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Recruitment Intervention Strategies

Reasons, Roadblocks, and Reality in using RJPs

Refutes myths, provides facts and clarifies concerns on the use and methods of the Realistic Job Preview:
Roadblock Myth 1: Some within the organization will think RJPs will scare off candidates and deflate the candidate pool.
 Reality Check: RJP will prevent inappropriate candidates from moving up in the selection process and wasting the organization’s time. Remember that a task that is viewed negatively by one person may be of interest to another person. The candidates that receive balanced information and remain are making informed choices.
 Reality Check: RJP will help provide perspective to a multi-generational workforce. Tasks of little interest to a Baby Boomer or Gen Y’er may be viewed differently by another generation of workers. (See related materials on Generational Workforces) 
 Roadblock Myth 2: The RJP process will reveal that the position has too many “negative” aspects.
 Reality Check: If the position is viewed as overly negative, the organization should put in place some supports, such as training, mentoring, or work/life balance activities; or improve the job. Otherwise, retention may be hard to achieve regardless of how the selection process is handled.
 Roadblock Myth 3: The process will use too much time and too many resources.
 Reality Check: The RJPs that are inexpensive to provide (e.g., booklet, job description with policies) are given to candidates early in the process and are less expensive to administer. The more time- and resource-intensive steps are taken later.
 Reality Check: Time and resources are expended every time you interview, hire, and train an inappropriate candidate, only to see them leave because the job is not a good fit. More time is spent in meetings to address the turnover problem or deal with increased staff frustration and higher caseloads due to vacant positions.
 Reality Check: The process of preparing the RJP and discussing the position will benefit the organization. Updating the job description might open up thinking and encourage steps to make the job more appealing. The mere process of developing and implementing the RJP will help build your team.
 Roadblock Myth 4: The RJP process reveals too much the about the organization, i.e., negative information and problems.
 Reality Check: You are conveying accurate information; the candidate will find out or be faced with negative aspects of the job once he/she is hired. In a study conducted on candidate bank tellers, those who were given RJP tended to leave during off-the-job training; those who were not provided with RJP tended to leave after employment during the first 20 weeks after training. [1]
 Reality Check: The RJP provides information that the candidate is lacking that is of value to the candidate’s decision making. The RPJ process deals with job aspects that are of interest to the candidate, but might not be stated anywhere else.
 Roadblock Myth 5: One-to-one “off the record” discussions with an incumbent might provide the candidate with information you don’t want disclosed.
 Reality Check: “Off the record” discussions occur in other ways that you can not control. This process provides a chance for important, but possibly sensitive information (such as how the organization helps to cope with frustrations, client load numbers, or staff socialization), to be exchanged in a controlled format. A job incumbent can provide accurate information and be seen as a credible source.

[1] Roger, D., & Wanous, J.P. (1983). The effects of realistic job previews on hiring bank tellers. Michigan State University East Lansing Graduate School of Business. Defense Technical Information Center, Retrieved January 8, 2008 from

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