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How to Speak HR

By Alexi Calvo | HRPeople

August 19, 2009

Issue: Your Company Requires A Lot of Overtime

The experts say:

“We’re looking for people to work until the job is done, and done right. The goal is drive and business to greater success and we want people who are able and willing to do so.”

“We look for people who can do whatever it takes to get the job done. It’s not likely you’ll find people here working the traditional 40 hour work week because they are dedicated to the customer.”

“We’re not the kind of company that tracks hours; you do what’s needed to get the job done. There are going to be some projects where it’s a push to get things out the door and we take the approach that we’re all in it together, where people will sometimes stay late to help each other out.”

“Haven’t worked at a company like this… this is usually not a good sign. If employees choose to work overtime on their own, it’s one thing. However, if they are required to work overtime, it’s not good.”

Issue: High Turnover Rate

The experts say:

“We are a company that prides itself on top talent. We’re looking for “A Players” who can come in, hit the ground running, and be very flexible to changing business conditions. We’re good at holding people accountable for bringing their A game, and unfortunately sometimes that means that people who don’t want to be held to that standard, move on to other opportunities.”

“A lot of people think they are cut out for this, but it takes a special kind of person to excel here.”

“This position/company isn’t for everyone…we have a unique culture and a flat organization. Some people “get it” and stay with us for many years. Others don’t feel it suits them and move on.”

“Haven’t worked at a company like this before… but from what I’ve heard, most recruiters spin this as a high stress, performance based work environment. Most companies that have high turnover rates are not good employers.”

Issue: There is a Slim Chance That the Candidate Will Move Up

The experts say:

“Rather than focus on the future, it’s important that the focus is on excelling at the job we are hiring you into.”

“I like to be honest when recruiting candidates who have high aspirations, but a low chance of getting the promotions they seek. More often than not, the spin is that the company has flat hierarchy (low number of managers) and hires high-caliber employees, which means implies the candidate (new hire) should not be offended if he/she does not get a promotion. It’s more a byproduct of the work environment than the candidate’s skill set. However, if a candidate has no business aspiring for a role they’re not qualified for, I would rather tell them than spin it another way.”