[image] businessman jumping over hurdles / recruitment challenge

A recruiter has the opportunity to interact with diverse candidates and clients, which can lead to unique experiences for each search. While it is the recruiter’s responsibility to alleviate the absence of talent for companies needing to hire, what happens when the recruiter encounters obstacles that can hinder the recruitment process?

Our executive recruiters share recruitment challenges often faced during the search process, and helpful strategies to overcome them.

Recruitment Challenge #1: Lack of Available, Qualified Candidates

With a low unemployment rate, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find candidates. Nearly half of U.S. hiring managers report that they do not see enough qualified candidates when they have an open position. Simply employing the same tried and true recruiting methods will be insufficient in the current candidate market.

In hiring environments such as this, recruiters should be creative and proactive in their sourcing methods to find the right candidate. Networking, industry-specific job boards, and social media platforms are all ways to find candidates. Many organizations still do not utilize these channels effectively.

Recruitment Challenge #2: Unresponsive Candidates or Clients

While technology provides convenience in the way recruiters communicate with people, it can still pose as a challenge when the candidate or client is unresponsive. This can bring a sudden halt to the search process. With so many talented executives on the move for better career opportunities, timely responses are key to successfully recruiting the right person for the job.

The recruiter should follow up with the candidate or client if there is no initial response by means of phone call or an email. If there is no response after those attempts, leaving the candidate or client a text message can be an additional means for communication. While texting may be pushing professional boundaries to some, it is likely for a client or candidate to respond to a text more immediately than answering a phone call or drafting up an email. It is up to the recruiter to present an accurate sense of urgency for a timely response from a candidate or hiring authority. However, the recruiter must also ensure that they are communicating with the candidate or client in a respectable time frame, keeping in mind differences in time zones.

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Recruitment Challenge #3: Job Opportunities Offering Low Compensation

The U.S. is currently in a market where candidates can request and obtain higher salaries. Therefore, if companies want to hire the best available people on the market, they need to compensate accordingly. Salary, benefits, and work environment are all huge contributions in a candidate’s decision. If a company is unable to offer a competitive compensation package, it is then unrealistic to expect exceptional candidates to express an interest in the given opportunity.

In a situation where a company is offering compensation that is below the industry standard, the recruiter should discuss the importance of offering attractive compensation and present the client with average salary ranges for their industry and location. A recruiter who understands a candidate’s motivations for considering the job opportunity, can provide guidance to a company planning to make an offer. It is possible for candidates to consider other factors more important to them than salary, such as weather, good school systems, or work schedule flexibility (i.e. remote work). A good recruiter can also assist their client in structuring the employment offer in a manner that will minimize the possibility of the finalist accepting a counter offer.

Recruitment Challenge #4: The Counter Offer

One of the greatest recruitment challenges is when the candidate accepts a position with the client, and their current company follows-up with a counter offer. The key to overcoming the counter offer must start with the recruiter analyzing the situation to determine the chance that a counter offer may be extended. Some companies never counter – others do so regularly. Recruiters who specialize in an industry garner an understanding of the trade’s leading companies and their policies and behavior in this regard.

The recruiter must condition the candidate to recognize the non-monetary significance of the new career opportunity. Long-term career growth opportunities are usually more important than short-term monetary gain. The candidate may also be looking for a change in terms of work conditions. If they have a contentious relationship with their current employer, the candidate may feel the need for a change. The recruiter should assist the candidate with understanding how the transition will affect the remainder of their career.  This can be done by providing the candidate with a clear understanding of the new company’s culture and management style.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with a 50-year history of excellence. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

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