Don’t Overlook Transparency in Recruiting

May 18, 2010

I have been a recruiter for 15 years, starting out within the Professional Services side of the house where recruiting was more the “churn and burn” atmosphere, then transitioned in-house to be part of a growing software company where we hired over 150 folks within one year.

I love what I do and am very passionate about the hiring process and assisting my clients in finding the best talent available for their organizations. I feel that a company’s most important asset is their people and that you cannot overstate the value of an excellent match between employee and employer.

How we go about doing that, however, can vary greatly from recruiting firm to recruiting firm. What might work for one person does not necessarily work for another.

Over the years what has consistently worked for me is to be transparent with both my clients and my candidates.

As I mentioned, the importance of this process is too fragile to jeopardize by not being transparent. A poor match can impact a company’s ability to meet its goals.

It’s a challenging process and one that people need to trust. I am quickly able to build that important trust into a situation with a new client by being transparent. I am upfront with my clients and set very clear expectations around what I need from them to be effective and to perform the most effective search. I am clear on time-lines and expected delivery dates to ensure I can bring them what they need in the time they need it. I also take the time to understand their business, which always helps me find the correct match from a cultural perspective.

To me, being transparent with clients and candidates is sharing and being real with them; there are no hidden agendas.

I share what is happening in my life and within the market. I let them know what is going on around me so there are no assumptions. This builds trust and gives me the opportunity to learn who they are, and what their “hot buttons” are. This helps me better position the opportunity to the candidate and the candidate to the client.

So if I am at one of my kid’s soccer games and just happen to be on the phone with a client, or closing a candidate, I let them know it.

I am transparent.

I share with them that I am real and I face the same challenges and hurdles that they do in life.

In turn, as I share I also take an active interest in what is going on with them as well. Not just around this opportunity, because that would not be genuine. I want to be real and to be perceived as real by the people I am working with. This active interest helps me to build trust and rapport and makes the process smoother.

This transparency assists me in gaining insight on both the client and the candidate. It is a skill that takes time to develop.

You need to become comfortable with your approach and practice your craft. Never lose sight of the fact that as a recruiter, you are helping two parties make a very important and often, very personal decision. To help them you need to understand who they are and how they think.

Taking the first step by being transparent with your own life is the first step to getting the process started.

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