the fun and exciting things your company does, but clearly convey what a “normal” day is like for someone in their position. Consider having them video chat with a recent hire who is in a similar position so they can get a true understanding of what the company is like from someone who may have walked in with the same expectations as them.
Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Be honest and upfront with what your company offers its employees and keep in mind that compensation may not be the most important thing for them: A study by PwC found that a significant number of workers want a flexible work schedule and would be willing to give up pay and delay promotions to get it. Know your audience, and play up the perks that would be especially attractive to them.
For instance, do you offer a great employee training program that is recognized throughout the industry or have strong philanthropic initiatives throughout the company? Or maybe you offer flextime or remote working capabilities. Figure out what you think your recruits care most about, and highlight them in your recruiting process.
New employees often go into their first job with big dreams and even bigger expectations. However, once they’ve been trained and begun their work, they are assigned to do what feels like menial tasks to them.
It is up to you to make sure your new hires understand how their role will fit within the company and how it will impact the bottom line. While you may not be able to show them how they can impact the world, they will still appreciate knowing the difference they could make for the company.
To truly understand where the expectations gap lies, asking the right questions can help. Don’t be scared to be straightforward with what you ask them–they will appreciate the candidness and transparency. Have them describe their ultimate job and what types of benefits and perks would be offered at that job.
From there, you can more directly communicate the ways in which their actual experience will be different and similar. You may also be able to offer some new perks that more closely align with their expectations. By putting everything out on the table from the very beginning you’ll have much happier recruits that will be easier to onboard and keep around for the long haul.
In the end, the candidates who are truly the right fit for your company will appreciate what you can offer, and they will find the most satisfaction out of what they’re doing and what they can learn at your company.
—Amit Chauhan is the CEO and cofounder of Recroup, an entry-level hiring platform that allows employers to find the right talent by getting to know the person behind the resume. Connect with Amit and the Recroup team on Twitter and LinkedIn.