Solutions to the Top 4 Recruiting Problem Areas

recruitingThe competition for top talent continues to escalate and this has been compounded by their demands for flexibility. You are facing new candidate realities, an escalation of problem areas, and new challenges.    

Have you ever had a candidate no-show an interview, ghost you, turn down an offer, accept an offer and then not start, or accept a counteroffer? You cannot control what candidates do or say, but there are actions you can take to drastically reduce these gut-wrenching occurrences.

Too often when we experience problem areas we blame others, but every time you point the finger at someone else three fingers are pointing back at you. You cannot control what candidates or hiring managers do or say, but you can control how you react, and that is very empowering.


Even after you have established rapport and trust with your candidates, they will often:

  1.  Provide guarded answers during your interview.
  2.  Reach out to their personal and professional networks for leads.
  3.  Review website postings and job board ads.
  4.  Schedule multiple interviews.
  5.  Consult family and friends for advice.
  6.  Increase salary demands.
  7.  Change their parameters.
  8.  Not welcome your opinions.
  9.  Not listen to your advice.
  10.  Receive more than one offer.
  11.  Be enticed by their current employer to accept a counteroffer.
  12.  Shop your offer.
  13.  Change their demands.
  14.  Hide behind technology to communicate.
  15.  Continue interviewing after they accepted or started a new job.

It is for these reasons that you often contend with problem areas including no-shows, ghosting, no starts, offer turndowns, counteroffers accepted, lack of engagement, and costly turnover.

Rather than discuss the reasons for these challenges, the following are solutions that will help you improve rapport and loyalty while you dramatically reduce these occurrences. 


SOLUTION ONE - Listen More

During your recruiting calls listen more; talk less. Know and focus on the priorities and hot buttons of each candidate and they will show up. They ghost you when they don’t understand how you can benefit them.

SOLUTION TWO – Stay Informed

Explain the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) for candidates to keep you informed of their other interview activities. Stay informed of your candidates’ other interviews to know where your opportunity ranks compared with other jobs they are considering. Quantify their answers asking exactly where your opportunity ranks. 

SOLUTION THREE – Confirm Interview

Call the night before to prep your candidate, confirm the interview, and answer any questions. If red flags surface, address them or cancel the interview – which is better than a no-show with one of your hiring managers. Most individuals are not comfortable with interviewing and preparing them puts them at ease and helps prevent no-shows. 


SOLUTION ONE – General Interview

Conduct a general interview not aimed at one specific opportunity – even if the candidate applied for a specific job. Only then will you uncover the hot buttons of this candidate and what will motivate them to make a career move. The opportunity you had in mind may not be a fit, but now you know what they will consider and can often place them in another job. 

SOLUTION TWO – Continue to Update Information Obtained

Obtain information on the other opportunities this individual is considering throughout your entire interviewing process. This information will continue to change during your hiring process. Always inquire, “Has anything changed since the last time we talked?”

Candidates are usually open about their other interviews because they know it can increase their value. If you have conducted a general interview, you know what is most important to this candidate, which does give you a competitive edge.

SOLUTION THREE – Preclose More Effectively

When you master the art of preclosing, you will reduce the number of problem areas you experience. My definition of a preclose is “Determining what will happen, so that when it happens, it happens the way you want it to happen.”

Preclosing should begin with the first conversation you have with a candidate or hiring manager. You are attempting to understand what is most important to someone else. The best way to do that is to repeat what someone says. Let me give you an example.

Candidate:  “I’m interested in advancement.

Recruiter:    “Are you asking me to present jobs you can grow into vs. grow out of?”

Candidate:  “No, I will only accept a management position.

The word advancement to this candidate meant management. When candidates use adjectives, always ask for their definitions of words used so you do not apply your definition, which may not be correct. Preclose throughout your entire recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process. When you have an offer in hand, preclose one last time before extending the offer.  This will ensure that more offers you extend will be accepted without hesitation. 


In the past counteroffers were extended during the two-week notice. Currently, companies often extend a counteroffer after the person has started their new job. This is commonly caused by their inability to replace the person, or the individual they hired did not work out. It’s not uncommon for counteroffers to be extended three or four months later. 

SOLUTION ONE – Their Real Reasons

When you are interviewing a candidate and want to uncover their real reason for talking to you, ask them the following question: “If you were your boss, what five changes would you make?”  This question uncovers the real reason they are contemplating a career move.  If the only changes they list are money and advancement – they will accept a counteroffer. 

SOLUTION TWO – Counteroffer

Cover the topic of counteroffer in your initial interview. You will be amazed how many candidates will admit they would accept a counteroffer. Walk away and recruit another candidate. Do not waste your valuable time on a candidate you will never place or hire. 

SOLUTION THREE – Their Own Words

If the candidate insists that they will not accept a counteroffer, ask them to give you the reason why – in their words. Draw a square on your application form and write down verbatim what they say. When a counteroffer or extension is offered, read them their own words. This brings them back to the other reasons they were contemplating a change, which cannot be solved by a promotion, raise, or extension. 

Implement these solutions and you will solve these four recruiting problem areas you are facing right now.

Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno, author of HIGH-TECH HIGH-TOUCH RECRUITING: How To Attract And Retain The Best Talent By Improving The Candidate Experience, is an internationally recognized recruiting expert who has a proven track record of helping recruiters and talent acquisition professionals become more successful and less stressed. She has created several popular LinkedIn Learning courses and is president of Good As Gold Training, HR Search, Inc., and Happy Candidates.

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