How to Gain the Trust of Tech Talent

One of the major challenges in any form of recruitment effort is establishing trust with the candidate. In tech recruiting, that issue is often amplified.

Top tech candidates are in hot demand and often find themselves bombarded by offers from different companies. Many of these approaches are not particularly sensitive in terms of earning the trust of the potential candidate or enhancing the reputation of the company.

The results are not usually very successful.

Wary tech talent will often ignore messages and treat any kind of approach with suspicion. This means that your challenge as an engineering manager is to set your company apart from the many others who are clamoring for attention.

One way to distinguish your company is to take steps to build the trust of candidates early. Here are a few tips for doing so:

[content_upgrade cu_id=”122″]How do you effectively network in-person? Get our tips:[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

Show Real Interest

While you probably consider your people an “asset” to the company, that doesn’t mean you should treat them like chattels or prizes to be had for the company—nor should you approach potential candidates with the attitude that they should be honored to be approached by your company.

Acknowledging that there is a potential barrier to getting the trust and attention of the candidate is a good start. When you understand this, you are more inclined to look for ways to take a more “human” approach.

Getting to understand the candidate’s personal situation better is also a good step. How does their current work sit with their overall goals and life outside of work? Sometimes, a better approach is to have an engineering manager contact the potential candidate directly, even if to arrange to have a coffee with him or her. This way you can open up with a casual chat rather than diving straight into job opportunities.

14579988255_4c775934b1_z

This is not real interest! Photo credit: d26b73 via Visual hunt

Manage First Impressions

Regardless of how hard we may try to remain objective when meeting people, the fact is our brains are making rapid calculations that all add up to some kind of first impression. The word is, it only takes seven seconds to form a first impression of someone, while hiring managers have often made up their minds to continue with an interviewee within 90 seconds.

How quickly then, must a candidate form their impression of you and your company?

We’ve previously discussed managing the first impression a candidate might get of your approach to them, but there are a few other considerations you should manage to ensure that the impression of your company is good. For example:

  • If a candidate is meeting you at work, does the front desk know to expect them and know the basics, such as their name and who they are meeting?
  • Have you communicated with the candidate about where they can park if they’re driving?
  • Are you generally communicating the impression of a polished, organized company?
  • Have you arranged a tidy space to meet?

Of course, you might be meeting outside of the workplace, but it’s still important to be mindful of that first impression. Consideration of venue is a big one. Will you easily be able to talk and hear each other? Besides that, think of aspects such as personal appearance that you would take care of if you were the interviewee. You still want to maintain a professional image.

Respect the Candidate’s Time

Respecting other people’s time is really a fundamental rule. If you don’t do it during the hiring process, then why would they think you would during the course of a normal work day?

For starters, take a personalized approach where you ensure you’re talking to the right people first. Don’t waste the time of candidates who are at a higher level than what you’re hiring for or who are not qualified enough. Take a customized—rather than a “boilerplate email”—approach. This will communicate that you have bothered to research properly first.

Secondly, do your homework. Why should a candidate sit there and repeat their work history for you when you could have read it yourself on their resume or LinkedIn profile? Instead, read up on them so you can ask relevant questions about their experience. People do notice the difference!

Lastly, be on time. The only excuse for not meeting when you said you would or calling back at your pre-arranged time should be an actual emergency. People are busy and it’s plain bad manners to make them wait. It also communicates that either you don’t respect the time of other people, or you’re disorganized—neither of which engenders trust from a candidate.

businessman-standing-in-office-text-messaging

Do as You Said You Would

This is an easy one that closely relates to respecting time. Keep your word! If you said the candidate should get a call back within the next two days, don’t let their next communication be an email one week later.

Being communicative about the process you follow and when candidates should hear from you—and then following through with that—is crucial in encouraging trust. Virtually every person who has applied for any sort of job will have stories about how they simply never heard back from a company or received a curt rejection by email several weeks after the fact. This means that they can go into the recruitment process with pre-conceived trust issues.

It may not always be an easy conversation, but don’t put it off. Respect the candidate by doing what you said you would when you said you would do it. At the very least, if they’re not ultimately going to be your choice for hiring this time, you’ll create a good impression so they might be open to another position later on.

Be Honest

Honestly is probably one of the primary means of building trust with prospective tech candidates. This means being open about the job and what it entails as well as what you need in a candidate to fill the role.

Of course as a hiring manager, you are aware that you need to “sell” the role to candidates too, but be wary of overkill in this regard. Can you name a single job that doesn’t have some kind of downside? Probably not, so don’t pretend the role you are hiring for is all roses either.

This doesn’t mean you need to overly emphasize any challenging aspects, but perhaps talk about some things that others have considered a challenge with the role in the past. You can set yourself apart from other companies by being upfront about any downsides to the role so that candidates feel you are willing to be open. Overall, just don’t pretend the company or the role you’re hiring for is something it’s not.

[content_upgrade cu_id=”122″]Networking in-person? Get our tips to be effective:[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

How Will You Gain Trust?

It’s probably the first major hurdle you will encounter when trying to get to know any potential tech candidate, but you can really set yourself and your company apart by taking steps to engage the trust of talent.

The tips we’ve outlined would not even be considered difficult—they’re often just part of common sense and good manners. Yet, often these details are overlooked by managers eager to get on with the process of recruiting.

Be open and honest with your candidates, respect their time, and always do what you said you were going to do. Just a few simple strategies can push your company to the top of the prospect pile.

One of the major challenges in any form of recruitment effort is establishing trust with the candidate. In tech recruiting, that issue is often amplified.

Top tech candidates are in hot demand and often find themselves bombarded by offers from different companies. Many of these approaches are not particularly sensitive in terms of earning the trust of the potential candidate or enhancing the reputation of the company.

The results are not usually very successful.

Wary tech talent will often ignore messages and treat any kind of approach with suspicion. This means that your challenge as an engineering manager is to set your company apart from the many others who are clamoring for attention.

One way to distinguish your company is to take steps to build the trust of candidates early. Here are a few tips for doing so:

[content_upgrade cu_id=”122″]How do you effectively network in-person? Get our tips:[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

Show Real Interest

While you probably consider your people an “asset” to the company, that doesn’t mean you should treat them like chattels or prizes to be had for the company—nor should you approach potential candidates with the attitude that they should be honored to be approached by your company.

Acknowledging that there is a potential barrier to getting the trust and attention of the candidate is a good start. When you understand this, you are more inclined to look for ways to take a more “human” approach.

Getting to understand the candidate’s personal situation better is also a good step. How does their current work sit with their overall goals and life outside of work? Sometimes, a better approach is to have an engineering manager contact the potential candidate directly, even if to arrange to have a coffee with him or her. This way you can open up with a casual chat rather than diving straight into job opportunities.

14579988255_4c775934b1_z

This is not real interest! Photo credit: d26b73 via Visual hunt

Manage First Impressions

Regardless of how hard we may try to remain objective when meeting people, the fact is our brains are making rapid calculations that all add up to some kind of first impression. The word is, it only takes seven seconds to form a first impression of someone, while hiring managers have often made up their minds to continue with an interviewee within 90 seconds.

How quickly then, must a candidate form their impression of you and your company?

We’ve previously discussed managing the first impression a candidate might get of your approach to them, but there are a few other considerations you should manage to ensure that the impression of your company is good. For example:

  • If a candidate is meeting you at work, does the front desk know to expect them and know the basics, such as their name and who they are meeting?
  • Have you communicated with the candidate about where they can park if they’re driving?
  • Are you generally communicating the impression of a polished, organized company?
  • Have you arranged a tidy space to meet?

Of course, you might be meeting outside of the workplace, but it’s still important to be mindful of that first impression. Consideration of venue is a big one. Will you easily be able to talk and hear each other? Besides that, think of aspects such as personal appearance that you would take care of if you were the interviewee. You still want to maintain a professional image.

Respect the Candidate’s Time

Respecting other people’s time is really a fundamental rule. If you don’t do it during the hiring process, then why would they think you would during the course of a normal work day?

For starters, take a personalized approach where you ensure you’re talking to the right people first. Don’t waste the time of candidates who are at a higher level than what you’re hiring for or who are not qualified enough. Take a customized—rather than a “boilerplate email”—approach. This will communicate that you have bothered to research properly first.

Secondly, do your homework. Why should a candidate sit there and repeat their work history for you when you could have read it yourself on their resume or LinkedIn profile? Instead, read up on them so you can ask relevant questions about their experience. People do notice the difference!

Lastly, be on time. The only excuse for not meeting when you said you would or calling back at your pre-arranged time should be an actual emergency. People are busy and it’s plain bad manners to make them wait. It also communicates that either you don’t respect the time of other people, or you’re disorganized—neither of which engenders trust from a candidate.

businessman-standing-in-office-text-messaging

Do as You Said You Would

This is an easy one that closely relates to respecting time. Keep your word! If you said the candidate should get a call back within the next two days, don’t let their next communication be an email one week later.

Being communicative about the process you follow and when candidates should hear from you—and then following through with that—is crucial in encouraging trust. Virtually every person who has applied for any sort of job will have stories about how they simply never heard back from a company or received a curt rejection by email several weeks after the fact. This means that they can go into the recruitment process with pre-conceived trust issues.

It may not always be an easy conversation, but don’t put it off. Respect the candidate by doing what you said you would when you said you would do it. At the very least, if they’re not ultimately going to be your choice for hiring this time, you’ll create a good impression so they might be open to another position later on.

Be Honest

Honestly is probably one of the primary means of building trust with prospective tech candidates. This means being open about the job and what it entails as well as what you need in a candidate to fill the role.

Of course as a hiring manager, you are aware that you need to “sell” the role to candidates too, but be wary of overkill in this regard. Can you name a single job that doesn’t have some kind of downside? Probably not, so don’t pretend the role you are hiring for is all roses either.

This doesn’t mean you need to overly emphasize any challenging aspects, but perhaps talk about some things that others have considered a challenge with the role in the past. You can set yourself apart from other companies by being upfront about any downsides to the role so that candidates feel you are willing to be open. Overall, just don’t pretend the company or the role you’re hiring for is something it’s not.

[content_upgrade cu_id=”122″]Networking in-person? Get our tips to be effective:[content_upgrade_button]Click Here[/content_upgrade_button][/content_upgrade]

How Will You Gain Trust?

It’s probably the first major hurdle you will encounter when trying to get to know any potential tech candidate, but you can really set yourself and your company apart by taking steps to engage the trust of talent.

The tips we’ve outlined would not even be considered difficult—they’re often just part of common sense and good manners. Yet, often these details are overlooked by managers eager to get on with the process of recruiting.

Be open and honest with your candidates, respect their time, and always do what you said you were going to do. Just a few simple strategies can push your company to the top of the prospect pile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *