Ask Barb: Earning Candidate Trust

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Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

How should I handle a candidate who holds things close to the chest and isn’t really opening up to me during our numerous conversations? She seems to be an “A” candidate, but it is frustrating trying to pry out every answer. Do I just walk away from someone I feel I can place?

Frustrated in Orlando, FL

Dear Frustrated:

Initially you are a total stranger your candidates don’t trust. Let me share five steps to escalate rapport and trust.

STEP ONE – KNOWING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND/DIFFERENTIATOR

  • Know your personal brand and share it with everyone
  • Differentiate yourself from your competitors

STEP TWO – SHARING EXPECTATIONS – SHOWING THE WIIFM

  • Prevent confusion by providing expectations in writing:
    • What they can expect from you
    • What you expect from them (showing them the WIIFM)

STEP THREE – OBTAINING PAPERWORK UP FRONT

  • Explain why paperwork will benefit the job seeker
  • Request information that will help you identify their hot buttons

STEP FOUR – CONDUCTING A GENERAL INTERVIEW

  • Never have a specific job in mind when you conduct an interview
  • Your candidate will sense you are keying in on what is important to them

STEP FIVE – BECOMING THE BEST LISTENER IN THEIR LIVES

  • Let your candidates know you want to become the best listener in their lives
  • Write things down – don’t try to remember!

WHY IT COULD BE YOUR FAULT THEY ARE WITHHOLDING INFORMATION – NEVER FORGET… a first interview is like a first date. Your candidates will only share information that they would provide a total stranger they don’t trust. As rapport is established, answers get more honest and thorough. That is why it is so important to re-ask questions throughout the placement process. Trust and rapport are not things you can demand, they are things you need to earn by positioning yourself as an expert they can trust. Candidates must believe you have their best interest at heart – not that you are just earning a commission.

You can’t change your candidates, what you can change is your approach with candidates. Follow this advice and you will be amazed at how much more information your candidates will share!

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS


Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at support@staffingandrecruiting.com. Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on FordyceLetter.com.