Attract Better Job Candidates: Tip #2: Discuss Problems

Posted November 29, 2022 in
Leaders Leaders
Businesses, especially in the USA and the UK, struggle with staff shortages. In my previous post, I shared some research findings that showed you the number one thing you can do to attract better, more relevant job candidates immediately. This post will look at what we should do to attract better candidates.

You need to adopt an inbound mindset

In the previous post, I encouraged the reader to adopt an inbound marketing mindset. We must consider our potential candidates’ questions when looking for a job. Then, we need to answer them. Companies that do a better job of answering questions attract better, more informed candidates.

In other words, if we want better, more informed, good-fit candidates, we must get ahead of the questions they ask before applying. There are essentially five types of questions. Answer them in your blogs and Linkedin posts.

The Big Five

  1.  Salary and benefits
  2. Problems
  3.  Comparisons
  4.  Best of lists
  5.  Reviews

The first question we dealt with was salary and benefits:  Some businesses believe there are a few good arguments to avoid being transparent about compensation. However, the benefits of transparency far outweigh the justifications for hiding the answer to everybody’s number one question. If you want a more comprehensive, relevant talent pool, disclose salary and benefits in job posts. If you want to annoy potential candidates and damage your company’s reputation, keep potential candidates in the dark for as long as possible—next question.

Question 2: Problems

Another thing to be open and honest about is your company’s shortcomings. When people want to know if there are any problems to expect when working with you, they are already considering your business as their next potential employer. You need to keep them engaged, and you must answer their questions.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but your business is not a good fit for everybody. What are the potential benefits of discussing the shortcomings and challenges of working for you? Here are three obvious benefits:

  • Candidates who understand your challenges come to job interviews with a solution mindset.
  • Employees who understand your shortcomings have more realistic expectations and are less likely to quit due to disillusionment.
  • Employees who do not foresee success in your “challenging” environment will automatically exclude themselves from the recruitment process. You get to skip the part where they will say anything you want to hear just so they can get the offer – only to reject it later (or worse, quit after two weeks).


Examples of problem articles:

What articles could you write about your company’s problems?

  • Top five reasons why employees quit their jobs at XYZ company.
  • Three things to be 100% sure about before you take a job at XYZ company?
  •  Why people leave Company XYZ: Some people stay for 10 years, and some quit after 10 weeks – why?
  • The hardest part about working with Company XYZ, according to current employees.
  •  Ten reasons why you might not enjoy working at Company XYZ


How can one possibly justify talking about the negatives?

It seems counter-intuitive that talking about the negatives has positive outcomes. How could we justify this? Instead of answering the question, I will challenge you to consider the following:

  • Every business has its problems. Do you think they are willing to talk about it?
  •  What goes through a candidate’s mind when they first encounter a company that openly and candidly discusses their shortcomings?
  •  Imagine the calibre of candidates you would interview if they knew that you weren’t perfect and wanted to work with you despite your shortcomings.
  • If people are going to find out about the challenges of working with you, where would you prefer they learn about it? From your competitors or on your website?
  • Whom would you trust more, a company without problems or a company that is willing to disclose its problems?

It’s undeniable: The fact that you are willing to share your shortcomings candidly gains instant respect. You will probably find that recruits are leaving their previous company after spending years discovering their problems.



If you want candidates to research your company as a potential employer, help them to find the information they seek. They will want a sense of whether they can trust you or not. Set yourself apart from your competition, spare disillusionment, and attract solution-minded employees – be honest about your challenges and shortcomings. As soon as you are open to the fact that you’re not the best fit for everybody, you are more likely to attract better-fit candidates.

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