Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
4 Reasons Candidates Struggle with the Staffing Process the First Time

4 Reasons Candidates Struggle with the Staffing Process the First Time

It may come as a surprise since staffing is ingrained in your day-to-day, but most job seekers have never been through the staffing process. In fact, some don’t even know it exists. When approached by staffing professionals, candidates assume they are entering a typical hiring process. But as you know, this simply isn’t true.

As a result, many first-time staffing candidates end up confused and disoriented. They are more likely to perform poorly during the staffing process or drop out altogether. Some may even never be willing to enter the staffing process again. This leaves you constantly combatting shallower talent pools and longer placement times.

If you want to secure your future success finding new, quality talent, you need to help first-timers through the staffing process now. The first step is identifying disconnects between new candidates’ understanding of the staffing process and reality.

Here are four hang-ups first-time staffing candidates often experience:  

1. Not understanding the staffing process steps

In the typical hiring process, candidates only have to prove they’re the right choice to their potential employer. The additional screenings during the staffing process overwhelm applicants that aren’t familiar with external talent sourcing professionals. Many candidates don’t understand why you’re the gatekeeper or what your part is in the final decision.

Additionally, when the first step of the staffing process is unfamiliar, candidates worry about what other surprises might arise. If they are fully prepared from the beginning — they know all the steps and who will be involved — it’s much less intimidating.

As soon as you reach out, give first-time staffing candidates a detailed timeline. Outline what the candidate will need to do and possible ways you’ll be able to support them. Also, let them know how much time will elapse between steps and how often you’ll be in contact. This will give candidates a sense of direction and set them up to succeed throughout the entire staffing process.

2. Not putting their complete trust in you

During the staffing process, most of the information about the company and the job comes from you. Candidates who are uneasy with the staffing process tend to be nervous the information you provide about the company isn’t as accurate as if their questions were answered by the employer.

It’s essential you work to earn the trust of your candidates. Giving them a clear timeline is a great first step, but there’s more you can do. Some tips that help gain candidates’ confidence include:

  • Showing them testimonials from previous, successfully-placed candidates (with their permission of course).
  • Being honest about potential downsides of the position or organization while showing how their unique skills or traits help to overcome those challenges.
  • Openly admitting when you don’t have an answer and assuring them you are going direct to the source to ensure they get the most accurate information.

3. Not knowing how to respond to feedback

It’s rare for job seekers to get feedback from hiring managers or employers during the traditional hiring process. They’re sometimes lucky to get an email letting them know they didn’t get the job. But during the staffing process, it’s your job to coach candidates to effectively show off their best professional attributes.

When a first-time staffing candidate comes into your office to record their one-way video interview, they are not likely to be prepared to receive immediate feedback — let alone an opportunity to re-record. Before recording one-way video interviews, explain how you’ll be giving them feedback. Let them know what you’ll be looking for during the staffing process and how it’s relevant to the position.

Take it a step further by providing feedback at the end of a candidate’s staffing experience as well. Even if they aren’t presented to a client or don’t get the job offer, have a discussion about what went well and what can be improved upon. While this step helps candidates position themselves better during future staffing processes, it also helps them see you care about their overall development.

4. Not feeling like they can say no

Just because you think a candidate is right for a role, that doesn’t mean they agree. During the staffing process, or even after receiving an offer, first-time candidates could feel like they have to move forward.

By the candidate’s logic, you found the right candidate. You spent time answering their questions. You invested in their success. Therefore, they have to take the job.

Of course, you know this isn’t true, but it’s essential you make sure your candidates never feel pressured. Check in with them throughout the staffing process, but especially after they’re offered a job. Ask your candidates the following questions to get an idea about their true feelings about the offer:

  • Can you see yourself doing this job every day?
  • What do you like about the job?
  • What don’t you like about company?
  • Are you worried about your ability to succeed in the role?
  • Is the salary and benefits package what you expected?

Reassure candidates they can say ‘no.’ After all, if they take the position and quit right away, you’ll have an unhappy client and a talented candidate who never wants to go through the staffing process again.


How to Prove You're the Best Staffing Firm

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.