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Recruiter Problems in Talent Acquisition

Updated: Aug 9, 2023



It's safe to say recruiters universally face multiple headwinds in their daily activity of talent acquisition. Most if not many of the issues stem from the demand supply issues and to make matters more interesting post pandemic recruiting landscape has amplified the tug of war between employers and employees (the never ending onsite vs. remote debate).


With the ecosystem challenges many of the recruiters seem to be looking for creative ways to enhance their outreach, create a core differentiator and separate themselves from the pack to increase their ability to increase their momentum.


In this post we will attempt to first identify the common pitfalls of recruiters, then we will highlight examples of what can be done to alleviate the common pitfalls and although not a silver bullet by any stretch of imagination demonstrate how transactional gifting can be used to outreach and convert candidates across the recruiting funnel.

Recruiter Pitfalls in talent acquisition:

  1. Attracting quality candidates: One of the biggest challenges for recruiters is attracting high-quality candidates. In a competitive job market, it can be difficult to differentiate the organization from others and to capture the attention of the right people.

  2. Finding candidates with the right skills and experience: Another common challenge is finding candidates with the right skills and experience for the job. This can be especially difficult in industries that require specialized knowledge or experience.

  3. Managing a large number of applicants: Recruiters often receive a large number of applications for each position they advertise. Managing all of these applicants can be time-consuming and can make it difficult to identify the best candidates.

  4. Balancing recruitment with other responsibilities: Recruiters are often responsible for a variety of other tasks, such as managing employee relations, onboarding new hires, and developing HR policies. This can make it difficult to find time to dedicate to recruitment.

  5. Meeting diversity and inclusion goals: Many organizations have set goals around increasing diversity and inclusion in their workforce. Recruiters may struggle to find qualified candidates from underrepresented groups or may face bias in the hiring process.

  6. Keeping up with technology: Recruitment is becoming increasingly technology-driven, with tools like applicant tracking systems, online job boards, and social media platforms. Recruiters may struggle to keep up with new technologies and to identify which ones will be most effective for their organization.

  7. Managing employer branding: Recruiters are often responsible for managing the organization's employer brand, which includes promoting the organization as an attractive place to work. This can be challenging, especially if the organization has a negative reputation or is not well-known in the industry.


Actionable Examples of Alleviating Common Pitfalls:



  1. Attracting quality candidates: To attract high-quality candidates, recruiters need to create an attractive employer brand and communicate it effectively. This can include highlighting the organization's culture, benefits, career growth opportunities, and values. For example, a tech company might offer flexible work hours, remote work options, and employee stock options to attract top talent. Additionally, recruiters can use targeted job advertisements, social media, and employee referral programs to reach out to potential candidates who may not be actively job searching.

  2. Finding candidates with the right skills and experience: Recruiters can face challenges in finding candidates with the right skills and experience for the job, particularly in specialized fields. One way to overcome this challenge is to cast a wider net by advertising the job on niche job boards, attending industry events, or partnering with schools and universities that offer relevant courses. Another approach is to provide training and development programs to help new hires develop the necessary skills.

  3. Managing a large number of applicants: When recruiters receive a large number of applications, it can be challenging to manage and screen all of them effectively. One solution is to use applicant tracking systems (ATS) that automatically sort and filter resumes based on keywords, qualifications, and other criteria. Additionally, recruiters can use pre-screening questionnaires or video interviews to narrow down the pool of candidates before conducting in-person interviews.

  4. Balancing recruitment with other responsibilities: Recruiters often have other responsibilities, such as managing employee relations and developing HR policies, that can make it difficult to find time for recruitment. To address this issue, recruiters can prioritize their tasks and delegate responsibilities to other team members. They can also use tools such as automation software to streamline repetitive tasks and reduce administrative workload.

  5. Meeting diversity and inclusion goals: Recruiters may face challenges in finding qualified candidates from underrepresented groups or may face bias in the hiring process. To address this issue, organizations can prioritize diversity and inclusion in their recruitment strategies. This might involve using job descriptions and language that are inclusive and free from bias, setting diversity targets, and investing in diversity training for recruiters and hiring managers. Recruiters can also partner with community organizations and universities that serve underrepresented groups to broaden the pool of candidates.

  6. Keeping up with technology: With the rapid advancement of technology, recruiters may struggle to keep up with new tools and platforms. To stay current, recruiters can attend conferences and workshops, join industry associations, and network with other professionals. Additionally, recruiters can use software tools to automate repetitive tasks, such as scheduling interviews and sending follow-up emails.

  7. Managing employer branding: Recruiters are responsible for promoting the organization's employer brand to attract top talent. This can involve creating an attractive career page on the company website, highlighting employee testimonials, and showcasing the organization's culture and values. Recruiters can also use social media and online reviews to promote the organization's reputation as a great place to work. To address negative perceptions, recruiters can work with the organization's leadership team to improve employee satisfaction and address any issues that might be negatively impacting the company's image.

Transactional gifting as a way to entice potential candidates in each of the steps above


Transactional gifting is a strategy that involves giving gifts to potential candidates in exchange for their time and attention during the recruitment process. Here are some examples of how transactional gifting could be used to entice potential candidates in each of the steps above:

  1. Attracting quality candidates: Recruiters could offer potential candidates a gift card to a popular coffee shop or restaurant in exchange for attending an informational interview or virtual career fair. This can help create a positive first impression and show the candidate that the organization values their time.

  2. Finding candidates with the right skills and experience: Recruiters could offer a gift card or personalized gift to candidates who complete a skills assessment or other qualifying test. This can help motivate candidates to complete the assessment and demonstrate their abilities.

  3. Managing a large number of applicants: Recruiters could offer a small gift, such as a branded notebook or pen, to candidates who submit their application early or complete a pre-screening questionnaire. This can help encourage candidates to take action quickly and increase the efficiency of the recruitment process.

  4. Balancing recruitment with other responsibilities: Recruiters could offer a small gift, such as a coffee mug or stress ball, to team members who take on additional recruitment tasks or meet recruitment goals. This can help motivate team members and show appreciation for their hard work.

  5. Meeting diversity and inclusion goals: Recruiters could offer a gift card to a local minority-owned business to candidates from underrepresented groups who complete an interview or are hired. This can help demonstrate the organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion and create a positive impression among candidates.

  6. Keeping up with technology: Recruiters could offer a gift card to an online learning platform or technology retailer to team members who complete training on new recruitment tools or attend a technology conference. This can help encourage continuous learning and professional development.

  7. Managing employer branding: Recruiters could offer a personalized gift, such as a branded water bottle or tote bag, to candidates who attend a recruitment event or virtual tour of the organization's facilities. This can help create a memorable experience and reinforce the organization's brand identity.

In conclusion, recruiters face a range of challenges in the recruitment process, from attracting quality candidates to managing employer branding. Transactional gifting is a strategy that can be used to entice potential candidates and overcome some of these challenges.


By offering small gifts, such as gift cards or branded merchandise, recruiters can create a positive impression and motivate candidates to take action. However, it's important to use transactional gifting in a thoughtful and strategic way, and to ensure that it aligns with the organization's values and recruitment goals.


Ultimately, transactional gifting can be a useful tool in the recruiter's toolkit, but it should be used in combination with other strategies to build a strong and diverse talent pipeline.


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