I am convinced that by only listing the top five things candidates forget to disclose that I am doing the world a huge disservice. There are countless assignments I have been involved with where selective amnesia was in play that involved many more examples than I care to explain.
I digress. Here are a few of my favorites:
Number 5 – I Have Not Told My Spouse I’m Interviewing
WHAT? You’ve got to be kidding me? How can you feel good about a candidate’s character, ethics, trust and honesty (I could go on)when they don’t even tell their spouse/partner they are looking and actively interviewing for a new job? Let me help you. You can’t. This is the recipe for disaster on a number of fronts especially if a relocation is involved. Not good.
Number 4 – I Am Up For Promotion Next Month
So… why in the world would a candidate not disclose a (known for weeks) upcoming (highly anticipated) promotion? Two reasons come to my mind immediately. One is leverage. To be in a position to negotiate a better deal once the offer and promotion are on the table. The other reason: To have a fall-back plan if the promotion/compensation does not meet expectations. Yep. That’s what I want. Yep. Door # 2. Being part of the candidate’s fall-back plan. No thanks. Not interested.
Number 3 – I Collect a Huge Bonus (make up a #) Months From Now
You what? Yes – they tend to keep this piece of data in their back pocket to use against me or my client to get a better salary or perhaps a signing bonus. I’m OK with that as long as the information is disclosed during the vetting process. But never during the offer phase. Never. Any delay in a start date that exceeds a few weeks increases the no-show rate. Time kills deals. Bad plan.
Number 2 – I Don’t Actually Have a Job Right Now
Tell me a lot of things – but don’t go through our entire search process (and God forbid) interview with my client and never (not once) mention “Oh, by the way, I’m unemployed.” That silent piece of information usually tells another story (not always – but usually). Full disclosure about your current employment status is simply doing the right thing. Tell it like it is.
Number 1 – I Was Fired From My Last Job
I wrote about this last week. To lie about it is one thing. Failure to disclose it is, well hmmm – I know – that’s lying too! You either resigned, were part of a reduction in force (RIF) – or you were (shot) terminated. Now which one was it? The absolute worst thing a candidate could do is to represent him/herself as a stellar superstar only to find out later that they were fired from their last gig!
Honest dialogue between the candidate and the search consultant (and their client) is the best policy.
When in doubt – just tell it like it is. That works!