Getting the Best Candidates by Know, Like, Trust

getting the best candidatesGetting the best candidates on the market by Know Like Trust is valuable. However, many companies do not apply this important marketing idea to recruiting.

First, companies may think candidates are a dime a dozen and treat accordingly. Second they do not realize that candidates are checking them out at the same time. This is especially true of the best talent.

We find the key factor is the recruiting process itself. Candidates get their first firsthand experience here, and you lose either the applicant or their heart right at that time.

Getting the Best Candidates – Know

Who makes the first contact? Your HR, or a recruiter? How do they handle that first contact?  Do they just grill the candidate or make demands? Do they insensitively start? Do they set up times and then not make it?

The first contact may be when a candidate first knows about your company. Know is the first step. Some more famous companies within an industry are already known for better or worse. Candidates may have heard about your company from friends in the industry and these voices are more powerful than yours. Did they have a good experience? See also China Employer Branding.

Then Like

The second step is more critical, like. It is a necessary step that candidates learn to like your company. This develops or not in the first steps leading to and including the first interview with the hiring manager.  If they enjoy the process and gain respect and confidence in the company through these steps, then you can often get to like.


The more difficult step is trust. More mature candidates have likely been burned once, and it is thus harder to get them to trust. A good process is important including having all players in the process treat possible employees well. That is less common than we often think.

Being vulnerable is the best method to achieve trust. Being vulnerable means telling a candidate a place where you have failed or are weak. A complete picture has the strengths and the weaknesses of the company. Candidates are more likely to trust if you can be real.


If candidates can get to trust then the may accept an offer from you. Start with a verbal offer so they can give you feedback and you can sense whether you have made a good step. Then move to the written offer with alacrity. Waiting is the hardest thing for candidates.

Getting the Best Candidates Includes Engagement

Success, however, that is not the whole story.  We often see applicants engagement harmed in the process. They accept but their passion has been hurt somehow. This can happen in the process or even in the first day or two at work. Usually this involves gaps in expectations. If you or the recruiter you employ sells your company too strong, then the person will feel cheated when they start, and you lose their heart.  This is a big loss.

Candidates all go through the process Know-Like-Trust-Accept Engage. Are you managing that or just letting is happen? To get the best candidates, it helps to think well here.


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Posted in: China Recruitment - Getting Good People

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