Recruiting Relationships Start with Trust
When I contact, or am contacted by candidates interested in working with me, or in a particular job I may have advertised I routinely find myself listening to a five or ten minute ‘elevator pitch’ ostensibly presenting a laundry list of skills and accomplishments. Very little time is spent trying to get to know me, or assess my qualifications as a recruiter. Little effort is made to engender my trust or build a relationship either.
Years of recruiting have taught me that this is a backward approach. I expend a great deal of effort redirecting candidates to get to know who they are, what makes them tick and equally to earn the trust of the person to whom I am addressing. Originally motivated by good networking practices it has become so much more – I truly build lasting relationships. Even new candidate friends make note, almost daily of the different experience they have had speaking with me and are thankful.
Creating a Presence
Now there is research to back up this practice. Harvard Business School Professor, Amy Cuddy has been studying first impressions for 15 year and has recently published her findings in a newly published book “Presence” and they would surprise many. In her Amazon pitch for her book Amy writes:
“Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation? The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless. Too often we approach our lives’ biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret.
By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others.”
Amy asserts that first impressions are usually an assessment of trust (warmth) and respect (competence). The job seekers I encounter – and I’m sure they bring the same approach to the hiring interviews as well – are so fixated on impressing employers with their intelligence and abilities at the expense of paying attention to the other first impression.
Amy’s studies present a pattern that “in fact warmth, or trustworthiness, is the most important factor in how people evaluate you. “From an evolutionary perspective,” Cuddy says, “it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust.”
People are missing the most important human assessment factor. Establish trust and likability and you are much more likely to attain the position you seek. It is of course important to find time to show you are hard-working, competent, knowledgeable – but your efforts to do so will be much more successful if you have earned the trust of the decision makers you are dealing with.