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New Employees: 'We Were Jobbed About This Job'

Companies aren't giving candidates a realistic picture of jobs, leading to 'buyer's remorse,' report says.

February 1, 2013
Related Topics: Organizational Culture, Recruitment, Talent Management, Workplace Culture, Latest News

A new report by human resources consulting firm Development Dimensions International says most new employees hired in 2012 are already disillusioned about their jobs.

AGCO Corp. (the acronym stems from its former name, Allis-Gleaner Corp.) is trying to steer clear of that looming hazard. The Atlanta-area manufacturer of heavy agricultural equipment hired about 1,500 salaried workers in 2012 with retention of newcomers a big area of focus, says Lauri Lipka, its director of global talent management.

The company employs about 20,000 people globally—one-third of whom are salaried or professional workers—and initiated a rigorous recruiting cycle two years ago, enabling business units, recruiters and human resources to collaborate more closely during each phase and make smarter hiring choices.

Most importantly, greater detail is provided about a job, both its pros and cons, to enable candidates to make informed decisions regarding an offer.

"We realize that new employees are most vulnerable during the first three to six months. If we don't give them a thorough picture of the job before we hire them, then they're most likely going to feel like, 'Hey, this isn't the job I signed up for,' " Lipka says.

In fact, a majority of people who landed jobs in 2012 now say they were misled about what to expect, according to Pittsburgh-based Development Dimensions International's report, which was released in December.

The report studied 2,300 newly hired workers and 250 staffing directors in 28 countries.

More than half, or 51 percent, of new employees hired in 2012 have "buyer's remorse" and 88 percent are looking to make a change, notes DDI's report. Their chief complaint: The hiring process "failed to paint a realistic or accurate picture of the job."

"Companies aren't giving candidates a balanced view of what a job entails, both its good points and bad points," says Scott Erker, a DDI vice president and a co-author of Global Selection Forecast 2012.

The reverse also appears true: Organizations that give recruits an accurate picture of the job wind up hiring people who are confident in their decision, more highly engaged and committed to staying long term, DDI says.

DDI's research comes on the heels of a November survey of 700 U.S. employees by Right Management, part of ManpowerGroup. It says only 5 percent of employees plan to stay in their current jobs during the next year.

Employers are disenchanted with hiring decisions as well, with 1 in 8 new employees, or 14 percent, deemed by staffing directors to be failures, DDI's report finds.

Despite the buzz surrounding integrated talent management, the data show most organizations lack mature processes that enable them to identify the best people, Erker says.

Organizations frequently make educated guesses about which candidate is the best to fill a vacancy instead of drawing a clear picture of the attributes and skills a person needs to succeed in the job, Erker says.

"Organizations have invested lots of money in tracking systems, pre-employment assessments, improved vendor management and training their managers and still aren't moving the needle. It's a huge problem and it's costing them millions of dollars" to recruit and hire replacements, Erker says.

On the other hand, job seekers sometimes make unwise choices, especially if they have been out of work for a while and are desperate for a job.

The report found a big discrepancy in how companies perceive their selection strategies and how well they actually work. Nearly 3 in 4 companies say their systems are effective, even though fewer than 20 percent believe it helps them acquire the best available talent.

When asked why hiring decisions go wrong, 31 percent of staffing directors in the survey blame an overreliance on a hiring manager's evaluation.

"Even though a staffing director is at the heart of hiring decisions, it's pretty clear that a lack of partnership with hiring managers is causing this frustration," Erker says.

And the problem may only be beginning: 62 percent of staffing directors surveyed expect hiring volume to increase this year, yet only 1 in 5 organizations have a talent acquisition strategy to best their competitors.

AGCO, which participated in DDI's study, is continuing to make each recruiting step more transparent. Lipka says the company this year plans to add an applicant tracking system that enables screeners, recruiters and managers to track the status of individual applicants under consideration.

Garry Kranz is a Workforce contributing editor. Comment below or email

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