The Truth About Unicorns: A Lesson in Setting Employee Expectations

The Staffing Industry Definition

A Note to Hiring Managers

Four Ways to Set Clear Expectations

  1. Set realistic expectations: What qualifications are truly needed to accomplish the job and which elements are merely preferences? It’s excellent if someone has a master’s degree in an IT field, but do they need it to do the job at hand? How many years of experience are actually needed? How many specific programming languages does the role require? The more you define the specifics, the more accurate your potential talent pool will be.
  2. Understand the labor market: Try to decipher how common or unique your requirements are and how much you can pay. These will influence your decisions about what is non-negotiable and what is optional. If you are in an in-demand industry or trying to fill a job with newer technology experience required, expect to pay more. The more you do your due diligence on these details, the more prepared you will be for the hiring process.
  3. Pay attention to your job descriptions: Remember, you are filling a position, not replacing a person. You should have descriptions on file which represent the true requirements of the job. The more qualifications you ask for in the description, the more likely qualified people will opt out and never apply. You can look for those extra “nice to haves,” but cast a wider net at first. You may not catch a unicorn, but you may find a diamond in the rough.
  4. Create your own unicorns: Develop your internal staff. If you want to replace people with unicorns, then train your staff from the start in the skills needed to move up in the company. Your employees already understand your culture, internal systems, industry, and the nuances of your business. If your company relies on systems or software that not everyone is familiar with, then cross training employees could really pay off. Those are unicorn type qualities that are next-to-impossible to find in the hiring process.

Looking for more industry advice? We’ve already written several columns with practical suggestions that can help you in your career.



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ATR International

ATR International

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Award Winning Minority-Owned National Staffing Provider Specializing in Contract & Contract to Direct Positions.