Sealing the Deal: 4 Candidate Challenges and How to Overcome Them

ThinkstockPhotos-177266987Today’s recruiters are faced with many challenges specifically when it comes to working with candidates. From a candidate accepting a counter offer to withholding information about which companies they’re interviewing with, recruiters know how to identify and resolve potential issues from the get-go.

Addison Group, a leading staffing services firm, has identified four significant challenges facing today’s recruiters when it comes to talent, and how these challenges can be overcome.

Challenge 1: The Counter Offer. Often, candidates receive counter offers from their existing employer once they’ve announced their resignation from a role. Candidates can be drawn back in by offers of a higher salary, extra vacation time or a promise for a promotion. Unfortunately, they’re quick to forget why they were looking to leave in the first place – which could be any number of reasons, such as disapproval of management style to slow career progression to lack of work-life balance. Ultimately, counter offers are almost always bad news for candidates and recruiters alike.

To avoid the plight of the counter offer, have an open conversation about the possibility of such a situation with your candidate early on. Ensure the candidate is firm in why they want to leave their current company. At the same time, it’s important to understand what would entice them to stay. Once the counter offer is on the table, recruiters must recognize how emotionally difficult this decision is for the candidate. Help them evaluate this decision with a clear head by reminding them of what factors pushed them away from their job and what’s pulling them towards a new one.

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Challenge 2: The Poor Communicator. Poor lines of communication can spell disaster for the recruiter-candidate relationship. Whether the candidate takes weeks to return emails, rarely answers calls or constantly reschedules meetings, there’s a clear issue in need of a resolution. Have an honest conversation with your candidate and get to the root of the problem. This is a two-way partnership with each party relying on the other. If both parties want to be successful, communication is key. It’s important, too, that candidates understand their communication style with a recruiter might impact how their future employer views them.

Challenge 3: The Unrealistic Expectations. Avoid dealing with unrealistic demands down the road by establishing realistic expectations early on. On day one, explain how your organization works, what the recruiting process looks like and what your candidate should expect. In return, your candidate should articulate exactly what they’re looking for in terms of company atmosphere, compensation and benefits. If their demands seem unrealistic, use your expertise to establish more realistic expectations. Also, be sure your candidate feels comfortable declining positions they don’t see as a fit. Not only will this prevent candidates from rejecting offers, but it helps the recruiter provide roles more aligned with their needs.

Challenge 4: The Under-Sharer.  Occasionally, recruiters come across candidates who are uncomfortable disclosing information about their job search. Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception among candidates, who might believe recruiters will contact the company they’re interested in and offer up different candidates. Work through this challenge by building a rapport and demonstrating you have their best interest in mind. Not only will this information prevent recruiters from accidently double submitting resumes, but it helps them understand the types of companies and positions their candidates are most interested in. Transparency not only strengthens the recruiter-candidate relationship, but it allows the recruiter to advocate for their candidates and invest in their job search.

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Ed Kavanagh
Ed Kavanagh is president of the administrative and human resources practice at Addison Group, a staffing services firm.

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