Handshakes to Heartstrings: Sealing the Deal with Trust

Two people shaking hands in front of a green background.

Table of Contents

  • Grace Adetutu
  • May 17, 2024

For staffing firms, building trust is job #1. You can have an impressive roster of talented candidates, but if clients and those candidates don’t trust your agency, good luck sealing any deals. It’s like going on a first date – you want to make a great impression but worry you might say or do the wrong thing.

Just like a first date, the initial handshake is crucial. It’s the starting point where trust begins to form, paving the way for meaningful connections. But gaining clients’ and job seekers’ trust isn’t about performing complicated magic tricks. It simply requires making authentic connections, proving reliability over time, and maintaining transparency. Don’t worry; we’ll share some ways you can earn their trust.


Beyond the Handshake: The Benefits of Trust

Trust is a make-or-break factor. In fact, an overwhelming 83 percent of consumers say they refuse to engage with a company they don’t trust.¹ So, cultivating trust on both sides of the equation translates directly to new business, robust client retention, successful candidate placements, and a stellar industry reputation. Without trust, your entire talent pipeline will dry faster than a desert waterhole.


Increased Client Retention

When clients trust you, they’re far more likely to remain loyal and partner with you long-term. A report by Microsoft found that customers who trust your business are 7 times more likely to repurchase and 4 times likelier to recommend the brand to others.²

This data shows that when people trust your brand, it’s not a one-off transaction – it breeds enduring relationships. Earned trust separates staffing firms that enjoy steady recurring revenue from those with a revolving door of clients.

Read More: What Does an Exceptional Client Experience Look Like?



Even in this age of social media, few marketing strategies pack as much punch as warm referrals from satisfied clients and candidates. It’s true! 74 percent of consumers said ratings and reviews are a vital way to learn about products they’ve never purchased.³

When candidates and clients trust your brand, they become your biggest supporters. Their positive feedback and recommendations hold serious sway with potential new clients in their industry circles. And let’s face it, a stellar referral from a trusted business associate can work wonders for your staffing agency’s reputation.


Elevated Brand Reputation

In any industry, cultivating an excellent reputation hinge on one vital element: trust. When customers trust your brand, they turn into loyal supporters and passionate advocates. Their trust translates into glowing reviews and heartfelt testimonials, compelling evidence of your brand’s reliability and excellence. This solidifies your brand’s reputation as a trusted leader in the industry.


How to Seal the Deal with Trust?

Cultivating trust is essential for sealing deals and nurturing lasting client relationships. But what are the building blocks of trust? Think of trust like a sturdy three-legged stool—without all three legs, it won’t hold up.

The three legs are reliability, transparency, and empathy. Each one is crucial for keeping the trust stool steady, just like the legs keep a stool balanced. Let’s dig into what these pillars mean and how your organization can embody them.

Read More: 7 Strategies for Building Strong Client Relationships for Staffing Firms



Imagine you hire a plumber, but they never bother to show up. Frustrating, right? Client trust is built on reliability. Clients need to have confidence in your ability to follow through. Being dependable and delivering quality service builds trust and creates a feeling of safety with clients.

To build trust:

  • Set clear goals: Don’t make empty promises you can’t keep. Be upfront about your services, pricing, and when you’ll deliver results. Clients appreciate honesty and transparency upfront, so don’t leave them guessing.
  • Always show up on time: Time is precious, and clients value punctuality. Meeting deadlines and being punctual demonstrate that you respect your clients’ time and are committed to their needs. It’s a simple gesture that goes a long way in building trust and credibility.
  • Take responsibility: Mistakes happen, but how you handle them speaks volumes about your reliability and integrity. If something goes wrong, own up to it and explain how you’ll rectify the situation. Clients appreciate honesty and accountability, and it strengthens your relationship with them in the long run.




Nobody likes surprises (unless it’s a birthday cake!). Transparency means being open and honest with clients throughout the entire process. This includes informing them about project progress, potential challenges, and any changes to the plan.


To show openness:

  • Regular Communication: Schedule regular check-ins to keep clients updated. This could be weekly emails, project management software updates, or quick phone calls.
  • Proactive Communication: Don’t wait for bad news to break it to your client. Address potential issues head-on and propose solutions collaboratively.
  • Clear and Simple Language: Avoid jargon and technical terms. Explain things in a way your clients can easily understand.




Empathy is the ability to put yourself in your client’s shoes. It helps you see things from their point of view, understand their needs and concerns, and tailor your approach accordingly. According to a Forrester study, companies that prioritize customer empathy see a 71 percent increase in customer retention compared to those who don’t.⁴

How? Pay attention to what your clients say and how they say it. To ensure you understand, ask them to explain and rephrase their concerns. But don’t just listen to your client’s problems; work with them to find solutions that meet their needs.

Take a moment to recognize and enjoy the big steps you’ve taken together. If you care about their success, you’ll stand out as more than just another service provider.


How to Build Client Trust

Here’s a sample format to make client trust you. Let’s look at how this three-legged trust-earning works.

Say a client needs an IT expert by next week. You’re sure you can find them the perfect match. Being reliable means keeping your word. Here’s how you can demonstrate reliability:

  • Meet deadlines: Stick to your word. If you promise to find qualified candidates by a certain date, make it happen. Meeting deadlines shows your commitment and professionalism.
  • Quality over quantity: Instead of bombarding clients with resumes, focus on sending them only the best matches. Quality beats quantity every time.


Clients appreciate honesty and clear communication. Here’s how to keep things transparent:


  • Clear communication: Explain the hiring process upfront to both clients and candidates. Keep everyone informed with regular updates whether it’s updating on a candidate’s status or confirming a job offer.
  • Honest feedback: Be upfront with candidates about their fit for roles. Give clients honest assessments of candidates’ skills and culture fit.


Show clients you care about their needs and aspirations. Here’s how to do it:

  • Tailored solutions: Take the time to understand candidates’ career goals and align them with the right opportunities. Understand clients’ needs and company culture to find the perfect fit.
  • Personalized approach: Treat clients and candidates as individuals, not just another business transaction. Show genuine interest in their success and well-being.


If your staffing agency is trustworthy, honest, and empathetic, it will go the extra mile. Consistently demonstrating reliability, transparency, and empathy allows you to earn the trust of candidates and clients and tug at their heartstrings. This genuine connection fosters stronger partnerships, leading to better placements and long-term success in the tough staffing world.

Read More: Iconic Illusions: Navigating Brand Reputation and the Reality of Customer Experience



Do you know how you can truly be yourself with that special someone on your 10th date? It’s the same with clients. Building trust requires time and effort to seal the deal. At Allied Insight, we understand the value of trust and can assist you in developing strategies to enhance your client relationships.

As a full-stack marketing firm, we craft compelling and innovative strategies to cultivate client and candidate trust. From brand development to digital marketing solutions, we help you strengthen client relationships for long-term success. Ready to transform handshakes into lasting connections? Contact us today, and let’s start cultivating trust together.



1. Edelman (2023). “2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Trust and the New Landscape of Geopolitics.” [Edelman]. https://www.edelman.com/trust/2022-trust-barometer/special-report-geopolitical-business

2. Forrester. (2022). The Forrester Customer Experience Index, 2022. [Forrester Research]. https://www.forrester.com/research/cx-index/

3. “What Is Customer Experience? All About Customer Experience (CX) and How to Improve It.” Microsoft Dynamics 365, 2023, dynamics.microsoft.com/en-us/customer-service/what-is-customer-experience-cx.

4. “Survey: The Ever-Growing Power of Reviews (2023 Edition).” Power Reviews, Apr. 2023, www.powerreviews.com/power-of-reviews-2023/


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