You’ve been looking to leave your job for a few months, but the next job on the jungle gym hasn’t come along yet. Before you can leave, a coworker of yours does, and you’re left as part of the hiring process for that position.
You want to hire someone who will do a great job, but you also don’t want them to have unrealistic expectations for the position or the company. So how do you hire someone for a job you hate?
Be as honest as possible without bashing the company you work for. There are ways you can turn the bad things into good things so that you’re honest, but still setting realistic expectations. For example, in my interviews I would be open about the hours, management styles and lack of supervision I had. But in the same breath, I’d talk about how the company works hard, all of the things I learned, and how I had a lot of responsibility for someone of my age and expertise. You don’t have to lie about what you went through, but you also don’t need to trash it either.
I once was interviewing someone with my CEO in the room when the interviewee asked specifically about our bad Glass Door reviews, and if there was anything we wanted to address about them head on. It was a welcome addition to the interview from my perspective: it made me feel much better about hiring someone who knew how previous and current employees felt about the company.
Even when I’m honest about a job, often times the people I’ve spoken with are still interested because it aligns closely with what they’re looking for. For some people, the specific job experience is worth more to them than finding a good working environment, or they need to experience the job before believing you about its disadvantages. Some people might see the job as a welcome challenge; let them make their own decisions.
Use The Phone
When I was hiring for a job I was looking to leave, I posted on social media that my team was looking to hire and got a few referrals from friends and connections of mine. Instead of having elaborate conversations over email, I did my best to have a brief phone conversation before they applied to talk about the good and bad of the position and company. This way, my words were not in writing and couldn’t be used again me, so it enabled me to be more honest.
Remember, Everyone Is Different
What you do to pay the bills might be someone else’s dream job, or at least the perfect stepping stone to what they want to do in the future. Don’t discount your current experience entirely; there is probably someone whose skills and personality more closely match what’s needed.
When I was interviewing potential candidates, I focused on how the job was exactly what I needed when I first got it, but I had grown out of the role and the people over the course of my tenure. Because I learned a lot about my field and about different managing styles, I tried to look for someone else who was looking to learn in the same ways.
Have you ever hired for a job while you were looking to leave? What was the most difficult part?