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How to Speak HR

By Alexi Calvo | HRPeople

August 19, 2009

Issue: The Candidate Will Have to Answer to Many People

The experts say:

“We tend to avoid a strict silo style and instead find that a matrix management is the most effective.”

“This position will give you a great opportunity to interact with many departments, and give you internal visibility and recognition very quickly. It will be a really good way to build cross-functional relationships and learn what’s going on in a number of different areas within the company.”

“Haven’t encountered this often… however, the spin is that he/she will work in an “unstructured environment” where they are expected to work for and collaborate with multiple managers Typically, you want to hire individuals who have adaptable personalities and strong social/communication skills for this type of work environment.”

Issue: The Job is Highly Stressful

The experts say:

“No spin on this ;-) I just tell them that it’s a high-pressure environment and we are looking for individuals who thrive in this type of work environment. The reason being that you want to scare away those who would not be successful in this environment, as they would most likely get fired or quit if you spin things and hire them. You want to hire the right individual for the job, so again, honesty is the best policy.”

“There can be periods of stress so people who are in their position need to know how to take care of themselves so they don’t burn out. It’s the nature of the industry.”

Issue: The Office Atmosphere Isn’t That Great

The experts say:

“Have not worked in an environment like this, but the spin is that there are “difficult personalities” that the candidate / new hire will have to work with.”

“You tell them that they will be working with ’difficult personalities" and give them additional insights about individuals without naming names, etc. “

Issue: You Would Prefer Someone Without Many Other Responsibilities

The experts say:

“You can’t say this out right – it’s against the law. However, you emphasize the work environment, expected work hours, and deliverables to make sure the new hire has a clear understanding for what he/she is getting into. Again, honesty is the best policy.”

“When employees are here, they are really focused on the job and customers. We’re very mission driven here.”