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Talent Attraction – It’s spelled like this:

Chris Lavoie is the creative and executive producer at Lavoie Entertainment. He is currently in the middle of filming and/or completing multiple recruiting related (film) projects that are well worth checking out:

Chris really creates a high end product and provides a lot of interesting perspectives from many industry experts on the subjects on which he films. I have previously blogged about the Top Recruiter series and what my impressions were of that particular production. Currently, Chris is wrapping production on the Art of Recruiting Docufilm and will be filming and producing the Talent Attraction Docufilm in March.

TrustHis Docufilm titles got me thinking though, as I personally deal with the “art of recruiting” and talent attraction on a daily basis in my job, as do many of my fellow HR colleagues. When discussing these subjects recently with some friends in the business, we got into a quite a discussion about talent attraction and what truly makes companies and individuals great in the recruiting business. For me, it isn’t about someone’s natural ability to source, write compelling advertising, leverage social media or pitch/close on an opportunity. It really is about one’s ability to build trust.

Having worked both the agency and in house side of things, I have seen my fair share of recruiters and people responsible for the talent attraction function come and go with varying degrees of success. Many of them were quite strong in one or more of the areas that I mentioned above; however, the very best in the business were those that were able to build trust with candidates and clients and I have always endeavoured to model my behaviour and approach after them.

In my humble opinion, in the talent attraction game, the only currency you truly have is your ability to build trust. Most of us aren’t recruiting for Google or Apple. We are trying to hire for our everyday organizations of which most people may never have even heard of (in terms of company name) or have no idea what type of product or service we provide! So, while we may not have the brand recognition of a Google, the recruiting budget of Apple or the technology of a Glassdoor, we all have the potential currency of trust at our disposal.

You see, candidates are drawn to organizations, and by extension their recruiters, that they trust. They want to work with and for people that they trust. Keep in mind, the entire candidate process ,which involves sending in a resume, having an interview(s), undergoing employment testing, discussing salary and having references verified is very personal in its inherent nature. Let me say that again – the candidate experience is a very personal one. There are intimate details that are being shared between candidate and recruiter and candidates need to be able to trust you, the recruiter, (with this information). They want to know that their job search is being kept confidential. They want to trust that you are being straight with them about organizational culture, benefits, expectations etc. They want to hear from you when you say you will call them back. They want the straight goods on how their interviews have gone and where things stand with their application.

Here’s the thing, while building trust takes time, it doesn’t have to be inherently difficult. Maintain confidentiality (of information, of the candidate’s personal info, etc.) whenever possible. Keep your commitments, follow up, don’t lie, don’t embellish, and don’t put lipstick on a pig. Be straight up with your candidates and your hiring managers – that is how you build trust. I have never regretted how I handled a recruiting campaign (whether successful or not) when I was straight up with all of my stakeholders. Ultimately, we are all looking for the Win-Win (or Win-Win-Win for agency recruiters).

Be upfront with your candidates about your objectives, approach and what they can expect. Keep your word and follow through when you say you will. It has been my experience that many recruiters, in fact, don’t do this. If you want to get ahead in the talent attraction game, than build up your trust bank with lots of currency. Oh yeah, and check out Chris’s projects – you will be glad you did. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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