The Truth of It: Why Trust is Essential in Recruiting

Dec 25, 2014

We can talk about recruitment innovations, insider tactics, and new search strategies as much as we want, but this doesn’t change the fact that without effective communication and time dedicated to building good relationships, there would be no success in recruiting. However, before we can achieve this, we need one thing: trust.

As Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, said: “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

If you think that the only reason to cultivate trust is to attract clients and candidates, you should rethink your position as a recruiter right now. High-quality recruitment involves much more than building databases and making hundreds of phone calls. In order for a recruiter to successfully match candidates with jobs, they need to be invested in the candidates they screen. Reading about a candidate on LinkedIn or scouring their CV will only reveal so much. To effectively evaluate a candidate’s skills and suitability for a job, you need to be able to convince them to share this information with you.

This is where trust comes in.

A report by the Interaction Associates found that one of the most significant bases for trusting others is through experience and expertise, or through having shared goals.

We can readily apply this to the relationship between candidate and recruiter. Good communication can ensure that each party is confident in the experience or expertise of the other. The shared goal of finding a successful match for the candidate and the employer is what it’s all about.

However, as Todd Raphael says, convincing employees and candidates to trust in an employer in today’s society is not always an easy task. It’s very difficult to rebuild trust when a candidate comes into a recruitment agency already mistrustful of the world around them. Unfortunately, there are a number of unethical practices that take place in recruitment, just as unethical practices can take place in any industry. The worst part is that these cowboys are not only ruining their own reputation, but they are in danger of tarnishing the industry as a whole.

When selecting a recruiter to represent you, either as a job candidate or a company, it is therefore extremely important to ensure that you are collaborating with a reputable recruiter. My advice is to look for recruiters who have years of experience in the industry and have established a strong online presence. Check for online reviews and evaluate any negative feedback you find. Ask for recommendations from colleagues in your industry; they may have good experiences with recruiters in your niche.

Recruiters who are still relying on sending our generic messages to potential candidates and posting vague job descriptions are not performing at the top of their game. While many of these recruiters may be genuine, candidates need to be provided with something more solid than this in order to lend their trust. Social media remains a good channel for recruiters to communicate with candidates, but only when used correctly. Remember that people want to speak to people on social media, so be human and be personable in your recruiting.

At the end of the day, the truth of it is that a high quality recruitment firm can not be run without trust. Start out on the right foot and continue to build trust and it will pay off for everyone involved.