The foundation of the hiring process is built around a level of trust.
Transparency during the process is integral to build trust between hiring managers and candidates.
FROM THE OUTSET
Establishing trust with a candidate is critical during the early stages of the hiring process as those initial phone calls and interviews are the first engagement a potential employee has with a company. If a candidate does not gain a level of trust during any initial interviews, there is a greater risk of disengagement, and they are less likely to pursue the opportunity further.
I encourage hiring managers to be forthcoming with true and accurate information regarding their description of what a role entails and what the challenges and highlights are. Today candidates are more bold if they are oversold a role - if their experience within the first couple of weeks in a new position does not match expectations, they are more likely to self-select out.
The most prevalent areas I have noticed candidates want clarity on during the hiring process include - personal growth and development and the culture and environment of the business. Specific aspects may be:
Candidates also want to make sure they are reporting to a manager with whom they have a good rapport. It can take two or three meetings for a candidate to build an understanding of the traits and style of the manager, and ‘buy in’ to the vision of the manager and company alike.
CONSISTENCY IS ESSENTIAL
Each stakeholder that a candidate meets needs to communicate the same message across vision, experience, culture and environment. The more consistent the message is through the recruitment process, the more the candidate will have faith in what they are being told, leading to trust being built.
While trust and transparency is an ever-present issue in the hiring process, it is arguably even more critical when targeting passive candidates through search than if someone is actively looking and applying for a role.
When engaging a passive candidate, they are usually quite comfortable in their current role and are typically happy with their career projection and organisation culture. In order to engage a candidate that we approach directly there must be consistent and accurate messaging covering all the key issues I mentioned above, particularly concerning their personal growth and development and the working environment of the hiring organisation – these are elements Kelly Executive works through with both candidates and hiring managers on every engagement.
GETTING TRANSPARENCY FROM A CANDIDATE
It is important during the hiring process that trust goes both ways. While hiring managers need to be transparent about the role and company, you want the same in return from candidates on their capabilities, traits and working style.
It is a basic yet essential concern that a candidate does not want to be in a position where they feel intimidated or reluctant to ask questions. Rather than launching into formalities during an interview, start with a general discussion, try to build initial rapport, get to know the candidate and paint a picture for them about the process they will be undertaking.
If an interviewer can adapt their style and have a genuine person-to-person discussion on the same level with a candidate, they are more likely to extract the information they are looking for as the candidate will feel more relaxed and comfortable to share information freely.
WHAT PART SHOULD YOUR RECRUITER PLAY IN TRANSPARENCY?
Your recruitment partner is an important fulcrum in the marriage between the employer and a candidate.
After meeting with candidates, we provide insight to our clients on how the candidate presented, whether they were initially nervous and then settled down through the course of the discussion, personal traits, their work style, and suggest areas from a behavioural stand point a hiring manager could focus on during their next round of interviewing.
As an extension of the company to the candidate market, Kelly Executive or any recruitment agency for that matter, play an integral part in reinforcing subtle and transparent messaging. We endeavour to really understand the fabric of the business we are recruiting for, not just the specifications of the role but also the characteristics and traits of the hiring manager, how a particular candidate would potentially get on with that person, the culture of the business and then relay that effectively to a candidate.
The clients we partner with at Kelly Executive are quite forthright in explaining their culture and behavioural expectations as well as any other elements candidates need to be aware of. For example, one client we work for is a 24-hour global business. With stakeholders scattered all over the world, employees are almost on call 24/7, so we make that very clear to candidates. With this expectation set from the outset of the hiring process, the expectation would be that a new employee commences with the company with eyes wide open, fully aware they could be on phone calls late at night and early morning.
If we do not communicate the particular nuances of a company to potential candidates up front, we risk wasting everybody’s time.
WHEN YOU GET IT RIGHT
When you are upfront and transparent throughout the hiring process and a candidate’s impression meets expectations upon commencing a new role, they can become an advocate for the company to their network.
A number of candidates whose expectations around their role, culture, challenges, bonus, personal development and growth at a particular client have all came to fruition. The subsequent result has been regular referrals from those I have placed at the company – your transparency during the hiring process can reward you with future talent.
If you have any thoughts on the role trust plays during the hiring process, or would like to know more, please connect with me via LinkedIn.
Author: Trevor Bradley is Director of Kelly Executive.