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How to Speak HR

By Alexi Calvo | HRPeople

August 19, 2009

Issue: Not A Lot of Time to Train New Employees

The experts say:

“We’re looking for people to come in and get right into the thick of things. We’re not the kind of company that will make you read an orientation binder for three weeks before you do anything meaningful; here, you’ll be contributing right away.”

“We tell then that their success is their responsibility. Training is hands-on and fast-paced. We provided you with the tools and framework so come prepared to take charge of your development.”

“This is really a firm for people who have a lot of initiative. Manager’s are great resources here but they don’t do a lot of hand-holding.”

“Typically, you can tell a candidate that they would work in a fast-paced environment where he/she is expected to pick things up on their own. As part of the recruiting/interview cycle, you also let the candidates knows up front that we are looking for proactive/assertive employees, who have a lot of intellectual curiosity, that are self-starters that like to deliver without much direction. Basically, this is not something you’d want to spring on a candidate once they have received an offer, but rather, something you want to make sure they are aware of as they are interviewing, and hopefully the employees/managers that interview the candidate are also conveying the same themes/message about the work environment. Also, a lot of Type A candidates actually like working in this type of environment, and this can be a major selling point as we interview them.”

Issue: Candidate Must Train Themselves

The experts say:

“You tell the candidate that they will be working in a “fast-paced environment” with minimal supervision and instruction. I usually like to hire Type A personalities for positions like this, because if they are quick learners and assertive, they will have a great opportunity to establish processes and training for future employees.”

“This is a position you can make your own. Again, you’re responsible for your own success. Ask questions if you don’t understand something and seek our regular feedback. We appreciate giving and receiving it!”

Issue: There is A Lot the Candidate Has to Catch Up On

The experts say:

“It’s a really steep learning curve and the first 90 days will feel overwhelming, but once you get up to speed things get easier.”

“We’re excited to have you here, and know that one of the things that will be a good career opportunity for you will be get involved very quickly in (x). That will require a fair amount of ramp-up time on your part, but we know you can do it, that’s why we’re hiring you.”

“The company requires a sharp individual who is a self-starter with intellectual curiosity who likes to figure things out on their own.”