Why Realistic Job Preview Still Matters

In an age of technology, gamification and gimmicks, it’s tempting to rely on the ‘shiny new thing’ to attract the best candidates and stand out from the competition. While this is certainly important, offering a realistic job preview (RJP) has not become less so, particularly when hiring within the early talent space.

So why does RJP remain so important to candidates, and to employers?

For Candidates

1. For candidates, RJP provides insight into your organisation. Done well, an assessment can give insight into company culture, values, typical working practices, and the type of colleagues they can expect to meet.

2. It prepares candidates for what to expect within the role, both good and bad. By showing typical challenges, successes, highs and lows, successful candidates will enter the workplace with realistic expectations.

3. It creates a strong employer perception. Application processes for graduate schemes are typically time consuming and effortful, while candidates often get little back in return. Providing an RJP adds value to the candidate and creates a greater perception of reciprocity. While we might expect candidates to favour innovations and new technologies, an RJP is valued much higher.

For Employers

1. For employers, an RJP early in the application process can save on screening time and assessor resource further down the line, by allowing candidates to self-select out of the process before reaching those stages.

2. Levelling candidate expectations upfront means candidates are prepared for the difficulties they’re likely to face, and less likely to leave early on. Minimising attrition rates contributes to less future hiring, and less wasted resource on onboarding, training and development.

3. It raises the profile of the organisation amongst student populations, and attracts good quality candidates.

It’s clear that RJPs have real benefits for candidates and employers, but that doesn’t have to be at the total expense of ‘the shiny new thing’. We believe in finding the ‘sweet spot’, where realistic scenarios are presented in innovative and engaging ways is the best way forward. While there is space for gimmicks and novel attraction tools, an RJP should still form the foundation of a good recruitment process.

Hausknecht, J. P., Day, D. V., & Thomas, S. C. (2004). Applicant reactions to selection procedures: An updated model and meta‐analysis. Personnel Psychology, 57(3), 639-683.