Do Employers Use Bait And Switch Tactics With Potential Employees?

I Was Asked This Question From an HR Director:

"It is my opinion that the "bait and switch" tactics used by employers and their hired employment agencies is consistently used to screen the undesirable "minority" and/or “disabled” candidates from the better "match" non-minority, non-disabled candidates.  Yet, in the face of the various adversities that prevents highly qualified candidates from becoming gainfully employed, what can a candidate do without playing the race, age or disability card?"
Harold R., HR Director, Omaha, NE

A:  To begin with I am NOT an expert on racism.  I am however a 69 year business professional with a disability and have experienced discrimination from both of these arenas.  Even though I am consider an “expert” in retention and other people issues, I was told recently that although I am filled with energy, the President of a particular company was reluctant to hire me to facilitate a management strategy seminar to improve employee retention, he wanted somebody that “looked whole.” 

Considering I fly airplanes, walk, talk, dress, swim, manage a business, have an exercise regime, play catch with my grandson, facilitate a dozen seminars a year, am happily married and have spent a lifetime learning my trade, I was a bit irritated to say the least.  So irritated in fact, that I cancelled the recruiting contract I had with them, even though it was lucrative and they “claimed” I was one of the few recruiters that every really performed for them.

My advice to you is the same as it is to all of my potential candidates.  In order for me to present you as the “most place-able candidate” or better said……in order for YOU to prepare yourself to become the most place-able candidate it all comes down to the following; SKILLS, STABILITY, EXPERIENCE AND ATTITUDE 

A.      All companies ask me for the “skill set” first.  If you don’t match the qualifications, why would you try to force a square peg into a round hole?  All it does is offer frustration and a set up for a failure
B.      Job hopping is a no-no.  I recently read an article that says the Generation X & Y employees will change jobs 26 times in their career path.  This is an atrocious goal in life. I hear from hiring managers, “why doesn’t he/she stay any longer than 2 years at any given job?”  And I rhetorically respond, “Good question, why don’t they?”
C.      You must learn your trade and then relearn your trade every day.  Our world moves fast and change is a common word in most growing business environments.  If you don’t have the skill sets required by an employer it probably won’t be a match, no matter how hard you try. What did you do in the last 12 months to improve yourself?  Remember that YOUR resume is only a job description of who you were.  You must be prepared to demonstrate to a prospective hiring manager what you plan to be and how your presence can impact their company in a positive way!

D.     There are no longer any “give-me’s” in this world.  Having an attitude that the new employer or current employer “owes you” is a destination to nowhere.  It all begins with you the employee.  Why fall into an impossible stereotype?  Why not demonstrate your qualifications by example?  My grandmother used to tell me, “deeds not words!”

When I speak with employers about employees they have terminated I hear, “they just acted like they didn’t want to be here; or he/she stood around with his/her hands in their pockets waiting for ME to do it; or He/she never contributed to the conversation, never offer good solutions to problems; or when the five o’clock buzzer rang, they were out the door like a shot.” 

All these actions demonstrate why an employer wouldn’t want to keep an employee.  And if you fit into these categories, change or the results will be the same in the future for you.

Now from the management or hiring side of these issues I suggest the following;

1.      Start looking at candidates from what assets and value that they bring to the organization.
2.      Look at candidates with this thought, “if he/she has only five years left to work, how can I empower them to allow me to tap into their knowledge to grow the people in this department or company?”
3.      Become known as a company that is a champion of PEOPLE. This will probably include soul searching and making decisions that you have probably not made in your “job hiring” past.
4.      The results will be that you will have a work place that people will WANT to work and the word will spread and it will positively affect your sales and bottom line.
5.      If one of your friends or parent was noticeably older than you or walked with a disability or had a different color of skin, would you tell him/her not to come to your house because you didn’t want the neighbors to know that you associate with “those types” of HUMAN BEINGS?  I think not, so why do it in your business life?
6.      QUALIFIED candidates will reward you, the company and their co-workers once given the opportunity to shine.

Go forth and make this a tremendous week for you and everyone around you.!

George F. Mancuso
George F. Mancuso, CPC 


  1. Bait and switch tactics come without penalty to the company. The new candidate once hired and finds for example that instead of being a sales representative the job is actually a truck driver or the person hired on as a manager with a staff only to find that the term "manager" is just decorative title; there is no staff and the position calls for hard labor. It is becoming more common than I would have ever imagined. The sad thing is that there is no protection. Talk to an attorney about a breach of contract an there is no interest. Department of Employment is not interested especially in "Right to Work" states. Often times these positions are so bad that tactics are required to get a warm body into the job.

  2. A comment you made about changing jobs '26 times' in the course of a career caught my eye. I make that 18-24 months per role and I assume there will be some whose average residence time is a lot shorter. I can see employers investing time and effort in staff training if that is the case - NOT!

    I'm job seeking at the moment (in Britain) and was turned down for one position because 'I had changed jobs three times in 10 years' and so wasn't considered reliable. The fact that two of those moves were forced on me did not count. What's your opinion?

  3. Just another form of excuse. I have a current client that refuses to speak to anyone who is unemployed. Even if for only one day of unemployment. Even if they are 100% qualified. Not working, don't send them in. Sad scenario and rather ignorant mindset.

  4. I've had many job interviews from all sorts of industries, the most stand out interview I can think of was I had applied for one position and the HR manager comes over thinking I applied for something else. It was a lower paying position, which I'm told I'm over qualified for, but they are willing to bring me on board at something equivalent to minimum wage. When I tell them I applied for this salary management position, they gave me the brush off at that point saying well your not qualified enough, even if I have the experience and all of the abilities asked for. The candidate they ended up hiring quit after less than a month. I received a call back saying "Would I like to interview again with them" and I asked who I would interview with and told it would be the same person from the first round. I told them about the "bait and switch" tactic, only later found out the person who called me for the second interview was actually their boss and ended up firing the recruiter cause I wasn't the only person who had an issue with that tactic or complained about the way they were treated after correcting them in the interview.

  5. How's this for bait and switch: A public relations agency advertises a $40,000+ writing job online. When candidates appear for the interview, they're told that the employer requires a 30-day trial period and will pay $1,000. Yes: A paltry $6.25 an hour--below the legal minimum wage--for a professional to prove that he or she can produce the desired work and is a good fit.

    Candidates are told that they will be paid cash, which means that there's no paper trail to prove that they ever worked there if they should ever discover that they've been conned and decide to report the illegal wages to the authorities.


Your comments are always appreciated. Thank you. - Client Growth Consultants