Victorio bridge

Victorio Milian stops by HREXaminer to talk about honesty and expectation setting in the recruiting process. Photo: Queensboro Bridge New York City

This is the Queensboro Bridge. Located in New York City, it’s one of many structures connecting the island of Manhattan to its sister boroughs.

I recently spent an afternoon taking photos of it and the surrounding area. As a native New Yorker, I’m used to noise. However, I was unprepared for how relentless it was. It wore me down in the fifteen or so minutes that I was there shooting photos. Once I moved several blocks away from the bridge the noise (and my discomfort) lessened, and I readjusted to what I believed to be my normal comfort levels.

I imagine for non-New Yorkers, this is what being in the city as a whole must feel like, a constant assault on the senses. I’ve always understood (conceptually) why people don’t like or reside for too long in New York City. For all that it energizes and inspires, it can grind you down as well. I’ve lived here all my life. so I believe that I possess the skill set necessary to thrive long term here. In short, I made a conscious choice to adapt myself to this environment. Not everyone is able and willing to do so, and that’s okay.

In human resources, recruiting is one of the most important functions in the field. Attracting the right person or persons to the organization is not an easy task. Oftentimes, in an attempt to sell the organization, Recruiters will focus on the “sexy” elements-wages, benefits, perks-to pique a candidate’s interest. What gets diminished is the less glamorous elements of the job or company. Perhaps the organization in question is a highly competitive environment. The pay may be significantly less than similarly situated companies. Or it may reward certain behaviors more so than others. If we’re not careful, not disclosing this information can backfire.

November 2013 photo of Victorio Millian

Victorio Milian, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board

When I talk to folks about what it’s like to live in New York City, I’m brutally honest. I believe it’s important to communicate the good, bad, and ugly, particularly when it centers around an important decision such as relocating here. Not providing all the relevant information, or sugarcoating it, does a disservice to the person or persons you’re trying to help. I want people to feel comfortable in rejecting the opportunity to live here if it’s not the right choice for them. And I’m selfish as well–I don’t want people to come live here and be unhappy with that choice. It infects there interactions with others, making a tough city even tougher to be in.

When we-as recruiters in particular, but as business leaders in general-do not provide as clear and honest a picture of the organization as possible, we’re potentially setting up candidates for disappointment. Give people the information they need to make qualified, well informed decisions. This helps to ensure better organizational alignment, and less people get hurt.

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