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Are candidates falling for ‘unrealistic’ jobs promises?

48 per cent of employees left their jobs because the roles did not live up to their expectation

When candidates apply for a job, they expect the position to entail the responsibilities listed in the job description; therefore, the successful candidates are likely to be disappointed if the job description is not an accurate representation of the role.

Some may argue the point that this is all part of applying for jobs; however, many believe that the current recruitment process is failing employees and resulting in them accepting positions that are not what they anticipated.

Recruiters often expect candidates to have gained experience in previous jobs or internships, or even via school work experience; therefore, they may assume that the successful person will be more than willing and very able to carry out these duties.

According to a survey by ThriveMap, 48 per cent of employees left their jobs because the roles did not live up to their expectation. A total of 59 per cent said the job responsibilities were not what they had been expecting, while 42 per cent said the working environment was different from the one they had envisaged. The survey also revealed that 35 per cent of the respondents cited their working hours or shifts as not being those they had imagined.

The ThriveMap survey – Dreams vs Reality: How well does recruitment today reflect job requirements and company culture? – was conducted by One Poll in January 2019, with 1,000 full-time workers asked about their experiences.

In some cases, employers appear not to be demonstrating what the job entails; in others, they appear to be mis-selling what the appointed person will be required to do. Record levels of employment alongside skills shortages could be making this situation worse, as employers focus more on securing the most qualified candidate rather than the one with the appropriate employment and life skills.

This problem is seen across the generations rather than confined to one age group. The research demonstrated that 73 per cent of workers aged 18 to 24 said they had left a job because the description was not quite what they had expected.

The company culture and working environment can also be problematic. 56 per cent of the respondents resigned due to the actions of senior management, while 31 per cent left their role citing company culture.

Chris Platts, the CEO of ThriveMap, said a business must look at its recruitment processes to ensure it tests for the skills required for the role. He also indicated that the companies should demonstrate the job requirements honestly, as prospective candidates will appreciate their openness.

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