Archives for February 2018

Job interview red flags

Job interview red flags

Content Team

You’ve gotten your toe in the door for an interview with a company you’re excited about. You’ve done your research and visited their careers site, LinkedIn and Glassdoor pages. The job and the company seem like a great match for your skills and goals. But there’s one more important thing to remember—just before the interview, raise your antenna for warning signs this position or company is not right for you. It’s easy to forget amid the nerves and excitement, but it’s crucial to keep your eyes and ears open, and to ask questions, so you get a feel for how the business really runs. Here’s what to watch out for:

The interviewer is not prepared

You spent a lot of time getting ready to put your best foot forward in your interview only to find the people interviewing you seem to be scanning your resumé for the first time and don’t have questions at the ready. This is unprofessional and disrespectful of your time and energy. It’s possible it’s a one-off caused by an unexpected situation at the office, in which case you deserve an explanation and an apology. If these aren’t forthcoming, be wary of moving forward.

Interviewing candidates is an ongoing part of any successful business, no matter the size. How a company handles the process shows a lot about its day-to-day workings. You want to get a sense that your recruiter is engaged in the interview and truly interested in learning about you. If you feel as though they are only half paying attention, chances are this is how they will approach your work and your career.

They offer you a job during the interview

A quick offer may very well mean you are an obvious fit for the job and outshined the competition. However, it can also mean the company has a tendency for slapdash decisions or is desperate to fill the role. Thank them for the offer and tell them you need a day to think it over and you will let them know. Then go home and do a deep dive into Glassdoor to see if the negative reviews reveal any consistent complaints. Also, reach out to LinkedIn contacts who may have a connection with the company to see if they have any insights.

Don’t worry that you may lose the role because you took a day to decide. Any organization that is impatient with a person who takes time to think before they act is not worth working for.

The role doesn't match the job description

Be wary if the hiring manager starts mentioning job responsibilities that weren’t included in the job description. This means they are not completely clear on what your position looks like, which can be a difficult starting point. If this is a startup that’s in a period of rapid change, however, this could be an opportunity to help craft a dream role. If so, that should be clarified during the discussion. It’s reasonable to mention the discrepancy and discuss whether the added competencies are in your wheelhouse. It’s also a good idea to ask for an updated job description that includes all of the expectations for the role. This ensures everyone is on the same page.

Lack of growth opportunities

While an interview should focus primarily on what you bring to the table, it’s important also to tease out whether the company will support your career growth, and how they’ll do so. Ask if they have a formal career development strategy, and if they offer mentorships and training programs. You can also ask about where the people in your department were before, and if former team members moved on within the company. In smaller organizations without many opportunities for promotion, career development may involve upskilling employees who show initiative. That’s fair, and good to know. Vague answers to these questions indicate employee growth isn’t a priority, which is also good to know.

The office doesn't meet expectations

There shouldn’t be a glaring discrepancy between how the company describes itself on its careers page, or in employer brand videos, and what you see when you walk through the door. Of course, it won’t be a perfect match, but something’s off if a company draws attention to a collaborative, team culture and you observe everyone working quietly in their cubicles in the office. Or, an organization says they believe in transparency and open-door leadership, yet you have trouble getting thoughtful, straightforward answers from your would-be manager.

Frequent turnover of the position

High turnover in a role could indicate a dysfunctional or toxic workplace, a job that is not clearly defined within the company, or a lack of opportunities to grow. It could also simply mean the previous two people in the role loved the job but had to move on for personal reasons. It’s always wise to ask why the person you would replace left the role and how long they were in the position. If possible, ask about the tenure of other people in your department, including the person who would be your boss.

You get a bad vibe

Finally, check in with your gut when you walk through the office and meet people. Do they seem grim and put-upon when taken away from their work for introductions? Is everyone harried and skittish? Listen for laughter and conversation if that’s important to you. Pay attention to how people behave when the boss is in the department. It may be a quiet office due to the culture or the type of work, but even in such an environment, people should seem glad to be there and, above all, at ease.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

How employer brand videos draw talent

How employer brand videos draw talent

Content Team

The best employer brand videos pull back the curtain on your workplace and give would-be employees a brief glimpse into your company’s mission, expectations, workplace culture, and day-to-day operations. That’s a lot to fit into a video that will likely last between one and four minutes.

So how do you create employer brand videos that are informative and engaging? Though big companies like Apple, Twitter, and GE are known for their employee brand videos, creating valuable videos that share the spirit and ethos of your organization doesn’t require a huge budget. Here are some of the things effective employer recruiting videos have in common:

They’re authentic

When creating an employer brand video, you should ask ‘Is this us?’ throughout the process. Of course you are going to put your best employer foot forward, but you want to paint an accurate picture of working at your company. don’t film a break room brimming with snacks and beverages, if workers are responsible for their own lunches. Instead, highlight genuine elements of your company culture that might appeal to potential recruits. If your workplace tends to hold small group brainstorming sessions, for example, be sure to show that.

The recruiting video for e-commerce company, owned by Walmart, shares that the company’s offices are an unusual reverse commute just outside of New York City. The video features fun team-building activities, as well as one-on-one interviews with a handful of employees that highlight a fast-paced, startup environment with opportunities to expand skills.

They focus on strengths

While it’s wonderful to have an open, skylit office with a game room and an outdoor café, not all companies can offer that. But every organization has something appealing to offer their employees. For example, companies can share how they have an established mentoring program that nurtures careers, that they are creating cutting-edge technologies, or that they offer paid time off for volunteer work.

Supermarket chain Wegman’s emphasizes its second place spot on Fortune’s Best Places to Work list in its employer brand video. The company highlights how many employees stick with the organization long term and enjoy opportunities to work their way up. The video features employees telling their own stories about advancing, or deciding to commit to a career at the company.

They focus on employees

When developing ideas for the video, reach out to your employees to discuss what they like best about the job. Ask them to share how they would describe a day in the life at the company to a good friend who was looking for work. Or ask them to share the single word that best describes the job. This can help you pinpoint the most important things to share in the video.

When it comes time to shoot, don’t use actors and don’t give your employees scripts to memorize. Let them be themselves. It’s great if they think about what they’d like to say in advance, but when they talk about the job it should be unrehearsed and genuine. People looking at these videos want to get to know who they are working with and what it’s really like to work there.

They use creativity and humor

People aren’t going to stick around to watch a video of a group of employees sitting at a conference room table talking about their company. At least not for very long. Employer branding videos should be authentic, but also dynamic. To figure out how that looks for your company, ask employees to brainstorm and share possible ideas for the video. Whatever approach you take, however, the end product should feel organic to your organization. For example, the tech company, GoPro, used one of their action cameras on an employee to introduce viewers to the office while he kicked a soccer ball between desks. The file sharing company, Dropbox, used adorable puppets as stand-ins for the employees who were recorded talking about what they loved about their job.

They make more than one

Unless your organization is very small, chances are you have multiple departments with roles that vary significantly. These different departments and positions will draw talent with different workplace expectations, so consider creating multiple targeted videos with that in mind. Apple, for example has separate employer brand videos for corporate jobs, store positions, and work-at-home roles.

They keep it short

Attention spans are short and people looking for jobs are busy. Most employer brand videos should run between one and two minutes.

They boost them

Once you’ve created your employer brand videos, don’t let them sit waiting for views on your careers page. Add them to your company pages on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and share them on Twitter. If you work with recruiters, make them aware of videos targeted to the types of roles they are hiring for. Finally, many companies are creating careers pages on YouTube where they upload employer brand videos, as well as videos that share in-depth looks at specific jobs, departments, or employees.

Need help with your employer branding? Contact Hudson RPO.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

Don’t let cultural fit undermine diversity

Don’t let cultural fit undermine diversity

Content Team

Diversity matters to the success of companies. Multiple studies have found that businesses with a diverse workforce outperform those with less gender, racial and ethnic diversity. Companies whose employees vary by race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation and ability are more innovative and agile. A 2016 study by Bersin found companies with strong diversity and inclusion strategies are 1.7 times more likely to lead their industry in innovation and have 2.3 times greater cash flow per employee.1

Despite this knowledge, companies struggle to move the needle on diversity. In 2014, Google launched an ongoing initiative to improve diversity on its employee rolls. Between 2013 and 2016, black employees remained just 2 percent of the Google workforce, female employees stayed at 29 percent during the same period, and Latino employees grew from 3 to 5 percent.2 Though tech has been in the hot seat for diversity shortfalls recently, it exists in finance, manufacturing, and most sectors to varying degrees.

Increasingly, recruiting and HR professionals are looking at ‘cultural fit’ as one possible stumbling block to diversity improvements. Cultural fit is important in hiring. Assessing for ‘fit’ ensures a manager who prefers a hierarchical structure isn’t offered the job at a flat organization, or a candidate who enjoys working solo isn’t hired at a team-oriented company. In such cases, these would be mis-hires, and these people would be unlikely to stay long.

Cultural fit can all too easily thwart diversity efforts, however, when it’s misunderstood, when the hiring team itself lacks diversity, and when there is no analysis of outcomes. Here’s how to ensure hiring for ‘fit’ doesn’t lead to a homogeneous workforce:

Shift to ‘Culture Add’

Rather than focusing on ‘fit,’ companies are paying more attention to the unique qualities and experiences candidates can bring to the organization. For example, a company with a high percentage of job-hopping Millennial employees may find they benefit from the consistency older talent provides. Or companies may focus on hiring people with soft skills their organization lacks. Above all, a ‘culture add’ ethos should be authentic, and it should permeate all business-to-talent touchpoints, from the careers page to onboarding to company events.

Jettison the ‘Beer Test’

For decades, after a candidate’s hard skills were established, many hiring managers have depended on the ‘beer test’ to decide whether to bring someone on board. This comes down to: would I enjoy this person’s company over a beer after work? The problem with this is that humans have an unconscious bias that makes them more comfortable around people who look and think like them. The simple truth is, whether you would enjoy grabbing a beer with someone does not reflect their ability to shine in the role. Minimizing unconscious bias begins with educating hiring managers about its influence and developing strategies to counteract it. This may include asking critical questions about why resumés are discarded, or encouraging input (and dissenting opinions!) on resumés and interviews from a diverse hiring team.

Refine your job description

Attracting diverse talent begins with the job description, both how it’s written and where it’s posted. To attract younger candidates, using social media platforms is a must. To attract more racially diverse candidates, make sure the posting is seen at job fairs at colleges with a large minority population. Some language used in job descriptions may be off-putting to different groups. For example, women may avoid applying for jobs when the descriptions are heavily laden with masculine-coded words, such as ‘ninja’ or ‘competitive.’

Support diversity after hiring

Employers show commitment to diversity in the day-to-day operations of their business through the creation of minority employee associations, mentoring programs, and diversity in the C-suite.

Measure and maintain

As you implement strategies to improve diverse hiring, analyze the results to pinpoint what’s working and what is missing the mark. Then, as you start to hit diversity goals, keep going. It’s easy to slip back into unconscious hiring without knowing it.

Need help with diversity hiring? Contact Hudson RPO.


1 Bersin, Josh. ‘Why Diversity And Inclusion Will Be A Top Priority For 2016.” Forbes Contributer. Forbes. Web. 6 Dec 2016.
2 Kokalitcheva, Kia. “Google’s Diversity Efforts Fall Flat.” Axios. Web. 9 Aug 2017.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

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