March 24, 2015

Want to Take the Fear Out of Hiring? Build More Trust

ShakeRight after video interviewing was introduced, recruiters in the contingent staffing world — especially those recruiting technical talent — saw a clear, if unexpected, benefit to the technology: they could now prevent the dreaded “bait-and-switch.”

Before video interviewing hit the scene, most technical verification occurred by telephone, and anybody could stand in and pretend to be a candidate in order to help someone land the assignment. There was no guarantee that the individual who showed up on the first day of the assignment was the same person who proved their skills over the phone just days before.

I don’t believe this kind of fraud runs rampant in the industry, but there are some extreme stories out there. It certainly doesn’t encourage trust in the hiring process — and yet, trust is essential for smart hiring and productive relationships in the workplace.

The Role of Trust in Hiring

Trust finds its way into every aspect of the hiring process:

1. The Candidate

A candidate must trust that their new employer is going to be a great place to work — or at least better than their current place of work. In today’s talent market, many candidates are already gainfully employed. Severing ties with a current employer is a major leap of faith.

The employer brand that a company portrays during the hiring process should be an authentic representation of the company’s true employer brand. Unfortunately, we know that recruiters sometimes “massage the truth” and hide the dysfunctional aspects of a company during the hiring process.

2. The Recruiter

The recruiter must trust that candidates are not laying it on too thick when it comes to their skills, experiences, and desires to make a job change. Recruiters risk putting all their eggs in one basket only to find out that an impressive candidate has no real intention of making a change or is not truly as good in real life as they were during the interview.

3. The Hiring Manager

Hiring managers are entrusted by their companies to make final hiring decisions. Employers today are much more conscious of the costs of poor hires, the costs of dis-engaged employees, and the ways in which poor decisions reflect upon the managers who make them. Hiring managers often turn to collaborative hiring to try to ensure the new talent they bring in will be successful — or, more cynically, as a way to cover themselves and share the blame if a hire turns sour.

Everyone involved in the hiring process has a lot at stake. We could improve everyone’s success if we started building trust sooner in the process. Innovative technology can help.

Seeing Each Other More Clearly

In the technical recruiting scenario I mentioned earlier, it becomes important to literally lay eyes on a candidate and watch them prove their skills before offering them an assignment. In these cases, video interviewing technology works well for proper verification.

Video interviewing enables us to see more clearly in a figurative sense, too.  Though I can’t claim video interviewing removes all falsehoods, I can say that video interviewing allows all of the parties involved in a hiring decision to spend the right kind of time on the right kind of communication. When candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers get to know and understand each other through online interviewing, each is in a much better position to make an accurate decision in the hiring/job search process. Trust begins with that first virtual conversation.

Read more in Video Interview

Michele Ellner has focused her career on talent acquisition technology, contingent staffing, HR services, recruitment marketing, and employer brand for over 20 years. Reach Michele at [email protected] or @ellnerellner on Twitter.