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Job Candidates Don’t Trust You. Here’s Why It Matters.

Since 1980 there’s a 10-15 percent drop in workers who will consider job relocation. At the same time, the proportion of workers willing to jump from one job to another has plunged by nearly 25 percent. While this may be great news for employee retention, it’s not great news when it comes to recruiting.

One reason cited for these trends: Employer trust has declined. Workers don’t trust employers—or, really, anyone—as much as they used to. Job candidates seem to be petrified by questions like, “Is the company as great as it appears?” and “What if I’m let go after my 3-month review or the company folds shortly after I’m hired?”

States with the largest declines in “social trust” score lowest in labor market fluidity. In other words, workers in those states are less prone to taking a risk or relocating for a job. So, how can you beat the system and build trust with job candidates, at least enough to encourage them to move to a new state or leave an “OK” job for your position?

Many job offers are turned down because of a better offer elsewhere. But, when it comes down to it, that better offer may simply be coming from a new or current employer the candidate trusts more. Rapport may be a key factor in this decision. As CareerBuilder points out, employer trust can begin to be built by simply getting to know the candidate better, communicating timeline and process, offering constructive feedback and responding honestly to candidate questions. This can be even more critical when a job candidate is considering relocating. Maintaining this kind of transparency can be difficult for hiring managers to accomplish, but they’re second-nature to great recruiters.

Michelle Hill, an executive recruiter with The HT Group, recommends enlisting the help of recruiters who make it a priority to put candidate trust first.

“Some recruiters are only concerned with getting a quick hit for what they have going on ‘now’ versus in the future,” she explains. “The most valuable recruiters out there are the ones who have the candidates’ best interest in mind. Sometimes that means asking tough questions, such as, ‘Does this make sense for you to make a move now?’”

Hill often tells job candidates to make a pro/con list after they receive an offer, to see if it really makes sense. This process helps build trust with both job candidates and employers alike, since a ‘bad hire’ can cost employers dearly. “It’s important to an employer that a job candidate consider what’s holding them back so there are no regrets,” she adds.

Chrystal Huth, a fellow executive recruiter with The HT Group, agrees and adds that recruiters fulfill a critical role when it comes to building employer trust during the hiring process.

“I look at my relationship with a job candidate as a partnership. We need to trust each other,” she says. “I listen to what they love about their current job and about their strengths and weaknesses. By the time I decide to present a candidate to an employer, I’m able to write a very thorough bio on them. I feel as though I have been trusted to tell the candidate’s story: Their background, why they are looking for a new job, and why they would be a good fit for that particular role. I share the bio with the candidate so they know I am truly listening.”

Nearly one in four employees admits they don’t trust their employer. With trust at a 30-year low, take the opportunity to be a refreshingly easy-to-trust organization and you may see top candidates flocking to you.

What questions do you have for our recruiters when it comes to building trust? We’d love to hear from you!

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