Recruiters' Biggest Problem with Candidates Right Now is . . .

If you’re a recruiter (and you probably are, if you’re reading this), then you have no end of problems with both candidates and clients.

The only question is this: “Which problem are you experiencing at the moment?”

In our never-ending quest for answers, we decided to pose this question in the form of a poll, specifically a poll for the Preferred Member recruiters in Top Echelon Network.

These are third-party recruiters in the trenches, day in and day out.  They have their pulse on everything that’s happening in the recruiting industry, especially the obstacles that recruiters are currently facing.

With that in mind, below is the question that comprised our most recent recruiter poll:

What’s your biggest problem with candidates right now?

The choice of answers that we provided is listed below, along with the percentage of recruiters who selected each one:

  • Relocation—19.3%
  • Counter-offers—5.5%
  • Fall-offs—3.7%
  • Not enough qualified ones—67.0%
  • Other problem—4.6%

As you can see, the problem that most recruiters consider to be their biggest is not having enough qualified candidates, with just over two-thirds of respondents choosing that answer.

All other answers were far behind, although “relocation” did garner almost one-fifth of the vote.  That underscores the fact that the state of the housing market still has an impact on the world of recruiting.

Behind those two, “counter-offers” and “fall-offs” made up just a small piece of the problem pie.  Nearly five percent chose the answer of “other problem.”

What about your situation?  What’s your biggest problem when it comes to candidates?  Is it finding enough qualified ones?  Is it relocation?  Or is it something else?

-- -- --

(Matt Deutsch is the Communications Coordinator at Top Echelon and a regular contributor to the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog.)

Views: 1526

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on May 22, 2012 at 11:26am

How much of that 67% was caused by those recruiters having really bad candidate attraction skills - do we know?

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 22, 2012 at 1:08pm
I think we are in one of those transition periods where companies have not yet realized that the candidates who have all the bells, sirens and whistles are getting multiple offers. The other interesting thing I am seeing is that clients are still resistant to candidates who due to no fault of their own have been in a situation of having been laid off resulting in either several contract jobs or in many cases two or three short term jobs in the past four years. Although clients pay lip service to understanding what happened, given the choice of a candidate who has been in transition and one who has not they are almost always more interested in the ones who were fortunate enough not to have been laid off. When it comes to offers they are still offering at a little less than what it takes to be the employer of choice for the type of candidate they want.

I have seen this before coming out of a recession period. It seems to take almost a year of transition before candidates and companies get over the "being cautious" stage of recovery.

To Mitch's point ( albeit his avatar reminds me of the guy who was arrested for peeking through my window last week) my top candidates are reporting that they are being barraged by automated emails and calls from so called recruiters in regard to jobs that are so far below their level that it is laughable, insulting and irritating.

While it may be true that even a blind pig finds a truffle once in a while the fall out from this type of spam recruiting is in my opinion cheapening our industry to the point that this is one of the reasons that many recruiters are reporting they are having a problem finding qualified candidates. The problem is that these little darlins think it's working because they get a few responses and don't hear from the candidates they irritate so they think they are one. I forwarded several response to one kid who with four years in
Calls himself a sr. Recruiter. His response was that those type of responses to his spam emails were indicative of deeper problems with any candidate who was not thrilled to connect with a recruiter. The fact that he had spammed about 20 CFO level candidates about a job for a five year level public audit manager was lost on him. His bot had picked up every candidate who had public accounting on their resume so he believes they should be thrilled to connect with him or there must be something wrong with them. The arrogance of ignorance is breath taking.

What is to be done about it? Not much. Social media has created another wave of garbage recruiters who will have to run their course. But I would guess that is where some of these numbers are coming from as to finding qualified candidates. If you don't know what you are looking for it's difficult to find it.
Comment by Mitch Sullivan on May 22, 2012 at 1:40pm

Sandra, was that comment about my photo just a lame excuse to let people know that some random guy has been looking at you?

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 22, 2012 at 2:14pm

"To Mitch's point ( albeit his avatar reminds me of the guy who was arrested for peeking through my window last week)"


, Sandra's a hottie- sure she doesn't need to boast.  

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 22, 2012 at 2:20pm

Battling multiple offers is my biggest one.  I guess that goes along with not enough candidates.  

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 22, 2012 at 2:24pm

At my age and stage of the game Mitchy sexual harrassment is a compliment.  There is something about an avataur with one hairy eyeball that just reminded me of the creepy guy who poked his eyeball in the window and went backwards in the rose bushes when the Great Pyrenese lunged at the window.  I turned the dogs loose so when the cops got there the loon was on top of a car screaming call off the dogs.  But you do resemble him a lot and you do seem pretty random.

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on May 22, 2012 at 2:36pm

It's OK Sandra, I'd already worked out that you must be quite old.

Still, a compliment is a compliment. I just wish it could have happened under slightly better circumstances.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 22, 2012 at 6:30pm

@ Bill i have that same thing going on as we speak.  The top candidates are getting multiple offers fast. I think we are approaching one of those periods where timing is once again going to be critical and i can't decide yet if the best shot is to move fast, slow and higher or in the middle.  I have candidates dragging their feet about a final decision saying they need to soul search and pray about it.  Both good things to do but it's making my employers crazy because they don't know if it's money, marbles or chalk and the candidates are playing it close to the hip.


@Mitch, go away kid , you bother me.

Comment by Bill Schultz on May 22, 2012 at 9:05pm

@ sandra- yes, i had my 3rd angst session with the same candidate today.  finally had to "walk him through it"  Lots of times I tell them this indecision does not bode well for your career aspirations.  A nice way of saying " get your head out your ass".  He accepted, now we have to sweat the resignation process.  

@ Mitch- You're quite the charmer.   

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 23, 2012 at 12:14am

You are doing better than i am.  Candidate made an offer yesterday after 3 weeks of interviews so he tells the employer that he has three outstanding offers, wants to do some soul searching, pray about it and will let them know on Thursday.  He is hiding not taking calls or responding to emails.  We all know what that means so i am polishing my backup candidate.

Mitch can't help it if he's a creepy eyeball, he probably drives a saab.


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