I'm currently working on a project that essentially will become a website that guides the user to the optimal recruitment strategy for their specific hiring needs.

Before displaying the recommended path for the generated recruitment plan, I want to display an infographic that shows how difficult / easy it is to recruit for the position that the user has specified (based on data gathered from thousands of employers twice a year).

User testing shows that displaying information such as "Employers in XX county think it's difficult to recruit for the YY position" can feel discouraging for the user to see, while sometimes it's a good wake up call.

While it's possible in some cases that the infographic tells the user that it's easy to hire, it's almost always at least challenging.

Our goal is to inform the user that they can't expect to hire over night, which other user testing seem to imply that our users think. While simultaneously inspiring the user to use the recommended plan to make it easier.


How do I inform the user that it's going to be difficult to hire for the chosen position, without discouraging the user from trying?


How do I inspire the user do perform an action that isn't going to be easy?

3 Answers 3


Your question sounds to me like a typical pedagogy question: you're trying to educate recruiters to the reality of the job market in their area.

Best practices in pedagogy when giving negative feedback is to make a "sandwich", start by a positive element, then negative, and end by a positive one, or a step toward the solution. A person will be more open to listen to you and to follow your advice if you give them a win first.

You might think pedagogy is for students, mostly children, but it is based on sound psychological principles and valid for adults too.


You could look for similar examples from other branches. For example: how do successful martial arts clubs motivate people to subscribe and pay for a service that's for most people "scary"? They motivate users to take a leap of faith and grow as a person. I think you could look into that direction and do some research if this motivates your target audience.


Some of it will get down to word choice. For example, "challenging" has a different connotation than "difficult." I also think that if the assessment provided is "Employees in Springfield county find it challenging to recruit for UX positions" you need to add a supportive value-proposition as a follow up:

"But fear not, our recruitment strategies will help guide you in attracting UX applicants to this region." or something like that.

  • Hi @samanthaleviosa, thanks for your contribution to UXSE. Have you seen examples where your suggestions have been used successfully? I think this will help provide some reference or reason why your answer addresses the question being asked. Thanks.
    – Michael Lai
    Oct 31, 2019 at 4:58

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