Most employees have found a job didn’t match expectations

by 06 Jun 2013

Six in ten employees have found aspects of a new job differed from the expectations that they acquired during the interview process. This is the finding of a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of US careers site Glassdoor earlier this year.

Interestingly, more men than women said that they found aspects of a new job differed from their expectations (65% versus 56%). The five factors of the job that they were most likely to find didn’t accord with what they believed beforehand include:

  • Employee morale: 40%
  • Job responsibilities: 39%
  • Hours expected to work: 37%
  • Boss’ personality: 36%
  • Career advancement: 27%

The business of ensuring that expectations set during interview match the realities of a new job should be shared between the employer and the candidate, according to Glassdoor HR director Amanda Lachapelle. With that in mind, here are her top tips for managing job candidates’ expectations:

  • “Ensure every person interviewing a candidate has a clear role”: Everyone who meets with a job candidate should know which topics to discuss with the candidates during the interview. A clear plan of action can help ensure that candidates get a full understanding of how their role would fit into the company and what its responsibilities are.
  • “Engage in social technology”: Job seekers are turning to social media to research companies, and those companies should, too. “Make sure your voice is heard. If you don’t engage, you’ll be left out.”
  • “Engage with candidates before and after the interview”: Email candidates before and after an interview to see if they have any questions about the job or the company. You could even schedule a follow-up call.
  • “Leverage your own employees”: Encourage employees to increase a candidate’s understanding by having them share what it’s like to work for said company via social media – both the good and the bad.
  • “Be honest”: Candidates will appreciate it if you let them know about the things that the company knows need improvement and are working on.


  • by Max Underhill 6/06/2013 5:57:33 PM

    This is consistent with a discussion on disengagement recently by an international recruitment company at a HR think tank. The agency said they had more than 65% disengagement - when asked why, the response was "our customers do not know what they want". What they were saying is the specification is wrong or does not exist so how many of us are round pegs in square holes and at no fault of our own.
    There is a solution; if the position is properly designed in outcomes, performance measures (defines standard of the outcome) and then identify competence required to deliver the outcomes at the standard set by the performance measures. Once the position description is defined we have a proper specification firstly the applicant knows if they want to apply and secondly the specification can be used to compare/assess/recruit against and if we do not get a perfect fit know where we have gaps so something can be done about it - then both the employee and employer are more likely to get what they want or expected.

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