Why Honesty Is the Most Useful Policy


  Illustration by Barbara Kelley

Illustration by Barbara Kelley

It could be said that those willing to do anything to get the job done (or to get the job period) are the ones who will achieve results. The converse would be that those who are willing to do anything for a sale or to obtain a position are the folks you may not want to hire. This is where honesty plays a key role.

Everyone wants to hire those who are willing to sacrifice to get things accomplished, but no one wants team members to misrepresent themselves, or at some point, the company.

We have all heard the statement “Honesty is the best policy.”

So why are we not practicing this at every point in the hiring process?

Whether it’s a short tenure on a resume (or multiple short tenures in a row) or an unexpected separation from your previous company, there is always a story. If performance wasn’t there, candidates should explain why that was the case. If your compensation was far higher or far lower than what the future company is offering, let it be known.

Hiring companies, who are not willing to listen, need to be willing to lose potential quality hires. Given the state of unemployment, it is time to listen. It is time to be honest. It is time to be understanding of hiccups and previous blunders that candidates don’t anticipate repeating.

Candidates who do not provide pertinent and truthful details don’t stand to gain a better position. The dishonest and unclear candidates create risk and room for future complication. No company should have to take on such unknowns. Again, this is where honesty really is the best policy.

Am I asking companies to sacrifice their integrity or hiring quality? Absolutely not.

I am asking them to do the opposite. Get the real story behind the candidates and do so by creating the most honest and transparent atmosphere possible. Make an honest relationship useful for both sides. Everyone benefits from the most truthful conversation.


Written byRob Scherer, Senior Search Consultant at Hunter Crown, LLC


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