The Dangers of ‘Love Bombing’ in Job Interviews

Love bombing in job interview

In today’s competitive job market, some companies resort to unusual tactics to attract talent. A recent example of this is ‘Love Bombing’ during job interviews.

What is ‘Love Bombing’?

Love Bombing refers to a practice where candidates are showered with compliments and positive feedback during job interviews. This often happens to make the candidate feel exceptionally desired, making them more likely to accept the offer without further negotiation.

An example:

Joris, an experienced software developer, applied for a position at Software BV. During his interviews, he was constantly praised for his resume and skills. HR, the technical lead, and even the CEO emphasized how perfectly he would fit into the team and hinted at rapid promotions.

Due to this positive approach, Joris felt particularly wanted and accepted the offer without further negotiation. However, once he started working, he discovered that the workload was high and the company culture was not as supportive as presented. The promised rapid promotions proved unrealistic.

The result: Disappointed, Joris left the company within a year and shared his experiences on platforms like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. This practice, although intended to attract talent, ultimately led to negative publicity for Software BV.

Why do recruiters do this?

In the current market, it can sometimes be difficult for companies to find enough staff. Recruiters have to fight to hook candidates, which is why all possible means are often used to attract talent. This can lead to candidates seeming almost assured of a job without going through a thorough interview process. Such hasty decisions can turn out badly for both parties.

In the euphoria that recruiters sometimes create, the less pleasant aspects of the job are often left out. Especially now that the younger generation places a lot of emphasis on company culture, it is important to ensure a good match. A bad hire can cost up to 1.5 times an average annual salary.

Although recruiters often apply Love Bombing unconsciously, driven by good intentions and a sense of sales, there can also be a deliberate strategy behind it. Some recruiters may shower candidates with compliments to achieve their targets or earn commissions. This can also lead to candidates being strung along. Companies want to find the best match, resulting in lengthy application procedures. Candidates who are then rejected after a long process can be left feeling deceived.

Is Neurolytics guilty of Love Bombing?

“To be honest, we’ve been guilty of this mistake ourselves in the past,” says co-founder of Neurolytics, Belen Hein. 

When our product was still in its early stages and we were looking for a second developer, we had two candidates we were extremely enthusiastic about. Making the right choice was difficult, partly because we couldn’t use our own scan yet.

To compensate for this, both candidates underwent a series of interviews, driven by our good intentions and genuine enthusiasm for both. However, the reality was that we put the rejected candidate through a lengthy process, which made this person believe they would be hired. In the end, we received feedback that the interview process was not a good experience due to our positivity during the process (Love Bombing) and the final rejection.

What can you do about it?

Love Bombing can initially be effective, but if reality does not match the expectations created, it leads to high turnover and reputational damage. Employees are increasingly sharing their experiences on platforms like Glassdoor or LinkedIn. Therefore, employers should strive for honesty and transparency during job interviews to build more sustainable and positive relationships with employees.

Whether Love Bombing will ever completely disappear remains to be seen. It will likely always be a part of the recruitment process. Therefore, it is important for candidates to trust their instincts and remain critical. As a company, it is essential to be aware of how you present yourself and how you treat candidates. After all, honesty lasts the longest!

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