How honest are you?

Have you ever had a conversation where you felt like you were talking "HR speak" instead of the honest, brutal truth?

I have had three of those conversations today both with candidates who clearly have no chance of getting the jobs they want.

I was very, very honest with one. He was a former staff person reapplying for a full time position.

I was semi-honest with another one. This person has not worked for us before but I know who they are.

With the third, I was totally HR-speak dishonest. This guy clearly isn't suited for the position but I still spent about 10 minutes with him explaining how our application process works.

HR is also PR for your organization so with that in mind, how honest are you?


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Let's just say that if a Masters in B.S. was offered, I think we'd all have one as HR professionals.
  • I don't equate 'speaking the whole truth and nothing but the truth' with honesty. Sometimes I step out there though. Last year I called an applicant just to tell her that her resume was messed up. I was as nice and polite as possible, and let her know that it actually didn't make a difference on her application with us since she wasn't qualified. I was just telling her for future reference. She was very grateful. I have done the same thing before with less positive results. After awhlie, you learn by their reaction on the little things how much you should say about bigger things. You are not obligated to get your head bitten off by anyone because they happened to apply for a job where you are HR.

    Was that enough HR speak for you?
  • That was pretty good HR speak.

    I do the same thing with applicants when I feel its appropriate to offer them a truthful perspective beyond "we are pursuing applicants who more closely match the needs of this position".

    My nature is to be honest and its uncomfortable for me to do "HR speak" sometimes. I always feel like if you are doing the right thing, what do you have to hide?

    That said, I am not sure people want the truth. So that can be a problem for me.
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