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You know what recruiting trend I don’t buy into at all? That to successfully engage and hire top talent, you need to give candidates the “white-glove treatment.” We’re the opposite of butlers at Triple Crown. We don’t put on white gloves. Instead, we roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty and dive head first into representing EVERY candidate we choose to represent with the passion, vigor and care they deserve. I love high-end experiences and any chance to live the good life. But, when it comes to recruiting and winning sought-after professionals, I believe that authentic, candidate engagement that builds trust is far more effective than efforts to woo and pamper talent. Here’s my case.

The Problem: All Dazzle, No Substance

When I talk to Triple Crown recruiters about the importance of being real and building trust with technology candidates, I use a relationship metaphor. If you go out on a first date with someone and they give you flowers, take you to a fancy restaurant and overwhelm you with food, music and romance, how do you feel? What are both sides aiming to accomplish? It’s awkward to try and instantly generate a deep connection with someone you just met. That’s my problem with the white-glove service. Does this brand new relationship justify all this decadence and effort? It feels manufactured and candidates feel the insincerity of being “treated to an experience” rather than being supported in their job hunt. In the case of Triple Crown candidates whose average assignments range from 6-12 months, the job hunt is omnipresent.

The Solution: Be Real, Work Hard

We train our recruiters to be themselves and to be excellent sounding boards to the candidates they engage. We hired them because they are outstanding people who are great communicators and listeners. Rather than talking and selling candidates, our recruiters are trained to listen to the candidate, ask smart questions and work to understand candidates’ career goals and challenges. Real and candid conversations are what produce the knowledge needed to find and present the right kinds of job opportunities and employers. Those conversations and the results they yield build trust. Further, we seek out difficult-to-access consultants who require our service each time they need a new engagement. Our relationship goals equate to marriages, not one-night stands. Think e-harmony instead of Tinder.

Trust Endures, White Gloves Fade

Another issue I have with the philosophy behind “white-glove service” is that it can’t last. You cannot constantly provide extraordinary, white-glove candidate experiences when part of a job search is and always will entail work along with ups and downs otherwise known as THE TRUTH. Let’s face it: you don’t always get the job. You can, however, build an enduring foundation of trust if you are engaging genuinely and responsively with candidates. The Talent Board’s 2017 Candidate Experience Benchmark Research found that the companies that are top ranked when it comes to candidate experience (CandE award winners) “listen more and communicate more often.” That is the approach Triple Crown takes with every candidate at every phase of their career. We reach out often, we talk openly, we listen and we share. It’s an approach that builds lasting relationships, whether the candidate is placed or not, and keeps the door open for future placement opportunities and peer referrals.

Harder, Faster, Realer

I know that no one works harder or faster than Triple Crown recruiters to place talent. But I am also proud that you can’t find recruiters who are more real or down to earth. Job seekers see and know the work we do because we are straightforward about the process, collaborative in the search and genuinely thrilled for every candidate we place. Add that to the fact that Triple Crown recruiters stay recruiters (there is no job more senior or important than recruiting to us) and it’s easy to see why candidates are 100% confident in our commitment to them. That might not feel dazzling, white, shiny or romantic, but it’s real, it’s comfortable and it really puts tech talent to work. How do you engage with candidates? To continue the conversation, connect with me on LinkedIn – I’d love to talk.