5 of the Smartest Ways to Build Trust with Your Top Candidates

By Manish Dudharejia - Mar. 4, 2019
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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Manish Dudharejia – Founder & CEO of E2M Solutions. His opinions are his own.

Everyone who has ever run a business knows they need to build trust with their customers in order to be successful. If people don’t feel comfortable sharing their financial information or just don’t believe the product will fulfill all of the promises that the marketing messages make, they will not buy.

But, many companies tend to overlook the crucial task of building trust with potential employees. If your hiring team is struggling to get qualified candidates to show up or they are barraged with questions from potential hires, it could be a sign that your business is not appearing trustworthy as an employer.

Of course, most candidates do have some questions and doubts when they are pursuing a job.

They may be asking themselves things like:

·   Is it really a fun, exciting office environment?

·   Would there actually be room for me to progress?

·   Do they actually allow you to work from home twice a week?

But if job seekers are wondering whether or not your business is legitimate or that its job promises will actually be fulfilled, chances are they will not apply or spend time pursuing the lead.

That said, creating a positive business reputation that attracts job seekers is imperative.

Here are five smart ways to build trust with talented candidates.

1. Be transparent online

Transparency and honesty build the foundation of trust, so it is important that when candidates are researching your business that they can easily see the truth about your business.

70% of job seekers report that they spend up to an hour researching a company before applying for a position. If they have trouble finding much information about how your business operates and how it treats its customers and employees, this greatly diminishes the chance they will apply.

Make gaining both customer reviews and employee reviews a top priority. Your marketing and sales team should have a follow-up process in place requesting honest feedback from customers and employees to build up a large library of trustworthy, third-party information about your business.

Workplace Trends’ study found that only about 25% of businesses regularly reach out to ask for reviews. Be sure that you are not only regularly requesting this kind of feedback, but that you are also displaying reviews and ratings clearly throughout your website for easy research access and SEO purposes. And of course, make sure that your systems are transparent and genuine. Don’t offer incentives for skewed reviews and never delete negative ones unless they are proven to be fake.

FH Employee Review screenshot

2. Establish a thorough follow-up communication plan

There’s nothing worse than applying for a job or interviewing and getting radio silence in return. This can breed distrust with your company’s recruiting process if a candidate applies and then never hears back.

Furthermore, if candidates don’t hear anything within a few days to a week, chances are that they will have moved on to the next opportunity, allowing some great talent to slip right through your fingers.

Even if a candidate is ultimately rejected, your HR team should still communicate with them. Doing this can actually help your brand’s reputation with job seekers. The study from Workplace Trends also found that although candidates admitted they would be disappointed to hear that they were not considered, they would be 3.5 times more likely to re-apply in the future for that same company.

Be sure that your HR team has a thorough strategy in place for communication, such as an automated email system or a brief phone call. If your HR team has a large stack of applications to qualify, it is best to reach out to the candidate and give them an estimated time window before they should expect to hear back.

HR Email screenshot

3. Make it personal

Personalization is a huge trend in recruitment, and for good reason. A personalized message when reaching out to candidates tends to result in far higher open and click rates. This makes an applicant feel like a company truly has an interest in them and their skills – something that will instantly build trust and increase the chances they will pursue the opportunity.

Try to integrate personalized details throughout the hiring process. Some HR teams even use personalized assessment tests that measure each candidate’s skill levels, as well as strengths and weaknesses for a unique qualification process based on the individual.

4. Ask for feedback for improvement

Your candidates are the best resource for advice when it comes to the recruiting process. If your applicants are having a terrible hiring experience, it is very unlikely that your recruiters will be able to find qualified talent that will accept a job offer. The previously mentioned study from Workplace Trends found that 78% of job seekers have never been asked to leave feedback on the hiring experience. Without this kind of information, it will be next to impossible for your HR team to make any positive changes. Be sure that every candidate is asked for constructive feedback, even if they are rejected from the hiring process.

5. Be real about the job

One of the biggest trust-killers for a candidate is when a job description sounds simply too good to be true. While your business may be able to offer a lot of attractive perks, it is important that your job posting does not revolve solely around the fully stacked snack bar, paid vacation days, and fun office events.

Be sure that the job description is truly accurate and never over-glamorize a position simply to attract more applicants. Never make false promises and offer a real look into what they can expect.

This type of thing happens all the time for jobs geared towards fresh college graduates. Job boards will post positions related to appealing prospects like “sports marketing” or “work in entertainment” or “entry-level management.” Most of the descriptions are full of jargon and fancy wording. When people actually start the job, they realize that “sports marketing” is something like selling coupons door-to-door for stadium concessions or barging into other offices trying to sell tickets.

To ensure your candidates know what they are getting into, look into a recruitment software that offers a deeper preview of what the job is all about. Or, you may even want to offer a shadow program so that candidates can “try out” the job for a few hours after an interview so they can really determine for themselves if the position is going to be a good fit.


As a recruiter, you know that there’s a big problem with trust when you have to try to convince a candidate to apply for a position or come in for an interview. Establishing trust with a candidate who is unfamiliar with your business can be tough. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to proactively improve your brand reputation and create a better candidate experience that builds trust over time. Keep these five in mind!

Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.


Manish Dudharejia

Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.

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