With every exchange, it had better be.
Here’s a new take on corporate transparency: when you connect with job candidates, the only thing between you and them should be your employer brand. We can promote transparency by developing a talent-facing brand that tells it like it is when it comes to what it’s like to work at our companies. After all, workers these days are used to reading Yelp and Amazon reviews before they buy a toothbrush. It’s the closest thing remote shoppers can get to “try before you buy.” In their work lives, these people also want a darn good idea of what they might be signing on for—before they make a commitment.
And who can blame them? Full-time tenures are shrinking, and the use of contract talent is increasing. Artificial intelligence and robotics advances promise to further consolidate available jobs, and candidates know automation can cut short a career at any time. They want as much control and insurance as possible from an employer, whether they’re seeking a salaried role or short-term project.
Consider making transparency a cornerstone of your employer value proposition. The more people know, the better decisions they can make, whether it’s accepting a job offer or getting a job done. Starting off with a clear idea of your company’s structure, values, and goals suggests to candidates that this trend will continue after they are hired. Here are three steps for rolling out the transparent carpet to talent prospects.
1. Job Post
Sell your company first, and the position second. Who isn’t intrigued to know what’s in it for them right off the bat? Declare what your organization does for its people—how it feeds their need for flexibility, training, and interactive management. Once you’ve thrown the enticements out there, you can detail what the job demands in exchange.
2. First Contacts
Every exchange should be a megaphone for your employer brand. You’ve received a query or a résumé; now you can respond by wearing your values on your sleeve. How does your company culture support, say, an interactive management style? Is it an open-door policy? Is it a communications system that prompts manager and direct reports for feedback at critical project stages?
Do let job candidates know that you have accountability frameworks built into your operations. You have plenty of ways to vet candidates’ skills and potential. Use this first-impression contact to let them know that what you can do for them is as important as what they can do for you.
3. Interview Process
Although interviews provide a window into candidates’ personalities and abilities, they also offer a golden opportunity to begin to build trust. Transparency is the vehicle. Be as candid as possible when answering specific questions. Candidates may want to know how their position dovetails with others’ to work toward goals. They might ask what paths to advancement exist, or even how solid the company’s financial standing is.
Be as direct as you can without divulging sensitive information—but give them as much as they need to know in order to project their future prospects with your company. The shorter the leap they have to make to feel comfortable with their choice, the better. And the less you are “wearing,” as far as your brand goes, the easier that choice will be.