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.

John Sumser On the Biggest Recruitment Challenges of Today

April 7th, 2016 Comments off
John Sumser on Today's Biggest Recruitment Challenges

By understanding more about the big-picture issues recruitment experts are hearing about most – and their ideas to solve them – you can strengthen your work as a recruitment professional this year, bring more value to your own organization, and be better equipped to tackle the unique challenges you face. With that in mind, we spoke to John Sumser, principal analyst at HRExaminer, about the biggest challenges he’s encountering in the recruitment space, the well-intentioned — but often failed — promotion of candidate experience, the most important part of your recruitment strategy, and more.

Get John’s insight on the biggest recruitment challenges facing employers and recruiters today: Download the guide.


This is the first installment in our Expert Recruitment Insights series. Be on the lookout for our next segment soon.

Overcoming the Biggest Staffing Challenges of Today

March 1st, 2016 Comments off

“If we can get better at data and technology, we can get better at our jobs,” said Eric Gilpin, President of CareerBuilder’s Staffing and Recruiting Group, at the Staffing Industry Analysts 2016 Executive Forum in Phoenix. Gilpin was hosting a session titled, “Prioritizing Your Recruitment Challenges: Knowing What to Fix First,” during which he discussed the biggest challenges the staffing industry is facing right now, and what we should focus on as we look ahead.

Gilpin opened the session with some findings from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Job Forecast, which will inevitably have an impact on the industry. Among the findings:

  • 36 percent of employers are increasing full-time, permanent headcount this year, while 10% plan to decrease staff levels.
  • Of the 47 percent of employers adding temporary/contract workers in 2016, 58% plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into permanent roles.
  • 83 percent of employers plan to increase compensation for existing employees; 66% will offer higher starting salaries to new hires.

Other trends affecting the industry are the rise of minimum wage (11 states have raised the minimum wage this year so far, with more to follow), boomerang employees (a recent study found 76 percent of companies prefer to rehire former employees over new candidates), and the emerging use of the smart phone as a recruitment and workforce management tool.

The Staffing Industry’s Top Challenges

Citing the results of another recent CareerBuilder survey, Gilpin said staffing firms’ top two challenges this year are finding qualified talent to meet their clients’ needs, and finding new ways to source more efficiently and effectively.

The good news is, thanks to increasingly sophisticated technology and the vast amount of workforce data available, we can meet these challenges head on. Yet, 33 percent of staffing employees aren’t comfortable using recruitment technology and software. How do we fix that?

In a panel discussion with three staffing firm CEOs, Gilpin discussed the benefits of using technology and data:

Become Indispensable to Clients: Armed with industry knowledge and insight, you will become a consultant for clients. That’s what happened to Dan Campbell, CEO of Hire Dynamics, who uses data to help clients make informed hiring and salary decisions. Data has helped him build trust with clients and establish his firm as a valuable and informed resource.

Keep Up with the Joneses: “You have to think differently about how candidates and clients leverage technology and social media,” said Leo Sheridan, CEO of Advanced Group, during the session’s panel discussion. As a staffing firm, if you’re not paying attention to how your clients and candidates use technology to communicate and gather information, you’re going to miss out on opportunities and get left behind.

Set Expectations: One of the biggest challenges the industry faces right now is a shortage of talent with the skills clients are looking for; however, clients aren’t always aware of this talent gap. Realizing this, Jeff Harris, CEO of Ettain Group, used supply and demand data to show his clients the trends that are happening right now, set more realistic expectations and adjust their strategies to meet their hiring goals. “We’re using technology to empower clients and help them be data experts,” Harris said.

Empower Your Internal Staff: When it comes to getting your employees comfortable with using technology and analytics, Campbell said the key was over-communication. The more you stress the importance of using technology and make it a part of the everyday process, the more comfortable employees will become using it. He added one more tip, “Communicate when there are success stories.” Celebrate the “wins” with technology and use real-life examples to show employees how technology can make them more efficient and better at their jobs.

Differentiate Your Firm: “As a staffing firm, utilizing data is a way to differentiate yourself, because such a large percentage of internal hiring managers do not do so,” Gilpin says. Yet, a full third of staffing employees are not comfortable using recruitment software or technology. Therefore, it is not only imperative that staffing firm employees have access to the best tools you can provide, but also that they are comfortable using these tools – and using them to their greatest advantage.

“Imagine a day you can create a rec for a job, put it out on the Internet, and it automatically matches the right candidates with the right skills and emails them and connects them to you. That day will happen,” Gilpin said of recruitment technology’s increasing sophistication. While we’re not there yet, we’re close. Those who adapt now, however, will be better positioned to benefit from this technology as it evolves – and set themselves up for success well into the future.

Want to learn more about the 2016 staffing trends and how they affect you? Download CareerBuilder’s Q1 2016 CareerBuilder Staffing & Recruiting Guidebook for exclusive industry research and expert recommendations for overcoming your biggest staffing challenges.