Need for Accurate Jobs Descriptions and Realistic Job Previews in Hiring

Alexa is an experienced software development professional with four years of core software development experience. She worked as a Module Lead in a leading software-as-a-service company and joined the company right after graduating in computer science engineering, recruited as a fresher from campus. Having mastered multiple technologies and programming languages like C#, .NET, and Go Lang, along with hands-on experience in cutting-edge projects, she sought to explore opportunities beyond her comfort zone.

She embarked on a job search and applied for positions through various portals and company career websites. Recruiters from multiple companies reached out to her, and she attended several interviews. Ultimately, she chose to join Company XYZ as a Lead Software Developer. However, her enthusiasm toon turned out to be a disappointment and regret for her within a few weeks of her joining. She had to quit her position in search of a job that was a better fit for her skills and interests.

Let’s see what went wrong for Alexa and Company XYZ.

Alexa was encouraged to apply for the position of Lead Software Developer listed in Company XYZ’s career portal based on the attractive Job description below:

Lead Software Developer – Job Description

Position: Lead Software Developer

Location: Bengaluru, India

About Us: Company XYZ is a dynamic and innovative tech company at the forefront of cutting-edge software development. We are seeking a highly skilled and motivated Lead Software Developer to join our team and take a pivotal role in shaping the future of our software solutions.

Role Overview: As a Lead Software Developer at Company XYZ, you will play a crucial role in designing and developing software applications that push the boundaries of technology. You will lead a team of three developers, guiding them to deliver projects on time and within budget. Collaboration with cross-functional teams will be key in this role to ensure seamless integration and a holistic approach to our software solutions.

Key Responsibilities
  • Design and Development: Utilize your expertise in software development to design and create innovative software applications that meet our clients’ needs and expectations.
  • Team Leadership: Lead and mentor a team of three developers, fostering a collaborative and high-performing work environment. Provide guidance, support, and technical expertise to ensure project success.
  • Project Management: Oversee project timelines, budgets, and resources to ensure that software development projects are delivered on time and within budget. Effectively communicate project status to stakeholders.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including designers, quality assurance engineers, and product managers, to ensure the seamless integration of software solutions into our products.
  • Technical Expertise: Demonstrate a strong understanding of object-oriented programming and stay up-to-date with industry best practices and emerging technologies to drive innovation.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or a related field.
  • 3+ years of hands-on experience in software development.
  • Proven track record of designing and developing high-quality software applications.
  • Strong understanding of object-oriented programming concepts and methodologies.
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills.
  • Proficiency in C#, .NET, and Golang is preferred.
  • Flexible work timings in a hybrid setup
  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience.
  • Comprehensive health, dental, and vision benefits package.
  • Opportunities for professional development and growth.
  • Collaborative and innovative work environment.
  • Culture of Innovation with work-life balance
How to Apply

If you are a passionate and experienced Lead Software Developer looking to take your career to the next level, we encourage you to apply on our careers portal with your resume and a cover letter detailing your relevant experience and why you are an ideal fit for Company XYZ.

Company XYZ is an equal-opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace.

Join us in pushing the boundaries of software development and making a significant impact in the tech industry. Become a part of our team today!

During the selection process

Thanks to her technical expertise, Alexa cracked the interview with the technical panel without much difficulty. This was followed by a conversation with the talent acquisition partner where Alexa highlighted her expectation in the new role, specifically her inclination to continue working in core software development and her preference to work only in the day shift considering her personal commitments, to which the talent acquisition partner readily agreed.

Disappointment after onboarding

A few weeks later, Alexa joined Company XYZ and was excited about the new opportunity. However, her enthusiasm quickly turned to disappointment when she was introduced to her project manager a few days after her onboarding. The project manager was not part of the technical panel that she had interviewed with, and she was surprised to learn that she had been assigned to a team of production support engineers. She was also responsible for handling production issues that occurred during the night shift and on weekends and holidays.

When Alexa confronted her project manager about the discrepancy between her job expectations and the reality of the role, he told her that he was aware of her preferences, but that the company needed her to work in production support because of the 24/7 nature of the role. Alexa was disappointed, but she decided to give the role a chance.

However, after six months, Alexa realized that she could not continue in the role. The night shifts and weekends were taking a toll on her health and personal life. She also felt that she was not using her skills and experience to the fullest in the production support role.

Alexa eventually quit her job and started looking for a new role that was a better fit for her skills and interests. She is now much happier in her new role as a software developer.

So what went wrong for Alexa and Company XYZ?

  • Absence of Realistic Job Preview: The job description for the software developer role highlighted responsibilities related to software development, coding, and collaboration with cross-functional teams. It did not mention the possibility of working in production support. It is common for recruitment teams to use the same job descriptions for all types of software roles, with the assumption that employees can fit into either role. While the job description highlighted various benefits like flexible work timings, hybrid setup, and work-life balance, it failed to communicate that the role requires working in shifts.
  • Inadequate Communication: Alexa had highlighted to the talent acquisition partner her inclination to work in core software development and her preference to work only on the day shift. However the same was not highlighted to the hiring manager or the technical panel. During the interview process, the technical panel focused only on her technical capabilities and did not highlight that she was being considered for a production support role. They were under the assumption that a developer would be good at production support as well. The hiring manager was never in direct communication with Alexa during the entire selection process. He had relied solely on inputs from the technical panel and the talent acquisition partner.

Lessons learned

In this case, Alexa’s disappointment and early turnover were primarily due to a significant mismatch between her expectations, based on the job description, and the reality of the role, which involved production support and night shifts. A realistic job preview that provides honest and accurate information about the job, including the positive and negative aspects at the time of recruitment would have saved time and effort for all.

Here are some specific things that employers can do to avoid job expectation mismatch and early turnover:

  • Be clear about the level of experience and skills required for the role.
  • Be honest about the salary and benefits.
  • Be clear about the work environment and expectations of the role such as shift work, long hours, travel, and physical demand.
  • Don’t oversell the position.
  • Be transparent about the role during the interview process.
  • Give the employee the opportunity to ask questions about the role.
  • Provide the employee with a realistic onboarding experience.
  • Provide the employee with the support they need to succeed in the role.

It is important to note that job descriptions should not highlight every negative aspect of the job, but they should be honest about the negative aspects that are most relevant to the position. By highlighting the negative sides of the job, employers can help to attract the right candidates, build trust with employees, and avoid early turnovers.

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