The Trust Equation

Have you considered how trust relates to recruiting, interviewing and hiring?

I’ve recently finished The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford and found one of its concepts to be particularly intriguing as its applications transcend client/service partner situations into other areas of life  – including hiring and recruiting.

In chapter eight, the authors present a formula for how trust elements inter-relate.

How do you define trust?

The authors suggest that credibility and reliability do not equal trust.

Instead, Trust = the sum of credibility and reliability and intimacy divided by self-orientation.

  • Credibility = Words: I can trust what she says about…
  • Reliability = Actions: I can trust her to (take an action)…
  • Intimacy = Emotions: I feel comfortable discussing this…
  • Self–Orientation = Motives: I can trust that she cares about…

The authors then ask us to contemplate rating scales (1-10) on how we rank any particular relationship.  For example;

  • A new client or relationship might view us as 5 (credibility) + 3 (reliability) +2 (intimacy) / 8 (self-orientation) = or a trust factor of 1.2.
  • An existing client might view us as 7 (credibility) + 8 (reliability) + 5 (intimacy) / 4 (self-orientation) = a trust factor of 5.

The old adage that it takes time to build trust certainly resonates in this formula.

Now that we have a ‘Trust Equation’, how might we apply this to interviewing and hiring?

In interviews, ask yourself questions like:

  1. Do I trust this person can do the work required?
  2. Do I trust that this person is motivated to do the work required?
  3. Do I trust that this person is running to our company and the jobs to be done versus running away from something else?

With most relationships, it takes time to build trust. In hiring, you need to be particularly cognizant of both your trust in your new hire and your new hire’s trust in your organization and the work being done. This is particularly important early on in the hiring process or the first 90 days (what some call the new hire’s “getting up to speed” time frame).

How do you build trust during the interviewing, hiring, and onboarding time frames?

If you’d like some help with this, and to understand how you can overcome some of these issues, please contact us here.