As we all know, Trust is an incredibly important factor while we work or interact with anyone. Trust is one of our core values that guides our everyday decisions. We have been talking about candidate experience as one of the latest trends in recruitment for a long time now but we never talk about hiring manager experience. A recruiter’s relationship with the key stakeholders is equally crucial as that of the candidates.
Trust has become even more important with the involvement of AI in recruitment processes. Human connect is mandated to add value in the recruitment process so that recruiters are able to deliver the value that is expected from them. Hiring managers are the people who will be taking final hiring decision so they can make or break the success of any recruiter so we should focus enough on how we can create a positive experience for the stakeholders as well. One of the antidotes to trust is transparency but you need to build up other strategies also to maintain the same level of trust with your stakeholders.
Recruiters should keep in mind below mentioned points while making a shift from a vendor to a strategic partner:
- Listening: We have to listen to the stakeholders before we start delivering anything. Rather than rushing to the next level immediately, listen and understand your hiring managers. You can ask as many questions as you want about the role or team, about the kind of work that they do or you can interview them on all the doubts that you may have during the complete process. So listen more and talk less while trying to understand these things.
- Set expectations right: As hiring managers, businesses will have different kinds of expectations from the recruiter. It is the responsibility of the recruiter to set those expectations in the initial discussion to avoid any confusion later.
- Give suggestions/recommendations wherever required: As we are the one who speaks to the candidate first so we may have evaluated them based on the requirement. Do not shy away from sharing your opinion with the hiring manager as it may help in bringing some insightful facts that in turn will help them in their hiring decision.
- Present data regularly: Importance of data in recruiting cannot be denied. Hiring managers have many other responsibilities on their plates apart from the recruitment. As a proactive partner, we need to keep our hiring managers up-to-date by providing regular updates. The date should cover important aspects that a hiring manager should know, like interviews in each stage, pipeline or source of the profiles.
- Gradually move from a vendor to a strategic partner: When you start interacting with the hiring managers then you are considered as a service provider initially. Rather than treating your stakeholders as clients, you need to think of them as a partner. You have to understand their long-term goal to work to achieve that like your role is not just to hire people but also to deliver a project on time, increase sales or revenue. When stakeholders will consider you as a trusted/strategic partner, then they will consult you before even starting the hiring and they may even ask for your suggestions to assist them with the market standards.
Understanding the 'Trust' equation
Trust has to be earned, it is not given. Trust equation is the best way to understand the feelings associated with trust. If you understand this equation then it can help you with building trust with anyone with the organization or outside the organization.
The three numerators of Trust are credibility, reliability and intimacy and the denominator is self-interest. To increase the trust, we need to work on increasing the numerator and reducing the denominator. Trust or any relationship cannot be built if the denominator is higher than the numerator. Let us understand this in detail:-
- Credibility: Credibility is the quality of being convincing and believable. To build credibility, you should know what you are talking about.
- Reliability: Reliability is the quality of performing as per the commitment. Repeated failure to deliver on time will undermine the trust.
- Intimacy: Intimacy is about whether you can trust someone to share some confidential or personal details. It is about the personal bond that you share with the other person.
- Self-interest: It is the only denominator in the equation. It focuses more on the personal interest of any individual; they will always look for their selfish interest while working for others. They are doing anything or helping others to get something out of it.
As mentioned in the image, there are some approaches which should be followed to improve trust level.
- Problem centric vs Solution centric: Rather than having a problem centric approach, you should have a solution centric approach wherein you should focus more on why it happened? What can be done to improve this?
- React vs Response: When you react then you are giving away your power but when you respond then you are staying in control of yourself. Reactions are quick and aggressive while responses allow for assertiveness and may help with resolving the conflict.
- Contact vs Relationship: We are just in contact with someone when you interact with them rarely but when we have regular interaction with anyone then that is converted into a relationship.
- Functional vs Customer centric mindset: Rather than focusing just on closing the requirement you should have broader vision while understanding the impact on everything on stakeholders.
These factors are very important and worth considering while dealing with people personally or professionally. As you are working as a representative of the recruitment team for the stakeholders and organization level representative for the candidates or external vendors so you need to specifically focus on the first two factors to build trust in these relationships.