“If something is too good to be true, then it probably is”
This idiom might have had its origin dated centuries ago, but it seems to be as relevant in today’s modern world as it might have been then. It so happens that oftentimes one is confronted with a choice that might appear too good to be true and accept it on that face value, only to later find out that it wasn’t, at all, what he/she had expected.
One such area where this kind of choice can be encountered is during the crucial phase of a job search.
From the time we are born, we are asked to avoid bad company, why then should we not heed this same advice, much later down the line, while choosing our ‘Company’, the Company for which we would be working for.
That near perfect job description, exactly the right kind of perks, a fairytale-like an interview process and work-environment and a job role for which every praise falls short, too good to be true?
Well, you know how it is most likely to end. Don’t you? For the ones inclined towards data, a poll by the job search site ‘Monster.com’ showed that nearly as high as 85% of the respondents had felt fooled by job description at one point or the other in their job-related journey.
Some might argue that Job description, because of their very purpose- attracting talent- need to be flowery and high-sounding. Hence what the respondents of the ‘Monster.com’ called cheating is, at worse, an unintentional (not for the purpose of cheating) mistake by the organization, if at all it is a mistake.
It is true that some of the mismatches between what was promised, especially related to the job role, and what is being delivered from an employer’s end are unintentional but it is also true that there exists plentiful of cases where the employer has deliberately misled a potential candidate.
Some of the ways we can avoid getting potentially duped by our new employer: whether intentional or otherwise
1. INTERNET TO THE RESCUE: The net today abounds with websites that contain reviews and employee experiences of present or past employees. This trove of internet data should be made use of extensively.
There exist websites like Glassdoor.com, which allows present and ex-employees to post reviews about how it is to work for the organization. These websites provide a fair bit of an idea about what to expect and what not to expect from the organization.
Inability or discomfort and avoidance in explaining negative reviews on these websites or why the position opened up at the first place can also be construed as a signal for exercising caution.
Also, professional connection sites like LinkedIn, etc can be a great way to further gain insights or even connect with existing employees.
2. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE DILEMMA: You did your internet research, yet did not find any conclusive positive or negative to help make up your mind. Well, don’t worry. Look carefully at what the company is communicating and offering.
If all of it appears to be too good to be true, it should be a signal enough to set off alarm bells.
3. ASK QUESTIONS IN THE INTERVIEW: One thing that potential employees should keep in mind is that a career is a two-way street. So one should not be afraid to ask questions for the fear of offending the employee.
One should be on the lookout for terms like “culture is constantly changing”, “the role descriptions are subject to change” in the job description as one might be better off by seeking more clarity on these vague terminologies.
Not only that, one should try and understand as much as possible about the role through the means of smart questions.
4. STEER CLEAR OF WORKING FOR FREE: A particular case of an employer cheating might occur when as a part of the job application process, the employer might seek some work to be submitted by the employee, but rather than being interested in hiring the employee who submitted the work they seem to be more interested in getting those free assignments (in the name of job application process).
If such a case occurs where you find the employer more interested in your submissions and plays deaf or ignorant on your application progress queries, it’s better to steer clear of it.
5. POTENTIAL RED FLAGS: One should always be on the lookout for potential red-flags from the employer that might include the employers’ strong insistence on immediate joining or its refusal to connect us with their ex-employers. Only when one is sufficiently convinced about the answers to these should one progress.
The above discussed are some of the ways in which employees can prevent themselves from getting duped by a new employee. Though not foolproof, one should always try to conduct as much research as possible and follow as many steps as possible for isn’t it widely said that “Prevention is better than cure”.
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