Accepting a job offer is like saying yes to a marriage proposal (see my article “Love affair with your boss”) One needs to look beyond the financial rewards to make sure it is a good match. Having an employee leave can be thought of as a “divorce” and in this day and age, is rather common, but it does not serve you well when it comes to your image/brand. How can it be avoided when busy hiring managers are not able to devote the time diving into details? They are forced to react to “First Love” or reject candidates that they can’t instantly see as a fit.
Just like in our personal lives, there are good matches, bad matches, not-so-great-but-salvageable matches if both parties are willing to work towards it, and it is pretty much the same when it comes to finding a match in the work life.
From my experience working with both clients and candidates, it is not unheard of that one’s expectations do not match up with the other party and vice versa. Let’s look at the unspoken “wants and desires” of each party:
Employers (Mars) want you to be 100% dedicated (to the point of even imposing on family time), super loyal and ferociously energized, respect and protect company assets, an immaculate ambassador for the company brand and with only innocent intentions. Be flexible yet consistent, innovative but obedient, fearless but conservative, an individual contributor but be a team player, sharp but docile and manageable, motivated by money but independently wealthy to the point where your salary is a personal accounting bother and not worth collecting….
Employees (Venus) want to be offered flexibility and work life balance, the best possible or at least an above average package of perks including free lunches. You want to be given freedom and autonomy to produce your best work. You want a leader but not someone looking over your shoulder; want the opportunity to move up the career ladder according to your time table and not the company’s. You want a salary which enables you to have enough money to retire soon or do something you really want…
The above is perhaps an exaggerated analogy but I am sure you may find an aspect or two that are true. By no means, am I implying that all employment proposals are destined for disaster; rather it is more about setting and managing realistic expectations in order to reach the common goal of a long and productive relationship.
Some of the latest research in the workplace shows that emotionally committed (Venusian like attribute) employees are key to a “Martian” organizations success. When someone is emotionally committed, they choose to go beyond their basic duties, stretching beyond expectations to make an impact. This emotional commitment gained by granting Venusian like flexibility and freedoms proves to be more powerful than trying to retain worker-bots with money or title.
This all leads to the topic of what kind of relationship are you looking for, at least when it comes to recruitment? Is it better to find a profile which matches the job description or find a person that really wants to work for you? More to come in the next article.