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The Case for Transparency: Building Trust & Attracting Top Talent

21st Dec 2023

Trust and transparency between employers and candidates has become more important than ever in today's market. Together with WeTransfer and Figures, we explore why transparency matters, what benefits it brings, and share advice for organisations looking to become more transparent.

Why Transparency Matters

At the core of it, transparency in the hiring process enables candidates to make informed decisions about roles, removing unwelcome surprises for both employee and employer down the line. But transparency also builds trust across your whole organisation, and shows candidates an authentic view of your company culture.

As Flexa’s CEO Molly Johnson-Jones explained from her own experience, a lack of transparency can damage trust completely. Molly needed a role with flexibility due to a health condition and the lack of transparency from prospective employers about what was truly on offer led to a long and tedious job hunting process as well as a growing lack of trust.

The need for transparency spans across the entirety of your Employee Value Proposition - from culture and values, to flexibility, benefits, and compensation. Virgile Raingeard, Figures CEO and Co-Founder, shared that transparency supports fairness and equality in your company with research showing that companies with higher pay transparency have smaller gender pay gaps.

"From the very beginning my co-founder and I were aligned on believing in transparency as a vector for trust...and when it comes to pay it's also for the sake of fairness." 

-Virgile Raingeard, Figures CEO and Co-Founder

Benefits of Transparency

So, what benefits can organisations achieve by becoming more transparent?

  1. Attract aligned candidates. By showcasing culture and values upfront, companies attract talent that fits - and repel those that don't. Charlotte Lafferty, Global TA Leader at WeTransfer, notes that it’s important to portray a true image of your company. If you’re advertising all of your benefits but in reality it's only 1% of people in the company that actually use them, that doesn’t advocate for true transparency. Clear transparency ensures candidates understand the day-to-day reality in your company, not just the marketing spiel!

  1. Build an authentic employer brand. Getting employees to share authentic experiences builds trust with candidates and boosts your employer brand. As Lafferty highlighted, "The most powerful tool in hiring is employee advocacy... create an environment where your employees can advocate for you.".
    Being able to put employees front and centre to advocate for you brand and create Employee Generated Content can only happen when employees are proud to work for you. Transparency and clarity are a big part of this. 

  1. Improve hiring efficiency. Being upfront and honest from the beginning saves time by moving away misaligned candidates earlier in the process as they will self-select in or out depending on the right cultural fit. Being as authentic and honest as possible with candidates is key not only in hiring but also retention because you reduce the number of candidates who don’t pass their probation periods or turn out to be a poor fit.

Boost retention and loyalty. By setting clear expectations upfront, employees are less likely to be disappointed later on, leading to better retention. Johnson-Jones shared that Flexa has never had an employee resign, and put this success down to the full transparency about their values and ways of working.

Getting Started on the Transparency Journey

Transparency is an evolving journey, not a one-time switch you can flip. To get started:

● Identify strengths in your existing culture and values to shout about. Over time you can highlight different elements and build a complete EVP and Employer Brand.

● Involve employees in creating authentic content about what makes your organisation unique.

● Start small, gain confidence and iterate. Track engagement data to see what resonates with candidates and with your current team.

● Be honest about areas you still need to improve - authenticity matters more than perfection.

By taking a progressive approach focused on authenticity, companies can build transparency and trust over time - making a significant impact on hiring and retention along the way.