Almost half of job candidates are being sold an unrealistic dream

New research reveals that 48 per cent of employees have left a role because it wasn’t what they expected it to be*.

When asked what these differences were: 59 per cent cited job responsibilities, 42 per cent pointed to the working environment, and 35 per cent mentioned working hours or shift patterns. Only 29 per cent said that their salary or employee benefits played any part in their decision to leave.

Among Generation Z employees, those aged 18 to 24, three quarters (73 per cent) of those saying they had left a role because it didn’t meet their expectations had left that job because the responsibilities didn’t match up to what they thought they’d be. Given that these employees have only just entered the workforce, there seems to be a huge disconnect from what was promised in interview to the reality of the actual job.

These figures point to a very significant problem in the recruitment process, revealing that in many cases the current format is not fit for purpose. Employers seem to be failing to disclose the whole truth of what the job entails, appearing to mis-sell what a potential employee will be required to do. Record levels of employment, coupled with a skills shortage could be making this situation worse, as employers focus on getting the most qualified candidates rather than the most suitable person for the role with the appropriate skills.

The second largest reason respondents gave for the role not being what they expected was the working environment. This shows just how important workplace culture has become to employees and that a significant proportion of them are prepared to leave their job if that culture isn’t what they expect it to be. Employers need to think carefully about how they communicate their culture externally, and ensure this matches up with the experience of their current workforce. Any gap between the perception and the reality will lead to disenchanted employees, who will take action and look for employment elsewhere.

Chris Platts, CEO of ThriveMap, said,

It’s clear from our research that the current recruitment process is failing many employees, leading them to accept roles that weren’t what they expected. This situation is also harmful for employers, costing them valuable time and resources through increased employee churn. Businesses need to take a fresh look at their recruitment processes to ensure they test effectively for the skills that are actually required for the role, not ones they assume are important. They also need to present both the job and the organisation honestly. Employees will appreciate this open approach, giving them the confidence to know what to expect when they start a new job.”

*from ThriveMap

Interested in recruiting young talent?  We recommend the Early Talent Forum 2019 and Recruitment and Retention Conference 2019.





Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

Aphrodite has had a variety of high profile industry clients as a freelancer, and previously worked for a number of years as an Editor and Journalist for

Aphrodite is also a professional painter.