As a recruiter it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the meaning of our role. People spend over 50 per cent of their waking hours at work, so the decision as to where they work is a really important one. A recruiter’s job is, of course, to help candidates successfully secure roles that are right for them. And those candidates need to feel you have their best interests at heart (rather than one and a half eyes on the commission!).

To ensure that candidates feel confident enough to share information with you about their career plans and goals, you need to be able to establish trust. As with any relationship, building trust takes time, but there’s a few things you can do to help it on its way….

 

How do you begin to establish trust?

How you are initially perceived by people is an important first step in the process. For example, if you contact a potential candidate via LinkedIn, that candidate is likely to click though to your profile. If there’s no picture and very little presence in terms of connections and content, they will quickly lose interest. But if there’s the opposite – lots of connections, endorsements, a photo with a company logo and posts, it’s far more likely to hook a candidate’s interest.

 

Creating a legitimate professional image is a great start to building trust and there are three main elements to getting it right:

• Social Proof – If someone clicks onto your LinkedIn profile, they’ll look to see how you’re connected. For example whether you have any mutual connections or groups in common, or if you follow the same companies. They’ll also see whether your posts get likes and comments. And if you have these, you will come across as more authentic.

• Authority – Numbers add to credibility and being perceived to have authority carries a great deal of weight. So if you have lots of relevant connections, it will be clear that you have networked and know a great many people in the industry. In fact statistics show that recruiters with extensive connections on LinkedIn and Twitter are more likely to get responses. And lots of endorsements will help too.

• Liking – If people like you, they’re far more likely to be influenced by you. And one of the easiest ways to create a bond with someone is through common interests. This is even truer if the thing you have in common is uncommon in the general population, for example a particular interest in snowboarding or singing in a rock choir. Put it out there on your bio; people with interests in common will feel a connection with you and to others you’ll come across as human and approachable. Just make sure they’re genuine interests. Wrong footing yourself with someone will have the opposite effect!

Creating a good first impression will go a long way towards establishing trust, and if you continue to nurture that relationship, it will lead to a successful partnership for both you and the candidate.

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