How We Tell the Truth

Posted on
February 18, 2022

At Job Portraits, we use the truth to help teams find their people (and help people find their teams). Which is to say, we aim to reflect the most accurate, comprehensive, and compelling version of what it’s like to work somewhere. 

We succeed by implementing the following best practices and standards:

We put candidates first. Yes, employers are our clients—people at companies looking to hire top talent. But candidates are our audience, and we prioritize their perspective. Years of experience (and experimentation) mean we know how to talk to candidates, and we know what information they are most looking to learn.  

We diversify our sources. When we conduct discovery processes and schedule interviews, we don’t only connect with CEOs, CMOs, Heads of People, and other top-level decision makers. We know candidates want to hear from people like them, so we talk to people at all levels of a company, aiming for diversity of role, seniority, perspective, and tenure. 

We welcome varying views. Ideally, what we hear at every level aligns. But sometimes leaders might discuss best-case scenarios and ideal states of the culture, while employees might share a more relatable version of the actual job and culture. We listen to it all and reflect back what we learn.

We collect evidence. During interviews, we ask open-ended questions, request stories and examples and to back up claims, and record every word. We also do research on our own, and we’re not shy about asking for more information.

We edit with reverence. If it’s not in the transcripts, it won’t be in our work. We paraphrase, polish, and trim, but always with the source material close at hand and top of mind. Our goal is to capture the voices and intentions of the humans we connect with.

We optimize for self-selection. Company cultures are living, breathing things, and like people, they evolve as they grow. This means not every candidate will be happy at every company—and they shouldn’t be. We work to uncover truths that will attract some candidates while repelling others.

We push back. It makes sense that employers and recruiters—aka our clients—want to look their best. And we’re happy to adjust the lighting. But we know fluff and fakery won’t ultimately appeal to anyone looking for authenticity—aka quality candidates. So we speak up when something feels false, and we’re pros at approaching transparency with tact.

We use our expertise to get out of the way. With very few exceptions, all of our content is based on conversations with actual humans. Our focus is on other people’s stories; it’s not about imposing our views or even our clients’ views. We’re not the focus, we’re the frame. Our work illuminates the reality of what people are really saying.

Like what you see? Get in touch.

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Posted on
February 18, 2022