Realistic Job Previews (RJP): Increase the Likelihood of Success for New Employees

Author: Shannon Rowney

As the search for top talent continues, and cultural fit within a company is gaining more importance, companies need to identify ways to increase the success of new hires. Businesses need to ensure that they have a recruitment process in place that will help to identify engaged and motivated employees. In this post, we will be talking about Realistic Job Previews which is one technique that can be used in a recruitment process to reduce new hire turnover and increase employee job commitment.

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What is a Realistic Job Preview (RJP)?

A Realistic Job Preview provides a candidate with both positive and negative information regarding the position and therefore gives individuals a realistic perspective of employment with the company. Common types of RJPs are videos, current employee testimonials, short tests, or job shadowing. However, this list is not inclusive, there can be many forms of RJPs depending on the company, position and easiest way to present the information.

Why Do Companies Use It?

Many businesses are on the hunt to find new talent to add to their team. Companies have been adding RJPs into the recruitment process more recently as it helps the candidate to better understand the challenges and opportunities of the position.

Below is an example of how a recruitment process without a RJP can provide confusion for new employees.

Sally always wanted to be lawyer. She spent most of her childhood years in challenging academics, and preparing for her career in law. Luckily, Sally was hired after graduation by a large corporate law firm. During the hiring process, the job was portrayed as challenging, with potential for quick advancement, amazing pay, and a strong work/life balance. After working for the firm for only three months, Sally realized that the job was not at all what she expected and was disappointed with what she was told prior to the job starting. She started looking for a new job immediately.

Companies can experience a higher turnover when a new employee is surprised or disappointed by an aspect of their job. Situations like Sally’s can be avoided or helped by implementing different forms of RJPs so the employee can better understand their role in the company and expectations of the job.

How Can It Help?

A RJP can be especially helpful for certain companies with specialized positions. Jobs with uncommon characteristics or new positions in an industry would benefit greatly from more specific information about the job. As well, candidates who have recently graduated or are new to their profession would also benefit from a clear vision of what the job will entail.

As an HR professional working in the field, I can admit that during the recruitment process it is easy to focus on all the positives about the company and the job. However, in EVERY position there can be potential challenges or negatives. Allowing candidates to get a glimpse of what this looks like can help to reduce overall turnover.

How We Use It

At Klenzoid, depending on the position, we use different types of RJPs to ensure candidates have all of the necessary information to make a commitment to the company. For our customer-facing roles we have the candidate job shadow a current employee in the position to see a typical day and take the opportunity to visit client sites. For more office based roles, we have candidates complete a task – similar to what their role would require them to do regularly.

RJPs really are an important part of our unique approach as a business and are very well received by candidates. We are often thanked for the opportunity to see a typical day in the field and for providing a stronger idea of what the job is really like.

Better informed candidates are more likely to be engaged at work and be able to contribute to the company faster. RJPs are one technique that companies can use to increase the likelihood of success for new employees. If you are applying for a new position and have the opportunity to participate in a RJP, hopefully this information helps you to understand its purpose.

Suggested reads: Do’s and Don’ts to Ace a Phone Interview

Shannon Rowney holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Guelph. She works closely with the management team to support the strategic requirements for hiring, training and employee retention. On the weekend you would find Shannon in downtown Toronto enjoying a Blue Jays game or discovering the newest brunch spot.

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