Ask A Recruiter is back, this time with our Spartanburg team! In this article we solicit the insights of our experienced recruiters, tapping into their knowledge of candidates, clients, hiring best practices, and today’s job market. Whether you are a job seeker looking for guidance on landing your dream job, an HR professional looking to optimize your recruitment strategies, or simply curious about the inner workings of the recruiting business, our recruiters have the answers to some of our most asked questions.


What is the biggest challenge facing talent acquisition?

Zoe: It is crucial to offer equal opportunities to all applicants, not just because of legal obligations, but because of the benefits it will bring to a business. The most suitable individual for the job should be selected without any interference from stereotypes or biases. This promotes an inclusive workplace and demonstrates a company’s commitment to hiring based on merit alone.


How can a candidate learn about a company’s culture if they have never met anyone in person?

Courtney: The best way to learn about a company’s culture is to research. Looking into the company outside of the job posting, they can learn about the company’s background, what they stand for, what their mission or objective is, and get an overall feel for the culture. Searching for articles about the company or looking at their social media can offer a lens into their community involvement, how they support their employees, and their standing in the market.

Suleima: Social media is a great tool to learn more about a company. It is usually not as formal  as a company website and offers a glimpse into their workplace environment. I have always thought that job tenure speaks volumes about a company. A quick way to gain information about a company’s average tenure is by utilizing the “insight” tool on a company’s LinkedIn page. There, you can find the media job tenure and other interesting information.


How should a candidate address a leave of absence on their resume or when they are interviewing?

Courtney: Discussing a leave of absence should always be addressed with honesty, transparency, and a positive attitude. It is important to have a well-thought-out explanation prepared ahead of time so that you can discuss your reasons for leaving your previous position or address your leave of absence in another way. Highlight accomplishments or skills acquired during your leave of absence. You can also discuss any volunteer work undertaken or how you assisted your community during your time away from work. Remember, staying positive and highlighting your growth during the absence can leave a lasting and favorable impression on potential employers.

Zoe: Taking breaks from work for personal reasons in a natural part of life. In an interview setting, it is important to address any employment gaps truthfully, but there is no need to go into excessive detail. Prepare in advance and practice your response, this will help you deliver a confident and composed answer. You can assure the interviewer that you are fully prepared and ready to re-enter the workforce and contribute your skills to the company. If the interviewer asks for more details than you are comfortable sharing, politely redirect the conversation to your work experience and qualifications. Remember that personal leaves of absence are common, and many employers understand that candidates may take time off for a variety of reasons. Approach the topic with confidence, focus on your strengths, and highlight your readiness to excel in the role.


What is the one question you wish candidates would ask more often?

Courtney: If a candidate has never been involved in a hiring process through a recruiter, one question I wish was asked more often is how the process works. This helps the candidate gain clarity as to what we do as recruiters, what is expected of them, and what they can anticipate during the process.

Suleima: I believe it shows genuine interest if candidates ask detailed questions about the core competencies the hiring manager is looking for. Candidates can then use this information to prepare for their interview and highlight their relevant skills.


What should be included in a good job description?

Courtney: An effective job description should include several key elements to attract top talent. It should start with an overview of the company and the specific department that the role will support. Additionally, it needs to outline a list of responsibilities and requirements associated with the position, while also specifying the necessary experience for qualified candidates. Lastly, a good job description should include a competitive compensation range and highlight the benefits offered. A well-crafted job description will answer the question, “Why should I work for this company?”


Our Spartanburg team provided invaluable insights into the intricate world of talent acquisition and hiring. We hope this article aids anyone involved in recruiting, hiring, or job seeking as they seek to forge successful connections and drive a career or organization toward a prosperous future. If you missed part one of “Ask A Recruiter” you can read it here!