When you were searching for jobs in the early days of your career, was “transparency” something that even crossed your mind? For many of us, the whole process was a dance–an art form where both the candidate and the recruiter put their game face on and sold themselves.
The job search has changed, and if you’re still trying to impress candidates with a sales pitch that’s anything less than 100-percent authentic, you will fail.
Millennials expect transparency, and can spot a fraud pretty quickly. In June at a Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference, one takeaway was obvious: “Gen Y values authenticity, transparency and access to power. And most of all, Millennials want employers to provide a sense of purpose.”
Your open, honest, HUMAN approach is what will get them to be honest in return, saving both of you guesswork and headaches down the road.
Recruiters Who Understand Transparency Win the Day
In October, the US maintained its low, 5.1 percent unemployment rate; the evolving economy means the competition for top talent is fiercer than it’s been years And that competition involves not only snagging them, but keeping them. Millennials, who have slid past the last decade where a slumped economy meant any job was a great job, are gaining confidence and expecting more.
Salina Mendoza, a Millennial and recruiter in the competitive San Francisco market, says transparency is key to her process.
“Transparency in the recruitment process is expected. As a recruiter, I am always looking for ‘genuine’ candidates as the talent landscape has changed along with the process. The majority of job seekers are now in a completely digital journey and also have different expectations about what it presented to them.”
She continues, “It’s easy for some people to gain true, genuine connections through digital media, and others do not connect well without in-person meetings. By being completely open with candidates, I can help them overcome the ‘trust’ barrier that can be a wedge between a recruiter and candidate.”
Social Media has Brought a Whole New Level of Transparency to Recruiting
Social media has created a level of connectivity none of us could have imagined 20 years ago. It has made the work of both job seekers and recruiters easier on many levels. Job boards and discussion groups, as well as social networks, make it easier to connect with more people, faster.
It also means that dishonesty or creative job descriptions are a lot more difficult to cover up. Recruiters would be wise to remember Mark Twain’s oft-repeated stance on the subject: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
Social media has made the world much smaller, and you can never be sure where personal networks overlap. Telling even the slightest half-truth could be found out and your credibility is ruined.
The Companies You Recruit for Need to be Transparent
Smart businesses understand that their employees are their first customers but job candidates are the future customers, and the public content about an organization will influence their opinions.
Younger candidates in particular want to clearly see inside your work culture. They’ll more than likely try to engage with someone who currently works there. They’ll pay close attention to branded social media profiles, and scrutinize the organization on LinkedIn and Glassdoor.
The best policy is to help candidates discover as much about you as possible. Make it easy for them to ask you or other employees how the culture affects day-to-day employment. Participate in employee ranking websites.
Most importantly, make it easy to learn about the company on your own website and social media channels. The more you tell them, the less likely they’ll be to look elsewhere.
Transparency Consistently Pays Off
The primary reason for total transparency in the recruiting process is a fact we all understand: The cost of a bad hire drags down the entire organization. Not only does a bad hire reflect poorly on the recruiter and decision maker, it costs the business on many levels.
The cost in both dollars and hours spent training a new employee is significant, and it may take months to discover how bad your hire actually was. During those months, and until the time you can rectify a poor hiring decision, a bad hire can negatively impact the team and workplace culture.
Being open about culture, values, and expectations will help candidates self-select–and make you a top choice for candidates who share your vision.
Back in 2014, I had the pleasure of interviewing Great Rated! CEO Kim Peters. Kim emphasized the need for transparency within a company, especially in the candidate journey. “Top talent has lots of choices, and they want a workplace where they’ll be comfortable,” she said. “It’s the company’s willingness to be open about their workplace that lets people understand if they’ll be a fit, and ultimately decide to join the company.”
Beginning the candidate journey with transparency during the recruiting process will mean you, and they, will be much more satisfied and certain of success.
A version of this article was first published on HuffPo on 10/22/15