5 Biggest Recruiter Headaches (And How to Fix Them)

Recruiters are under a lot of pressure.

Their decisions can make or break the talent, and, ultimately, the success of an organization’s team based on the hiring decisions they recommend or make themselves.

Without a streamlined process or training in place, recruiters are often faced with a multitude of headaches without the anecdotes to alleviate them. Here are the 5 most common recruiter headaches and solutions that should be exercised for each.

Headache: The Hiring Manager Relationship

In the Recruiting industry, common phrases include “My manager doesn’t listen to me; my manager doesn’t know what they want; my manager is indecisive; my manager can’t make up their mind.”

It’s time to alleviate this issue by executing the following communication and leadership techniques when working with the Hiring Manager:

  • Understand the employment value proposition
  • Understand why there is often a mismatch between Recruiters and Hiring Managers
  • Understand the necessary steps to building strong relationships with Hiring Managers
  • Develop and implement key communication strategies proven to increase your credibility with each Hiring Manager
  • Ask Hiring Managers the right questions to get the right profile
  • “Lead” the Hiring Manager when taking the job order

Headache: Job Intake

Recruiters are often faced with unclear job descriptions, tricky terminology, and challenging roles to fill, sometimes facing hundreds of open reqs at a time. Recruiters can alleviate this headache by serving as the expert, not the follower.

Recruiters should learn to apply the proper questioning techniques necessary to lead each Hiring Manager in clearly defining and prioritizing position requirements in terms of specific skills, increasing Hiring Manager and Recruiter accountability in proper candidate selection:

  • Understand job description cautions and pitfalls
  • Utilization of key needs process and documentation
  • Ask Hiring Managers the right questions to get the right profile

Headache: Sourcing

In today’s tech-heavy environment, recruiters are inundated with a variety of digital tools and mediums to use when searching for candidates. The issues arise when they try to use too many tools at once instead of focusing on the right channels, or rely too heavily on digital communication instead of leveraging this with more classic methodologies such as the phone or in-person conversation.

Recruiters should review the most common sourcing tools, their individual limitations, and their proper application. Learn to apply the proper sourcing tools and how to leverage each properly to identify potential candidates. Recruiters should learn how to apply telephone sourcing techniques to improve effectiveness of traditional and web 2.0 sourcing tools.

  • Separate traditional networking vs. social networking and know when to utilize each medium
  • Consider offline supporters vs. online supporters and their reasoning
  • Understand why so many sourcing strategies fail
  • Build a library of sourcing tools/techniques/string
  • Learn how to measure source of hire success

Headache: “Selling” the Role

There are common mistakes within selling the role at all levels of recruiter experience, including improper use of sales techniques and not prioritizing the true needs of the candidate.

Recruiters can alleviate this headache by practicing the foundational five basic sales steps and identifying the motivational drivers of candidates. Recruiters should:

  • Write a compelling and concise message as a Recruiter
  • Understand the target audience
  • Understand the sales process
  • Use communication that works – work to be an atypical Recruiter
  • Overcome common objections

Headache: Metrics

Recruiting metrics can be incredibly tricky, especially in an era where “time to fill” is taking longer than usual, “source of hire” is harder to trace, and recruiters are being slammed with hundreds of open reqs at a time, not always having the time or resources to check their work.


  • Understand the true definition of recruiting metrics and how, if used correctly, they can advance the relationship between Recruiters and Hiring Managers by aligning the correct objectives
  • Discover why metrics must be predictive, consistent, and drive recruitment behavior
  • Learn why many traditional recruiting metrics drive negative Recruiter behaviors
  • Understand sample metrics designed to deliver outstanding results and how to implement them
  • Develop a strategy to ensure that commitments made in the interviewing process are fulfilled in order to create raving employees and Hiring Managers
  • Apply basic principles each Recruiter can apply that are designed to emotionally engage each new employee as they join your organization

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