5 Tips From The Pros On Building Trust In The Recruitment Process

Posted on June 16, 2021 by Bailey Crumpton. Tagged: Resources for Candidates, For Candidates

(Updated April 2022)

If you had to choose between throwing 100 resumes into a digital black hole, or having a trained recruiter advocating for your skills, qualifications, and preferences, which would you choose? Building trust with your recruiter is a great way to alleviate the stressors of the interview process and hone in on jobs you really want.

When working with a recruiter, you know someone is in your corner, especially with the BWBacon team. We fully believe (obviously) in the additional horsepower a recruiting agency can bring to a company’s talent acquisition efforts, but building trust among recruiters and prospect candidates is just as important to the 3-dimensional recruiting exchange. That’s why we dug a little deeper and asked our recruiting team what exactly makes a recruiting relationship successful.

A Little Faith Goes A Long Way

If you were to list what is important to you in a friendship or partnership, trust would likely be at the top of that list. The level at which we trust certain people, products, brands, or stores informs much of the decision making in our daily lives. With trust, we can try new things, pivot our career pathways, or find confidence in the choices we are making. It follows that a solid working relationship with your recruiter is a critical part of maximizing the recruitment process.

However, based on frequent unsavory practices that can happen in recruiting, like ghosting or lack of research before sending a role, an invisible wall often exists between technical recruiters and tech professionals. We understand that developers and engineers are often flooded with emails and texts from recruiters who have barely looked at the resumé, but let us be the first to say not all recruiting partners are built the same.

When the rubber meets the road, great recruiters work very hard to develop a sense of credibility with prospects for open roles. We speak from experience when we say recruiters gain trust by listening, providing healthy feedback loops, and showing respect for someone’s time. These and other actions help demonstrate our commitment to being trustworthy and transparent in the recruiting process.

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BWBacon’s Top 5 Tips For Building Trust With Your Recruiter

The following 5 tips sum up the best ways to feel more comfortable working with a recruiter and get the most out of your experience:

  1. Be Honest
  2. Do Your Part
    • Recruiters make excellent facilitators and help connect people, but when it comes to knocking the socks off of the interview panel or following up with a coding exercise, it’s important to do your part.
  1. Ask Questions
    • Most of the time, if recruiters have information on a role, they will share that information. However, any lingering questions are best asked up front, especially about compensation, benefits, or role expectations.
  1. Money Talks
    • Be open about your salary, your experience, and what you are targeting. This way, your recruiter can have all the tools at their disposal to advocate for you, working good offers into great ones.

  2. Circle Back Around
    • If you found a new role while working with a recruiter, congrats! Don’t forget that that person is still there for you if the role does not work out or if you have any remaining lose ends, not to mention they could help your friends find their dreams jobs too.

These days, the stakes are so high in the tech talent acquisition game that if a company approaches an agency, such as ourselves, our main priority is to help connect them with talented developers and engineers that truly share alignment with that company’s processes, product, and work culture. It’s about more than butts in seats, as we genuinely want new relationships to last and bring value to everyone involved.

In this way, it is a quintessential part of recruiting to understand what makes our candidates tick, what roles are best suited to their skills, and what working environments they thrive in. The more we know about our candidates, the more likely it is that we can help them find a satisfactory company with exciting products, better benefits or work-life balance, and often, a higher salary. We try every day to live by the values we created as a team, including to always listen, chase possibility, and overcome adversity during the recruitment process and in our daily lives. Through the actions that accompany openness, enthusiasm, honesty, and authenticity, we strive to be transparent with our candidates while also rooting them on, fostering trust and accountability.

Don’t Hold Back On Your Preferences & Expectations

  • We asked one of our principal tech recruiters, Matt, how do you go about building rapport with new candidates?

Matt: The first thing I do on an introduction call is ask the candidate about what a perfect role looks like to them. I want them to know that from that first call, this experience is not a one and done situation. If I’m able to hear what a great fit looks like, I can then keep an eye on the market for roles that would be better suited for that person down the line.

  • What if the role you are presenting to someone is not a great fit, despite it appearing so “on paper?”

If I send a role that isn’t the best fit, I want the person I’m working with to let me know why that role is not the best fit, and I’ll adjust my search accordingly. Demonstrating that you have more investment and interest beyond the first role you’re presenting lets candidates know that this is a process. It’s ok if the first role or positions isn’t the best match, but I do want the people I work with to know this relationship is more than a transaction.

  • What role does seeking feedback have when building trust with your recruiter?

Obviously, I hope for really great feedback from the prospective candidate, and that the role I am sharing is the perfect fit, but that’s just not the case every time. On the other side, after an interview, I also try to communicate that when we relay interview feedback back to a candidate, it’s not the end of our relationship. I want to provide my candidates with honest feedback on why they were passed on to help them with future interviews, and close the loop on why that particular role or company wasn’t the best match.
  • So, why should candidates trust recruiters to advocate for them and do a good job?

Somebody who is open and trusts in their recruiter is going to reap all of benefits of that relationship. We see this all the time, but when an individual is giving their two weeks’ notice after a newly accepted offer, and their company brings a counter offer, the candidates who don’t have that trust will decline the new offer and stay where they were possibly unhappy to begin with.

In my opinion, that person is doing themselves a disservice because it is a recruiter’s job to make that deal as sweet and pliable as possible. If a candidate is honest about their counter offer, as recruiters we can then go back to the drawing board and say, ‘hey, let’s see if we can bump the compensation or add to your benefits.’ On top of those initial reasons why they wanted to leave, I also I try to remind them that the new company wants to bring a competitive offer to the table. If someone give us a chance to work for them, it works in their favor and gives them more options.

  • How can tech professionals identify a quality recruiting relationship over a transactional one?

In general, I encourage candidates to drop bad recruiters. For example, if someone reaches out to you for a #c/.net developer role, and you are clearly a data or Java engineer, they obviously did not put the time in on the front end of their search. I consider this a red flag. Another red flag is if a recruiter reaches out, saying they’ll submit you for a role, and you never hear back from them. This is based a lot on instinct, but find a few high-quality recruiters that will have your back, reach out about specific jobs, be transparent with information, and lead you through the process, including the offer stage.

  • What does it really mean when recruiters are transparent?

If you’re at the verbal offer stage, it’s already too late to start sharing the company’s health benefits, PTO policy, and other information. Ideally, any information that is going to add to the whole picture should be given to the candidate as soon as possible before the offer stage. This idea ties back to that first initial call, if a company has less than ideal policies, it should be discussed well before a final interview so there are no surprises when the offer gets in front of the candidate. In short, everything that can be discussed should be so that decision is an easy one to make.

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Trusting Your Recruiter Only Benefits You & Your Career Path

The better recruiters you have in your corner, the more eyes you have on the market that are advocating for you. Building trust with your recruiter, like dating, means taking a leap of faith. Trusting someone to look out for new roles and provide you with the best opportunities is really a gift that keeps on giving. Even if a role does not work for you, you know that that person is there and will keep sending you interesting opportunities in the future.

While our team makes their best educated guesses on fits for roles when reaching out, if you don’t speak up about what you need or want, everyone is in the dark. It takes virtually no time to give your recruiter feedback on what you’re looking for, and that is the crux of the 3-dimensional recruiting exchange. There’s no lost love for saying no to a role or advocating for your goals. The end result is that those people are working for you and growing that relationship beyond a first call. After all, we share the goal of finding a successful match for our candidates and clients, and there is nothing more satisfying than that.

Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!