2. Don’t rose-tint your workplace
Before you start writing, remember to ask why you’re hiring. And don’t just say ‘to fill a vacancy.’ Have you taken on some bigger, scarier clients and you need a more senior person to schmooze them? Did your last complaint handler do such a good job that they’ve taken up a new job in the diplomatic service? Is the whole team up to their eyes in deadlines and threatening to walk if you don’t bring in an extra pair of hands?
When it comes to selling our own companies, it’s natural to want to paper over the cracks. But, in the long run, it’s not that helpful. Not least because the person you hire will find out about the long hours, tricky customers or insane deadlines in the end. So you’ll get more bang for your recruitment buck if you’re upfront.
That’s not the only advantage to the professor’s upfront approach. As readers, we accept his failings without thinking any less of him... We know that no person, or workplace, is perfect – so if we find ourselves looking at a picture that’s too rose-tinted, we’ll start coming up with our own ideas as to what those problems might be. On the flipside, if you write honestly, your readers might actually start solving those challenges for you. They’ll come to interview thinking about how they can help you handle them. And, if they don’t think they can handle them, they won’t apply.