This is not what I signed up for!

When you find out things you should have been informed of before you changed jobs!

Image: Memegenerator

When it comes to recruitment, one of the biggest challenges is conveying all the expectations of the role, and the culture of the team and organisation, clearly and in full. How does one share everything about a role to appropriately manage the candidates’ expectations?  The answer is it’s impossible!

But the way to get around it is not impossible. I have what I like to call the “warts and all” conversations and try and talk people out of the job. Anything you don’t tell them that is a perk is a winning situation, however, anything you don’t tell them that would be a dealbreaker turns into an “I didn’t sign up for this!” situation. These should really come out throughout the course of the interview process, and HR Hot Tip #18 should prepare you for this anyway, but we don’t always get it right.

One example is not advising the person that they have direct reports and that they’ll be managing people – this can be a dealbreaker for somebody who specifically didn’t want to manage people. Others may be:

Responsibilities – oh you didn’t know that in your HR role that you’d be responsible for facilities or safety? And you’ve tried to avoid safety your entire career. Whoops!

Parking – you didn’t know there would be no parking on site and you have to pay a fortune for a regular car space. 

Work Tasks – the role that’s been advertised is for a trainer, but you actually need to create the content! Or vice versa – you take a role because it says you can develop the training infrastructure, but all you’re doing is repetitive facilitating!

Change – oh, we failed to mention that we were relocating offices further away from your residence, or, we failed to mention that we were in the midst of a takeover which would increase your work five-fold. 

You may be thinking “As if these important pieces wouldn’t be discussed” but things do get overlooked, unintentionally or not. As I said, it is impossible to share every little detail on a role, but you can be as adequately prepared as possible by having your deal-breaking questions thought through in advance of the interview. If you’re on a panel, put yourself in the candidates’ shoes and ask yourself – what would you like to know if you were on that side of the table?

Has this ever happened to you? I’d love to hear about some of your experiences of what you didn’t sign up for! 


4 thoughts on “This is not what I signed up for!

  1. I once interviewed under a head of department, but once I got into the company three months later, the head had resigned and didn’t tell me earlier. So I then worked under a boss I didn’t bargain for, lol. That was an interesting surprise, to say the least.

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