Making Promises You Can’t Keep

You hire a bright individual and you’re so excited, you tell him you’re looking forward to a long future with him. That you feel confident he is going to be a great, long term asset with you.

You love another candidate’s résumé and all of the glowing reports you got from the person’s previous employers, that you tell her she should be able to get several pay raises within her first year.

And yet another candidate interviews SO WELL, that you promise her the Office Manager’s position when that person retires. You know the Office Manager is retiring because she told you she was. She wants to spend more time with her family.

With every one of these promises comes a risk. What if your first candidate who you told would be a “great, long term asset with you” does not live up to his résumé? What if his skills are NOT what you thought they would be. And you want to let him go. Hmm. He may see that as a broken promise.

The candidate you promised several raises with the first year? Your revenue is hurting and you just can’t deliver on them. Broken promise?

And what about the Office Manager who assured you she was retiring in the near future. She changes her mind and doesn’t retire. She decides she just loves working there and wants to hang in for another few years. The candidate promised this position may see this as a broken promise.

I’m not a lawyer and I do not play one on television — I do loving saying that — but making promises to new hires and then not fulfilling them — it is possible this could be a legal problem for you.

The simple solution?

Do not make any promises on the front end unless you are absolutely certain you can keep them.

An even better solution?

Don’t make promises on the front end.




As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.




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