Hiring With Vulnerability

Cody Royle
Apr 29, 2017 · 2 min read

If you start the hiring process with lies, what do you think you’re going to get on the other end? Like any relationship entered into under false pretenses, it ends how it starts.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Why then do businesses scramble around looking for employee retention tools — gimmicks — rather than attempting to enter into more honest, authentic relationships with their employees? Surely we need to start dealing with the core issue rather than finding Band Aid solutions for it? For all the studies measuring how much a bad hire will cost an organization, you don’t need a study to confirm that telling the truth is free.

In trying to sell a candidate on how much your company is growing, or how much training they’ll receive, you’re only setting your company up for failure — particularly if they’re merely unfettered lies. It’s like having a Tinder profile that says you’re 6'4" and athletic when you’re 5'5" and stocky — the hot air you’re selling will get you some dates, but it becomes quickly apparent that you’re full of shit.

But what other methodologies are there?

Sales 101 — Show Vulnerability

Vulnerability is a well-known, extremely successful sales technique. Like in other areas of life, when you show vulnerability and ask for help, people respond more positively to you. Since talent acquisition is a sales exercise (yes, sales, not HR) why not start your hiring process with vulnerability and ask for help from the pool of potential candidates?

There are many benefits to this method, including:

  1. an open and honest interview process where all of your cards are on the table. You’re more likely to have a realistic conversation with the candidate about how they can help you this way.
  2. candidates who aren’t a fit will opt-out because they can’t or don’t want to help you.
  3. you can use the interview process to discuss solutions to your problems, gaining valuable (free) ideas from candidates on how you can improve.
  4. the person you hire is less likely to leave within the probation period because they weren’t lied to about the problems your company has.

Using devious hiring tactics may have worked in the past when people were afraid of leaving their job, but those days are coming to an end. The millennial generation are savvy and are quick to recognize when they’ve been sold a dud. Encouragingly, though, they have tremendous interest in helping those who aren’t doing so well — like your company, if you would only tell them that.

So, here’s my take: you don’t need expensive foosball tables to attract the best workers, you just need to tell the truth.

Where Others Won’t

Author and podcaster Cody Royle explores the crossover of leadership between sports and business.

Cody Royle

Written by

I study how teams create sustained success | Where Others Won’t | Head Coach of AFL Team Canada | Avocado Toast Aficionado | #altMBA

Where Others Won’t

Author and podcaster Cody Royle explores the crossover of leadership between sports and business.

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