A 6-Step Framework for Solving Common Recruiting Problems

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When speaking at events, one of the pieces of feedback I consistently hear from candidates and clients is that recruiters “disappear” when issues arise. In other words, we aren’t good at handling problems.

Clearly, this isn’t a good perception – but can we change it? Bottom line – of course we can. When problems occur, solving the problem must become your top priority. Clarify the problem and then become solution, not problem focused. It’s not enough to just solve problems –make it your goal to “wow” your clients or candidates.  

To do this, you can use a step-by-step process to solve problems, similar to the following:

Step 1: Clarify the issue  

Ask probing questions to make sure you are “hearing” what they are “saying.” You want to have a clear understanding of the problem.

Step 2: Ask for their solution

This also shows them you value their input and opinion. When you ask clients or candidates for their solution, they often offer a solution that is less than you were willing to offer.

Step 3: Realize it can’t always be a win/win  

Remember the long-term value of the relationship you have with your clients and candidates. There are times when you take a loss to win in the long-term. If you feel you always win, you may not be prioritizing what’s in the best interest of your clients and candidates.

Step 4: Go beyond just solving the problem

Your solution should thrill your client or candidate. When they hear your solution, their reaction should be “wow.” It goes back to the Golden Rule of Sales, under-promise, over-deliver.

Step 5: Review to avoid repetition

Whenever a problem occurs, review actions leading up to the problem so you can prevent the problem from happening in the future.

Step 6: Develop systems

Create repeatable systems and processes to dramatically reduce issues and problems.

Now, let’s review solutions to common issues faced by recruiters in this highly competitive job market.

How to avoid the most common problems recruiters face

There are certain issues we have to face more often than others. Instead of dealing with the aftermath, here’s what you can do to avoid these scenarios:

The candidate doesn’t show up

When your candidate no-shows, you have wasted your client’s time. Most no-shows are the result of your candidates not seeing the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) for them or they don’t feel the opportunity matches what is most important for them. From the beginning, you need to make sure the job is a good match and convince the candidate it’s work exploring. 

The candidate never starts the job

Often, this is caused by candidates being lured back by their current employer or they were interviewing and received a better offer. You need to talk to your candidates throughout the two-week notice so you are not blind sighted when your candidates just don’t show up on their first day.

The candidate rejects the offer

If you close your candidates to the “NO” on money throughout the entire process, this will dramatically reduce offer rejections. Pre-close throughout the entire process, so you know when an offer would be rejected.

The candidate accepts a counteroffer

Cover this topic during your initial interview and for months after an offer is accepted.

The client decides not to hire

If, your client decides not to hire your candidate you need to provide feedback to your candidates the minute you have this information.

The client negotiates the fee – after the fact

Your client tries to negotiate their fee – after the fact, and you walk away. It is important to be honest with your candidate.

The position is misrepresented

If your candidate feels you’ve wasted their time, you will lose credibility. This can be solved by sending a copy of your contract, job order or assignment to everyone in the process. If the position ends up being misrepresented, you might want to reimburse your candidate for any interview expenses.

If you implement these suggestions, your clients and candidates will be extremely satisfied when they realize you are at your best when problems occur.

*Image by Brooke Lark

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