Realistic job preview: how to get it right

Vicki Mann

Posted 15/12/2022
by Vicki Mann

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Realistic job preview: how to get it right

What is a realistic job preview?

A realistic job preview, also known as an RJP, is a tool used in recruitment that helps applicants get a more detailed glimpse of what the job and working at the company would be like. It's essentially an employer's way of conveying what a job is really like by providing both positive and realistic insights into the everyday experience of working there. This can ensure that expectations are properly managed between the employer and applicant, ultimately creating more informed candidates who are ready to hit the ground running once in post.

An RJP can include a wide variety of information from day-to-day tasks and working environment, to company values and overall purpose. When used effectively, RJPs help recruitment efforts become much more productive for everyone involved.

Why is a realistic job preview important?

A realistic job preview can provide many advantages to both the applicant and employer. An RJP will give the future employee an in-depth look at their potential job, including the necessary qualifications and expected tasks and responsibilities. A realistic job preview gives applicants an understanding of what their daily routines would involve if hired, clarifying their expectations from the outset. This transparency during recruitment establishes trust between parties and encourages better informed decisions from potential employees.

Additionally, a good RJP provides employers with higher quality applicants since individuals will be able to make more informed decisions about whether they're fit for the job prior to applying. A more suitable and highly qualified talent pool will help companies recruit for vacancies with the best possible candidate. 

How to create a great realistic job preview

Now that we understand how realistic job previews work, let's look at some tips on how to develop effective RJPs.

Write an accurate and compelling job description

A good job description is absolutely essential for an effective realistic job preview. Ideally you'll be collaborating with your hiring managers and human resource management team to develop a job description that's detailed, accurate, and compelling all at once. This may sound intimidating, but it's absolutely crucial to ensuring you're making the best hiring decisions. Effectively emphasising the demands as well as the benefits associated with the role allows potential applicants to assess its suitability without making blind decisions.

Good recruitment depends on revealing all information that could influence someone’s decision making—and an accurate list of duties and roles in a realistic job preview form part of that information. Doing this can make all the difference in terms of recruitment outcomes, ultimately making recruitment processes much easier for both employers and prospective employees.

Make sure that the information you're including in the job description is completely accurate. Including an inaccurate job description in your job preview can be detrimental to your company's turnover rate and overall reputation. For more tips on, check out our guide to writing the best job descriptions.

Showcase your company culture

Recruitment is much more than finding the right candidate to do the job – it's about creating a recruitment process that actively weeds out candidates who won't be a culture fit. It's become increasingly important for businesses to foster a healthy company culture in order to attract highly talented potential candidates. Showcasing your company's culture early on during the application process can help to ensure higher quality employees are hired while also broadening recruitment for underrepresented groups and people from other diverse backgrounds who will help drive your business forward.

Some of the best ways to integrate company culture fit into RJPs is with the help of your employees. Videos of office tours, meeting different teams, or interviews with current employees can be a great way for both you and your candidates to see if they would be a culture fit or clash.

Implement skills assessments

Skills tests are a great addition to RJP's that can be beneficial for both the candidate and the employer. In terms of how it helps the candidates, the skills tests will simulate what their day-to-day tasks would be like if they did get the job, thereby helping to paint a realistic picture of the job.

Using skills tests in RJP's are also a great pre-employment screening aid and can help hiring managers understand how well an applicant would do at the job. With skills assessments, you'll be able to remove the element of guesswork and obtain solid metrics that measure a candidate's relevant abilities for specific roles. Skills assessments can cover both soft skills such as literacy and communication skills as well as more technical skills such as forklift truck skills

Include employee value propositions

A realistic job preview that includes details about an employer’s benefits and perks can be an effective tool in recruitment – both to draw in the right applicant, as well as to maintain high employee retention rates and morale. Offering great coverage packages, inclusive health care plans, or additional vacation time can help create an attractive recruitment strategy and encourage potential candidates to apply. Furthermore, a strong list of benefits may increase loyalty and keep employees content at their current position.

It's also important to ensure that you're keeping these perks realistic. If you're advertising benefits that aren't feasible for your company at the time, your new hires will feel as if they've been tricked into accepting the job offer. This won't be good for both your turnover rate and your reputation. 

Cover employee development opportunities

One of the most important things job seekers consider when applying for vacancies is whether there is any room for growth and development within the company. Showcasing this early on in the recruitment or interview process via your RJP is an effective way of attracting high quality talent. When writing about employee development opportunities, you should aim to answer the question 'How will they grow within my organisation?'

This section of the realistic job preview will give you the chance to mention any training programmes, mentorships, future company goals, and potential promotions that you'd be able to offer at your company. With this information in hand, both hiring managers and job applicants will be able to see whether their goals align with the organisations, thereby improving your overall employee retention rate.

Implement an RJP today

A realistic job preview is an important tool that can help you weed out unqualified candidates and retain a happier and more productive workforce. By honestly depicting the good, the bad, and the ugly of a position up front, you can set expectations for both the company and the employee, avoid potential issues down the road, and create a foundation for a positive working relationship. When crafting your own RJP, be sure to keep these tips in mind – accuracy, detail-oriented, no sugarcoating! – and you'll be on your way to attracting top talent that will stick around for the long haul.

Looking to implement a realistic job preview and/or skills testing in your hiring process? Here at Skillsarena we provide everything you need for a successful hiring process. Check out our RJP offering and our thorough and accurate skills tests and situational judgement tests to help you make the most accurate hiring decisions. If you're interested, contact our team today to find out more.

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