7 Candidate Problems and How to Get Ahead of Them

December 20th, 2016 Comments off
Candidate problems

If you’re like most recruiters, you have more on your plate than you did a few years ago. So, while you know there are certain candidate-related issues that should receive your attention, you’re just not able to focus on them as much as you’d like. But if you ignore them, they could end up blindsiding you – and causing you to lose out on top talent.

Here are seven common candidate problems and how you can get ahead of them – before they get ahead of you.

Problem No. 1: Candidate ego is out of control

In today’s candidate-driven market, candidates believe it’s all about their needs, not yours. How do you respond in an environment like this?

Solution: Candidates may come to interviews with outlandish requests related to benefits, comp, paid time off, career pathing – you name it. How do you respond to these requests? By adapting to the ego and expectations of the candidate. Ask yourself if you can afford to be picky in this market – because if you ignore the candidate, you may lose out on great talent. If you don’t have a strategy to tackle this, find a way to answer their questions without giving them what they want. That way, you’ll give yourself time to come up with an answer that’s beneficial to both parties.

Problem No. 2: Candidates value transparency

There’s no doubt about it – we live in an era of transparency. Candidates want to know the good, the bad and the ugly about a company. They use social media sites to get real, honest reviews. They don’t just want to hear all of the positives of working at your company – they want to know what some of the challenges are, too.

Solution: As a recruiter, you must be prepared to have robust and honest conversations with candidates. They will Google this information anyway, so you might as well be transparent. It’s also important to remember that your employer brand is made up of both employees and ex-employees. Your brand is a reflection of how you treat those currently working at your company and those who leave – willingly or not. Ex-employees are the ones sharing their fond memories – or horror stories – so don’t forget about managing alumni relationships, too.

Problem No. 3: Candidates want actionable feedback

We often try to get through as many candidates as possible, but favoring quantity over quality prevents us from having valuable candidate conversations.

Solution: We must talk to fewer people and have better conversations. Get down to a number that’s manageable so you can actually communicate with every candidate who applies – whether or not they are right for the job. If they have a bad experience, it will leave a bad impression. You want to build up a solid talent network, which includes people who may have been rejected for one job but may end up being a fit for another. Don’t sour candidate experience by slacking on communication.

Problem No. 4: Candidates want brutal feedback

Candidates aren’t made out of porcelain. If they suck, they want to be told they suck. They want to know what else they need to do to help them get the job.

Solution: Be honest with your candidates. It goes back to transparency – candidates will appreciate constructive criticism. That’s how you’ll build loyalty and help your employer brand.

Problem No. 5: Candidates have a ‘What’s next?’ mentality

This is one of the relatively new candidate problems. Twenty years ago, you wouldn’t see this. But we are now in the business of career development.

Solution: You must be able to explain internal mobility – however that is defined within your organization. The most talented candidates will have many options, so they will expect to know what’s next for them. You’ll lose top talent if you aren’t good at promoting them from within. It’s a new way of looking at HR and recruitment – it’s not just about getting them in the door, it’s getting them to stay.

Problem No. 6: Candidates demand career development

If you don’t have a compelling career development story, how can they grow their skills? And why would they want to work for you?

Solution: CEOs often think if their candidates are trained, they’ll leave the company. Yet, don’t we want the best version of our employees while they’re at our company? That’s why investing in training and development is so important. During the hiring process, you must be able to delve into the specifics of a training and development plan so candidates know they’ll have a chance to broaden their skillset once they’re employed.

Problem No. 7: Candidates expect text messages

In this candidate-centric market, candidates expect you to meet them where they’re at. This means they want you to communicate with them in their preferred way – not yours.

Solution: Voicemails may be your preferred mode of communication with candidates, but if they aren’t voicemail-oriented, you’re going to lose them – just on medium alone. If you don’t care about their communication style, they’ll think you just don’t get it. Don’t force the communications pathway that you’re comfortable with, because it’s not necessarily what the candidate prefers. Show them that you’ll do what it takes to get them to take the job by focusing on what’s important to them – even if that means sending them a Facebook message or connecting via Skype.

Is it time to rethink candidate experience? Learn how to make better hires.

3 Ways to Turn Your Candidate Experience Around

June 22nd, 2016 Comments off
3 Reasons the Candidate Experience is So Critical

Have you ever looked for a job? It’s quite daunting, and often feels more like you’re swimming through molasses than finding a great new opportunity. Candidates have anxiety, and they are eager to be considered. We often forget that every candidate expects to get the job every time they interview. No one comes to a company thinking they won’t be chosen.

Candidates are so focused on doing well in front of you, the hiring manager or recruiter, that they rarely understand their surroundings. Yet, they are embarking on a new stage in their career, and they should have knowledge of the role they’re considering and the company they may be potentially joining. Though they can find some of this on their own, you have a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself from other companies when it comes to how candidates feel about their experience with you as a potential employer.

The candidate experience has to matter as a key component in your recruiting strategy. Work to make it your starting point, instead of something you may remember in the midst of trying to bring someone onto your team. The choices you make now will determine whether or not you’re successful in landing that great talent.

All employers face three realities that impact the candidate experience:

Candidates have a choice, too.

Have you driven around lately? There is a “now hiring” sign on nearly every single building you pass. Hiring is rampant across many industries, and it presents a significant obstacle. If everyone is hiring, the candidate experience becomes even more paramount. You have to take steps to show you’re the company they should choose. This goes well past attracting them through recruiting efforts. This means that candidates need to have more positive interactions with you throughout the entire process.

Every candidate matters.

Candidates aren’t just people who fill jobs. They’re people. We tend to focus on the processes we use – interviews, time to hire, schedules of those involved. The majority of hiring efforts are about the company, and not about the individual who wants to join you. When we are so narrowly focused and are looking for the “one” person who fits, we overlook everyone who has applied. Companies who look at people as a whole will make sure that they are consistent in communication, follow-up and follow-through. It’s true that one person will be chosen, but make sure to remember everyone who is interested.

It’s a chance to highlight your culture.

There are countless blogs about employer brand. The foundation of all that this encompasses is your culture. The experience a candidate has with your company will be their one look inside. Will they see things that are appealing and attractive? Or will they see that they aren’t being included in your culture yet because they are “only a candidate”? This is a chance for you to shine. Be realistic and show them who you really are. Don’t just do the recruiting dance like everyone else. Showing candidates the culture will make their decision easier. Use all that you are to your advantage.

The candidate experience starts with your decision to shift your focus off processes and on to people. Do it — and be the differentiator you’ve wanted to become.

Learn more about how to give candidates the kind of experience that will make them want to work for you with in-depth insights from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

Candidates Use 16 Different Resources During a Job Search

May 23rd, 2016 Comments off
Candidates Use 16 Different Resources During Job Search

Job seekers are more aware of the job market than ever before – and they have the tools to navigate a job search, literally, at their fingertips. From good, old-fashioned networking to sending resumes and job applications from a smartphone, today’s candidates have what it takes to find their next career: patience and skill.

We surveyed over 5,000 job seekers in both the U.S. and Canada to achieve key insights into the habits of today’s candidates for our annual Candidate Behavior Study. This year, we found that job seekers use an average of 16 different resources to aid in their job search. This valuable research is performed to not only help a candidate determine their own place in the market, but also find job opportunities that fit their requirements. Keep in mind, job seekers perform this research before applying to a single open position.

What Does This Mean For You?

If your organization is posting jobs to only one job board, or searching through one resume database, you may be missing out on a majority of the job seekers available in the marketplace. To help increase your visibility and capture more candidate information, your company needs a diverse recruitment strategy with a presence across the internet. Job distribution software and tools that consolidate multiple resume databases into one search can increase your flow of candidates without adding additional time or steps to your process. Get more insights from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

Learn more about Broadbean Job Distribution and Broadbean Resume Search from CareerBuilder.

81% of Job Seekers Want Job Poster’s Contact Info Before Applying

May 16th, 2016 Comments off
81% of Job Seekers Want Job Poster’s Contact Info Before Applying

CareerBuilder’s recently-released 2016 Candidate Behavior Study confirms the fact that job seekers increasingly want a steady stream of communication — starting at the very beginning of the application/hiring process.

According to the study, 81 percent would like the contact information of the person who posted the job before applying, while 72 percent said they want to talk to a recruiter or hiring manager.

What Does This Mean For You?

You are competing with other companies for the attention and interest of the top candidates you’re trying to attract. For starters, that means saying goodbye to the dreaded black hole that job seekers experience when they apply and increasing the level of communication during the hiring process starting from the very beginning.

Hiring is a two-way street — and job seekers want to be able to ask questions, too. Allow them to communicate with you during the hiring process so you can both better assess whether they are a good match for your open position(s).

For more insights, download CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study here. And join the conversation on Twitter: #TalentFactor.

7 Candidate Behavior Memes That Are Too Real

May 13th, 2016 Comments off
CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Memes

There are some things you simply can’t predict — such as how the season finale of “Scandal” will go down or what Kanye West will say when he goes up on stage to interrupt accept an award. But lucky for you, candidate behavior doesn’t need to be one of them.

CareerBuilder surveyed 4,505 U.S. job seekers and 505 Canadian job seekers, as well as 1,505 hiring managers and recruiters, about virtually every aspect of the recruitment process — and we found out a LOT of interesting information that we compiled in CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior study.

Here, in random order, are some key findings.

Hiring managers and recruiters use an average of 15 resources to find the right candidate. However, what you may not have realized is that today’s “consumer candidates” are savvy and do their homework before applying.

CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Memes









The one area employers may be lacking in, however, is testing their own process to pinpoint frustrations and make necessary changes. Only 31 percent of employers claim to have tried applying to one of their company’s open jobs to see what the process is like.

candidate behavior meme










Fifty-five percent of job seekers say it’s also difficult to understand what it would be like to work at a particular organization prior to interviewing with them.

CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Memes










The willingness of job seekers to endure a lengthy application process decreases the longer it goes on. However, nearly 1 out of 10 job seekers say a company completely drops out of consideration if they can’t apply via a mobile device.

CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Memes










Can you guess what employers’ biggest frustration is? Nearly 2 in 5 (39 percent) say it’s candidates who apply for positions they’re not qualified for.

CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Memes










In fact, 70 percent of employers feel it would be helpful if candidates could directly contact them with questions about their postings to assess whether or not they are they right fit before applying.

CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Memes










Want to know what a job seeker’s biggest frustration is? Nearly half (45 percent) say it’s when employers don’t respond to them. In fact, job seekers say 4 out of 10 (38 percent) of their applications never receive a response or any type of communication. So if you want to stay a step ahead of your competition, do yourself a favor and avoid that dreaded black hole.

CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior Memes










Get more tips on how to impress attract top candidates — and keep them engaged during the hiring process: See more findings from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.


3 in 4 Full-Time Employed Workers Are Open to New Jobs

July 27th, 2015 Comments off
3 in 4 Full-Time Employed Workers Are Open to New Jobs

Think all your employees are perfectly happy working for your company and don’t have a roaming eye for other jobs? Think again. CareerBuilder’s 2015 Candidate Behavior Study shows that as many as 3 in 4 full-time employed workers are open to or actively looking for new job opportunities.

It isn’t just the unemployed who are putting themselves out there and competing for jobs; it’s likely some of the people sitting in your cubicles are also looking for greener pastures. And today, it’s easier than ever before for employees to build a personal brand online and for your competitors to like what they see and approach them.

You are probably aware that there has been a recruitment power shift — the power has shifted from the employer to the candidate — and it is candidates who are now powering the economy.

What does this mean for you?

This finding doesn’t mean you should brace your company for a mass exodus any time soon, but it should be a sign for you to begin to invest in your employees right now, if you aren’t already.

Conduct stay interviews, make sure they’re being compensated fairly, mentor them, offer them opportunities to advance their careers, provide feedback and recognize them regularly for their efforts. These are all simple but powerful ways you can communicate to your employees that you value them and want them to stay.

Want to receive Talent Factor by email? Subscribe here and get a brand new recruiting industry statistic delivered to your inbox every Monday. Join the conversation on Twitter: #TalentFactor.


77% of Candidates will Accept a Lower Salary After a Positive Hiring Experience

July 20th, 2015 Comments off
Talent Factor

It’s no secret that salary is often one of the biggest drivers of a candidate’s decision to accept a job offer. Who wouldn’t want to make more money, right? Well, according to CareerBuilder’s 2015 Candidate Behavior Study, the highest salary isn’t always the highest priority for a candidate.

The study found that more than 3 in 4 candidates (77 percent) are willing to accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process; even more (83 percent) would do the same if the company had a reputation as a great employer. Candidates would also accept a lower salary if the company had a lot of positive press recently (69 percent) and had great online reviews (73 percent).

Those are some high numbers.

What does this mean for you?

As this increasingly becomes a candidate-powered economy, the battle for the best talent will only heat up. While it’s still important to offer compensation in line with market value, these findings underscore that sometimes salary isn’t enough. You must build a strong, authentic employment brand and make sure those who touch the hiring process are ambassadors of that brand.

This also emphasizes the ripple effect employee satisfaction can have on recruitment. If employees are happy, they’ll spread that message, strengthening your organization’s reputation and allowing you to capture in-demand candidates at competitive prices.

Want to receive Talent Factor by email? Subscribe here and get a brand new recruiting industry statistic delivered to your inbox every Monday. Join the conversation on Twitter: #TalentFactor.


NEW WEBINAR: Navigating the Recruitment Power Shift

July 14th, 2015 Comments off

Rosemary Haefner & Jamie Womack


When: Tue, Aug 11, 12:00 p.m. CT, Length: 1 hour



Finding, recruiting and hiring candidates is a constantly evolving process. To stay competitive and attract today’s best candidates you need more than just some tips and tricks; you need research.

One way to stay ahead of the game is to understand the expectations and processes job seekers take into their job search. CareerBuilder’s Candidate Behavior Study has the data you need to glean useful insights to improve your employer brand including:

  • The candidate-powered economy
  • The candidates’ ideal recruitment process
  • Real-world examples of strategies that work


Join us for this free webinar to discover some of the most useful highlights to navigate the recruitment power shift and how a better candidate experience can impact your organization.


CareerBuilder CHRORosemary Haefner: As Chief Human Resources Officer for CareerBuilder, Haefner is responsible for developing and implementing global strategies for employee engagement, talent management, organizational design, recruiting, benefits, and community outreach.

Under Haefner’s leadership, CareerBuilder has received numerous employment focused awards including BusinessWeek’s ‘Best Places to Launch a Career,’ Training Magazine’s Top 125, ComputerWorld’s Best Places to Work in IT and ‘Best Places to Work’ features by Chicago Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Glassdoor.com, and the Chicago Tribune. Haefner also received the 2008 American Business Award for “Human Resource Executive of the Year.”

CareerBuilder VP of Corporate MarketingJamie Womack: As Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Branding, Womack directs the development of strategic marketing for the corporate marketing team and focuses on the recruitment needs of employers of all sizes and industries. This includes overseeing business-to-business strategy including communications, advertising, promotions, events, and customer lifecycle and loyalty. In addition to leading corporate marketing efforts, Womack manages the sales training program at CareerBuilder. She works closely with her team of trainers to clearly communicate sales strategies, tactics, product developments and overall company goals to CareerBuilder’s sales force.


A Closer Look at Candidate Behavior in 2015

July 7th, 2015 Comments off
candidate behavior

Though we work with them every day, communication between candidates and our staffing firm clients can always be made clearer, more open and more productive.

Here are key insights revealed by CareerBuilder’s Candidate Behavior 2015 study, which delves deeply into preferences about candidates’ communication methods, salary expectations and career goals.

Career goals and new jobs

A majority of workers (75 percent of full-time workers) are always interested in hearing about new opportunities, whether they are actively seeking a new career or just seeing what’s out there. When given the option to select one or more answers to how they would best describe their attitude or behavior toward finding a new job, workers (including full-time, part-time, temporary and contract workers) replied:

  • I am employed but open to new opportunities (61 percent)
  • I am employed and not willing to consider other options (23 percent)
  • I am evaluating available opportunities for employment (14 percent)
  • I am considering starting a job search (13 percent)
  • I am actively seeking new employment (e.g., applying for jobs, sending out resumes) (13 percent)
  • I am evaluating my employment potential (e.g., compensation, skills, credentials) (10 percent)


Keeping in mind where your candidate is in the job search, you may have better luck connecting with her by narrowing down their pain points — and areas of strength — in order to help move her along more quickly. For instance, if you’re reaching out to a candidate who is screening out jobs that are not attractive to her, dig deeper about what negatives she’s finding in a job; you may be able to correct those wrong assumptions (and point out why your open position is the perfect fit).

Unsurprisingly, though, most people (62 percent) say they are prompted to look for a new job due to an interest in a higher base salary. Coaching your clients about candidate expectations such as a competitive salary or improved benefits can save time during negotiations and ensure everybody’s on the same page.

Other reasons respondents say they were prompted to look for a new job include:

  • Looking for improved benefits (34 percent)
  • Looking for better advancement opportunities (33 percent)
  • Looking for better skills growth potential (30 percent)
  • Looking for improved work/life balance (27 percent)
  • Looking for better bonuses (20 percent)
  • Looking for a better city/living situation (18 percent)
  • I was/am unemployed (11 percent)

Applications and communication

Inaccurate assumptions can cause you to lose top talent if your application isn’t tailored to their interests. The survey findings indicate candidates are more likely to apply to positions where not only are the responsibilities and salary well defined, but also are the benefits.

key details that can prompt a job seeker to apply include:

  • The job duties/responsibilities are clearly defined (85 percent)
  • The salary range is defined (77 percent)
  • The benefits package is described (60 percent)
  • Advancement opportunities are offered (45 percent)
  • Describe the work environment (45 percent)
  • The company’s employment brand is defined (25 percent)
  • The look and feel of the posting is creative/unique (17 percent)
  • Language used in the posting is creative/unique (13 percent)
  • Share fun events/outings the company does (11 percent)


Communicating with today’s always-plugged-in candidates is crucial; even an automated response can make a difference. Candidates rank receiving a confirmation of application as the most important factor in their job search experience.

when candidates would ideally like to be contacted by the company with which they applied:

  • After submitting resume/application to confirm receipt of your materials (49 percent)
  • After interview if not selected for further interviewing/not chosen for position (43 percent)
  • At all of the above points in the process (39 percent)
  • If the decision is made to not interview you (39 percent)
  • Before interview if taking a long time (36 percent)
  • After interview but before job offer (26 percent)

When asked about the best interactions candidates have had with companies they’ve applied to, these topped the list:

  • Company sends an automated message acknowledging they’ve received my resume/application (25 percent)
  • Interview with multiple people from the company (18 percent)
  • A hiring manager/employee of the company calls me acknowledging they’ve received my resume/application (10 percent)


Candidates are sending employers a clear message: Caring about your candidate experience is the best way to invest in your future employees.

For more insights on candidate behavior, including customized data on specific job types, view the full 2015 Candidate Behavior Study.