Honesty will always be the most valuable leadership quality because it is the gateway for trust and inspiration. Clear communication and transparency are fundamental to a marriage between a company (hiring director) and a candidate.

Emphasis must be placed on the importance of emotional intelligence and fostering relationships based on transparency. For candidates, transparency in the hiring process is a sign that companies will always be honest with them. Not only does transparency strip away feelings of uncertainty, but it also bolsters the desire to collaborate in the future.

What is Most Important?

Discuss the Challenges of the Job

Even the most exciting jobs have their challenges. Be open about why the position needs to be filled. Discuss team dynamic challenges. Speak sincerely about what it’s really like to work with the current team. This level of candor will help candidates have a more successful onboarding experience. It may even provide the opportunity for the candidate to bow out gracefully, if need be, which is better for everyone.

Disclose Operational Norms

Some companies may be remote today but expecting to bring workers back in the coming months. Candidates must understand this, lest they assume a currently virtual position will stay that way. The last thing you want to do is misrepresent your intentions and end up frustrating the employee you brought in.

While you are at it, be sure to discuss workplace culture, especially in terms of flexibility. If your company practices strict 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours with little variance, that’s vital information. Discussing these norms immediately will remove any ambiguity and help you find the right candidate fit.

Be Open About Pay Rates and Benefits

If working with a recruiter, ensure that they are armed with the most transparent information about compensation. If it is an internal recruitment effort, ask the hard questions about compensation in advance! It is a waste of everyone’s time to end up with an offer rejection after investing time in the process.

On the candidate side be open and truthful about current compensation- ALL of it- base, bonus, stock options, medical and life insurance benefits, and other incentives. It allows you to walk away at this point, which is perfectly fine. Why invest time in interviewing if the potential compensation is not a fit?

Make Honesty a Team Sport

You might be completely open and honest in your dealings with candidates, but you will not get far unless everyone on your recruitment team follows suit. Make sure that all your colleagues are consistently practicing transparency, too. Teach your team members how to interview!  Implement workshops to help people learn the art of transparent candidate communication. Be a transparent teacher for your team.

The last year has been incredibly stressful for a lot of candidates. Many people lost their jobs and felt displaced. Surprise and delight potential candidates by engaging top talent with 100 percent transparency. As life science recruiters, we can tell you first hand this will pay off. You will enrich your partnerships and put the best people in your open seats.

-Written by Michele Baxley: Life Sciences Recruiter and Team Lead