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I started a new job earlier this year and I'm already about to leave. I will be starting a new job in February (accepted and signed) - the hiring manager is currently out on medical but thankfully it's not a severe situation and will be back in Feb.

At my current company, my coworker resigned two weeks ago and has now worked out the notice period. Since I have to give two weeks notice as well, I'm not resigning until mid-January. So my boss and boss's boss don't know I'm leaving yet.

There are now a total of 4 vacancies on a team of 7. My current position will be the 5th vacancy soon.

Next week, I'm on a panel to interview my coworker's (possible) replacement. How do I warn the candidate not to work here?

I want to point to specific things such as: the office is extremely loud and distracting making it very hard to concentrate; the lighting is extremely poor (basically no lighting and there are no windows to boot); they tell candidates that the company supports "flex time" and "flexible schedules" but it's not true - you can't even work from a conference room, never mind from home or from a more suitable work environment; you are stuck in the crappy office for 9 hours a day.

Next week, I'll have to sit on a panel and keep my mouth shut while my boss's boss lies to the candidate the same way he lied to me. What can I do to warn the candidate?


Edit: After seeing the first two answers, I've decided to resign from the company. I'm not willing to sit there during the interview while my boss's boss tells lies about the company policies. Also some answers seem to have assumed I am assessing the candidate. I am not. I am there only as a prop to talk good about the company so the candidate will accept the position. I don't have any say on the qualifications of the candidate.

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    Flex time and flexible schedules has nothing to do with work location--it basically just means you can shift your schedule forward/backwards 1-2 hours – Mars Dec 9 '19 at 2:08
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    In other words, while your company doesn't sound great, they also don't seem like they've done anything to warrant you sabotaging them. It also doesn't sound like your boss lied. Do you have more info you can add? – Mars Dec 9 '19 at 2:12
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    @Mars: I think we should just honor the OPs statement that the boss lied. I think its often too dangerous too add too many details here because somebody then attacks the questioner writing "in some scenario, this could be no problem". "My boss requested that everybody comes in underwear" - "That's personal preference, many people would love to work in underwear. Don't you have real arguments?" For what its worth, almost no lightning and no windows seems horrible to me. Let us just assume the boss really lied. – guest Dec 9 '19 at 6:57
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    Publish a review on glassdoor.com. It's not much, but it's a start. Also, if the candidate is already unemployed, I wouldn't say anything, he can always find out for himself. It's the candidates that have more than one offer, or that are already working somewhere, that I would feel bad about. – Stephan Branczyk Dec 9 '19 at 10:30
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    Offer to take candidates on tour of the working area. They can see conditions themselves, and you may be able to talk in private. – Mawg says reinstate Monica Dec 9 '19 at 10:33
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Near the end of the interview, offer to take the candidate on a tour through the office. That's a pretty common and natural thing to do during an interview. But it'll also let the candidate see the office for themselves (and the bad lighting and shouting).

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    And maybe give you a chance for a little private chat - especially about the number of vacancies – Mawg says reinstate Monica Dec 9 '19 at 10:37
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Amusingly, the people on here would be the first to pounce on you if you lied on your resume, but if the company does it instead about the job...

If you go to the interview, you can learn the name and past experience of the candidate. That gives you a basis for finding their LinkedIn profile.

Create a new LinkedIn account using a VPN/away from work (and ideally the LinkedIn page of another country) and send them a message that has information which proves you know who they are and what you have to say about the company.

Be careful in the message to not include identifying information about yourself such as "when I started 5 months ago..." Be very careful about this part. Maybe point them to any GlassDoor reviews which say things about your company.

Not foolproof, but it is a plan with a decent chance of success and one which should protect you.

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  • I think a simple "I work for XYZ. I know you interviewed here on Tuesday. I strongly recommend you don't come to work here unless you're really desperate. Good luck with your job search" would suffice. Either by anonymous LinkedIn account or anonymous email. – Kaz Dec 9 '19 at 15:14
  • Related, opposite side: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/89567/… – GoodDeeds Dec 9 '19 at 23:47
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Unfortunately, as long as you are paid by your employer you have a certain duty to present them positively and to avert harm from them. That said, they can´t expect you to lie for them. Be very cautious though, because some things you state can be quite subjective. I see basically 3 options.

  1. Let yourself be excused from the panel. You could talk to your supervisor an tell them that you are not comfortable presenting the company as you yourself are not all that satisfied with the work-environment. This is honest, but a little bit risky as it puts a strain on your relationship - one which you will need to get a clean exit and good references.

  2. Be factual, without judgment. For example the loud office environment could be described as an "Open floor plan, with easy communication as you can hear everyone" When asked if that is distracting just say "It depends on your work habits" The lightning could be "No artificial lighting that distracts from your screen-work" An experienced candidate will know what that means and if that poses a problem for him. I don´t see what you can do about the false promises/flex time. If you boss chooses to offer such benefits, he can. If you or the future candidate let themselves later be deprived of those promises that´s between them and the boss. I have found that insisting at keeping such a promised perk works quite well especially if you are prepared to go and the employer is desperately understaffed. So maybe the next candidate will have more luck?

  3. Resign now. Yes that is drastic, but as it sounds you are no longer able to see yourself as a loyal employee so why not make it offical?

I have to advise against other, more direct actions towards the new candidate. If you are found out, you will provide grounds for immediate dismissal - and that will not be on good terms. I´d rather put a review on glassdoor later, once you have all the papers and a new job secured.

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Don't.

The candidate is presumably an adult and is capable of making their own decisions based on the information they have gathered about the company and during that "are there any questions you want to ask us" part at the end.

You don't know the candidate won't thrive in loud, bustling environments. You don't know if the candidate hates working from home. You don't know how badly the candidate needs the job or what kind of working environment they are coming from (maybe your company would be heaven in comparison).

I get that your intentions are genuine and well-meaning but it would reflect very poorly on you if you were found out. Maybe the thing to do is write a review on glassdoor. Then anybody who is interviewing them (and who does their research) can read it - but also they can decide how much weight to afford it).

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How do I warn the candidate not to work here?

Maybe you should stick to the task at hand and not try to "poison" the candidates with what essentially is your subjective opinion.

Nothing that you've stated in your question makes this a bad company to work for. These are your opinions.

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    The lights remain off at all times. There are people constantly shouting. Company policy forbids working from home but management tells candidates that they will be able to work from home. These are not opinions, these are company policies. I only want to make sure the candidate knows these policies. At my interview, I asked about these policies and my boss's boss lied to my face. I don't want the candidate to go through the same thing. Maybe it would be easier for me to just quit before the interview, then I do not have to sit there and take part in the lie myself. – notmySOaccount Dec 8 '19 at 23:11
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    I've decided to resign tomorrow. Since "the task at hand" is to lie to the candidate, I refuse to "stick to it" and would rather quit. – notmySOaccount Dec 9 '19 at 1:32
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    @notmySOaccount If the company policy says you cannot work from home, but your management tells potential employees that they can, then add that to the original post please. Note: "Flex time" (shifting your in-office hours forward or backwards) has absolutely nothing to do with "remote work," (working from home) – Mars Dec 9 '19 at 2:19
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    @notmySOaccount Bit curious, why on earth don't they allow you to turn on lights? – ig-dev Dec 9 '19 at 6:52
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    This isn't a helpful answer. Try and assume that the questioner knows more than you about the workplace, and provide information to answer their question. – Stuart F Dec 9 '19 at 16:04
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It's not your place to make decisions/judgement calls for the candidate. Your task on the interview is to determine if the candidate is a fit for the job. In addition, the fact that you don't like the environment doesn't mean that the new candidate will also not like it.

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    Like I said in the question, I want to warn the candidate about specific things. Then they can make their own judgment about whether or not they want to work here. This is important because the management lies to the candidates, as they did to me. I would consider it unethical to sit in the interview and not tell the candidate that my boss's boss is lying. – notmySOaccount Dec 8 '19 at 23:08
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    I've decided to resign tomorrow. I refuse to sit in on the interview while my boss's boss lies to the candidate the way he lied to me. "Your task on the interview is to determine if the candidate is a fit for the job." No, my task is to go along with the lies management tells. The same lies they told to me. I am supposed to sit there and puff the company up. I have no say if the candidate is a fit for the job. – notmySOaccount Dec 8 '19 at 23:13
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    @Goose An interview is a two-way process - it's for both sides to work out if the job is a mutually good fit. If others on the panel are actively trying to deceive the candidate, then OP has a duty not to simply acquiesce. – Julia Hayward Dec 9 '19 at 7:11
  • There is more to it than the environment : knowing in advance that there will be 5 vacancies on a team of 7 seems pretty cromulent - and not opinion based - it is certainly something that I would want to know. – Mawg says reinstate Monica Dec 9 '19 at 10:37
  • it is certainly something that I would want to know which is why it's good practice - as a candidate - to ask questions about team size, team makeup, and so on. – dwizum Dec 9 '19 at 16:57

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