“A brand is simply trust” – Steve Jobs.
Your brand is, in its own right, an entity. It exists independently, with its own tone of voice, qualities, and personality. And just like every universal being, it is subject to judgement from the outside world. Every interaction or inaction builds to or deflates from its image and the trust people place in it.
Why is ‘trust’ important for a recruiter?
Technology improvements, insider tactics, and enhanced search strategies won’t change the fact that without effective communication and relationship building, there would be no success in recruiting. This is where trust comes in.
In a consumer world of endless options, trust is just one of the many factors that decide whether you are selected over your competitors. While what trust means may vary from individual to individual, there are a few typical qualities that people look for. Integrity, reliability, and honesty are just to name a few. Considering the sensitive information that is often exchanged between recruiter and candidate, it is your perceived trust that determines a client’s purchasing decision.
Ways to build trust with your clients/customers:
- Promote your online reviews.
The importance of online reviews can be narrowed down to one word: trust. Today’s consumers are increasingly relying on online reviews to aid in their purchasing decisions. So much so that a recent study found that 90% of customers consult online reviews prior to interacting with a business (Forbes).
There are two ways to promote trust and improve your transparency using these reviews:
- Download widgets from sites like Google to display reviews directly on your website. Making it easier for potential customers to find unbiased information about you goes a long way.
- Find the review sites you’re being displayed on and respond to the feedback accordingly. This is particularly important for negative reviews. If your customers see that you address negative feedback empathetically and appropriately, your authenticity and trustworthiness will improve.
Reviews are often infrequently written, and when they are it is to describe either an ecstatic experience or a terrible one. The bulk of the encounters are left undisplayed. Which is why it’s important to encourage feedback and reviews from all your customers. Not only will you benefit from improved online visibility, but the more reviews displayed about you, the more information your customers have to infer trust.
As a recruiter, the most effective time to ask for a review is straight after a placement, when emotions are high.
- Deliver the unexpected.
Five Guys is an American fast-food chain that spends significantly less on marketing than its competitors. How? Five Guys unexpectedly delights it’s customers and word of mouth quickly spreads. It is their company’s policy to ensure that every order of fries (chips) is given an ungodly portion. As an example, if you ordered a small, you’re given a large. This comes in contrast to the Big Mac that seemingly shrinks year on year. By simply giving more, Five Guys has separated themselves and delighted their customers.
Give your customers what they asked for, but on top of that, deliver more — more service, more time, more convenience and more sensitivity. Delivering more than they expect goes a long way and adds real value and trust. As a bonus, customers will tell others about how you delivered more. Which should net you more business (Entrepreneur).
- Have real dialog.
Humanise your approach and try to connect with your client on a personal level. The way you speak and the way you write should be reflective of who they are. If the customer is formal, be formal. If they’re laid back, be laid back. Try and keep the interaction between yourself and client as authentic as possible, without the standard sales pitch. By simply listening to their needs rather than constantly promoting your solution, you create the impression you are approachable and trustworthy.
- Be transparent through the hiring process.
A recruiter who is open and honest about the upsides and more importantly, the downsides of a position will go far in the eyes of their candidate.
Being able to explain to your candidate why a job isn’t a good fit will win them over quicker than raving about how they’re perfect for the position. This doesn’t mean you should downplay great jobs just to gain their trust, but rather be sincere as to why a certain position wouldn’t work for them.
Trust isn’t something that is black and white. What defines trust is subjective and can uniquely differ from each individual. However, if you operate with basic integrity and empathy, you’ll place yourself in good standing with your client base and future prospects.