Don’t Overlook Transparency in Recruiting

I have been a recruiter for 15 years, starting out within the Professional Services side of the house where recruiting was more the “churn and burn” atmosphere, then transitioned in-house to be part of a growing software company where we hired over 150 folks within one year.

I love what I do and am very passionate about the hiring process and assisting my clients in finding the best talent available for their organizations. I feel that a company’s most important asset is their people and that you cannot overstate the value of an excellent match between employee and employer.

How we go about doing that, however, can vary greatly from recruiting firm to recruiting firm. What might work for one person does not necessarily work for another.

Over the years what has consistently worked for me is to be transparent with both my clients and my candidates.

As I mentioned, the importance of this process is too fragile to jeopardize by not being transparent. A poor match can impact a company’s ability to meet its goals.

It’s a challenging process and one that people need to trust. I am quickly able to build that important trust into a situation with a new client by being transparent. I am upfront with my clients and set very clear expectations around what I need from them to be effective and to perform the most effective search. I am clear on time-lines and expected delivery dates to ensure I can bring them what they need in the time they need it. I also take the time to understand their business, which always helps me find the correct match from a cultural perspective.

To me, being transparent with clients and candidates is sharing and being real with them; there are no hidden agendas.

I share what is happening in my life and within the market. I let them know what is going on around me so there are no assumptions. This builds trust and gives me the opportunity to learn who they are, and what their “hot buttons” are. This helps me better position the opportunity to the candidate and the candidate to the client.

So if I am at one of my kid’s soccer games and just happen to be on the phone with a client, or closing a candidate, I let them know it.

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I am transparent.

I share with them that I am real and I face the same challenges and hurdles that they do in life.

In turn, as I share I also take an active interest in what is going on with them as well. Not just around this opportunity, because that would not be genuine. I want to be real and to be perceived as real by the people I am working with. This active interest helps me to build trust and rapport and makes the process smoother.

This transparency assists me in gaining insight on both the client and the candidate. It is a skill that takes time to develop.

You need to become comfortable with your approach and practice your craft. Never lose sight of the fact that as a recruiter, you are helping two parties make a very important and often, very personal decision. To help them you need to understand who they are and how they think.

Taking the first step by being transparent with your own life is the first step to getting the process started.

Carmen Hudson wears several hats. She is currently Engagement Manager, Sourcing and Social Media Strategy for Recruiting Toolbox and Founder and CEO of Tweetajob, Inc. Carmen draws from over fifteen years of recruiting experience with a strong focus on helping organizations attract, source, and recruit top talent. Carmen’s expertise is in helping clients build the right sourcing and recruiting strategies, and then implementing them in the real world of limited budgets, competing priorities, and highly competitive recruiting environments. She consults and trains companies to help them leverage high ROI solutions for big sourcing, social media, and technology implementation initiatives. Carmen is a self-described “recruiting geek” who has spent years learning, creating, and sharing best practices around sourcing. She gets that technology – for all of its hype – is still a means to an end, not an end itself. Her corporate experience includes working at Yahoo!, where she was Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition. At Yahoo! she led the strategic sourcing team, revitalizing the employee referral program and Yahoo’s employer brand. The team was awarded a coveted Yahoo! Superstar Award, an ERE Excellence award, and advertising industry awards. Prior to joining Yahoo!, she was Manager, Global Strategic Sourcing for Starbucks Coffee Corporation, where she developed sourcing strategies and recommended resources and tactics to support U.S. retail management hiring. She has also held senior talent acquisition roles at Microsoft,, and Capital One. Carmen is a regular contributor to recruiting industry publications and is a frequent speaker at recruiting events. True to her passion, she blogs and tweets about the recruiting industry, social media, job search, and recruiting technology.


11 Comments on “Don’t Overlook Transparency in Recruiting

  1. I just love this! Transparency is definitely a choice. It has worked well for me and I am surprised we don’t see/hear more about it. This is a very good article about an ‘under-played’ concept.
    And I should say it has worked very well for me in recruiting. Sometimes in this forum I probably should have been slightly more opaque…

    1. Thanks David – I agree – it’s a choice we have to make in recruiting and being real, does really help putting the clients and candidates at ease.


  2. Good Morning Chernee,
    If you haven’t already, read “Getting Naked” by Patrick Lencioni. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Thanks for your insights.

    1. Thanks David for the book recommendation. I bought it yesterday and it’s on my reading this for the summer.

      Have a good weekend.


    1. Thanks Brenda – I appreciate you taking the time to read the article – glad you found it of value.

      Have a great weekend.


  3. Chernee,

    This was a great post. The term “Transparency” is very hot in the business world these days and I agree with your philosophy. I would like to build on it a little.

    We started a new business Get Me The Right Job! because we viewed the IT Recruiting process as broken. One of our core values is to create transparency in the process from end to end. Our business focuses on removing risk from the process and putting the right person in the right job at the right time. We reward our customers with higher efficiency and a 70% cost savings versus a traditional recruiting agency.

    We know we are having success because our clients are going 1 for 1. This means they are interviewing one person on-site and making an offer. This was the vision when we started and it is kind of working so far. It is working because we are transparent and managing expectations correctly by using our people, process and technology the right way.

    When I read your post and I see words like “closing” or “pitching” it makes me feel like that may not be completely transparent. It may be that these are simply “industry terms” but I believe one of the biggest problems in the Contingent Recruiting industry is the focus on a transaction versus a focus on value. Agencies don’t get paid unless someone gets hired. Can that breed transparency? It seems to incent the wrong behavior.

    Thanks for your insight and thought stimulation on this and I look forward to others comments on this post!


  4. Hi respected Sir,

    Hope you will be doing fabulous,
    I am working as an HR Officer in a Bank.I have limited experience(2008 to till date), I am really glad to have such stuff, ultimately this will help me to shape myself professionally and as per latest trends.I am keen to have your respectable opinions & eperience. I hope you will do guide me.

    With Best Regards,
    Muzumil Iqbal Malik

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