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Recruitment | 6 Min Read

5 Experts Share The Biggest Hiring Challenges in their Organization

Counter Offers

The biggest challenge we face is right at the end of the hiring process after we’ve sent out the job offer. Our chosen candidate often has to resign from another job in order to start their job with us, which can sometimes lead to the candidate receiving a counteroffer from their existing employer in an effort to keep them at the company. Counter offers can often involve promotions, higher salaries, increased holidays, and more perks, which can sometimes be impossible to match. This is especially common for candidates who work in higher roles, as their notice period is significantly longer than the notice periods of other roles.

Candidate’s notice periods can sometimes be a few months long, giving their employer an ample amount of time to propose a counteroffer to keep them in their existing role. Generally, the longer the notice period, the less likely the candidate is actually to start working with us. We’ve found this a very difficult issue to tackle, but have had the most success by negotiating salaries and benefits packages with our candidates once we’ve chosen them for the job. This way, we know they’re getting exactly what they want when they come to work with us, making counter offers less effective.

Thanks to Steve Pritchard, Anglo Liners.

Expectation Mismatch

The principal challenge we have dealt with is bringing in employees who do not have a law background or who do not wish to pursue a legal career. Of course, these employees fill other roles at our firm, such as marketing and such; they are generally not paralegals or negotiators. The main difficulty, though, is retaining these individuals and ensuring that they are motivated to continue working in a field they do not have a long-term interest in.

We once hired someone whose resume was filled with various marketing jobs as a freelancer, and we wanted to bring him on full time. His goal, he told us, was to eventually work for a tech company or a business that was going to boom and have an impact on the younger generations. He was skilled at marketing and able to produce work that garnered our attention and clients.

After nearly two years, though, he informed us that he was going to search for other opportunities. He said that he did not feel fulfilled by pursuing his chosen career in a legal setting, which he had little interest in. Essentially, he viewed the job as work and not something he enjoyed, which led to his departure.

The challenges that come with hiring employees who are outside of the legal field are simply worker retention and conservation of motivation and interest. We do show that our work environment promotes ambition and encourages creativity, but it can be difficult getting the best workers if their end goal is elsewhere.

Thanks to Jesse Harrison, Zeus Legal Funding.

Low Learning Agility

The hardest lesson when I started my company was not getting rid of weak people or the ones not ready to learn earlier than I did in the first few years of my business. I spent more time managing them than finding new customers. I knew in my gut they were not up to snuff, but out of loyalty to them, I let them hang around much longer than they should have. It would have been better for everyone to let them go as soon as the signs were there. They became more insecure and threatened as we grew, which was not productive for the team. As soon as I let them go, the culture got stronger and the bar higher. A team of people likes to be surrounded by other stars. It is true that you should hire slowly and fire quickly. I did not make that mistake again later on so learned it well the first time. I wish I had known it even earlier though, but lesson learned for sure!

Thanks to PaigeArnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls.

Low Work Ethic and Productivity

As an e-commerce company, much of our staff work remotely. While we typically have a two-week trial period for prospective employees, this isn’t always enough to accurately gauge their work ethic. Long-term productivity isn’t that easy to monitor, because it can be evaluated by a variety of calculations. The other issue is that you can’t monitor people closely forever, because that type of management can easily turn into a hostile work environment. You just need to have a keen eye for lazy work.

The best way to counteract a bad work ethic is to reexamine an employee’s quality and quantity of work regularly. Having frequent meetings to discuss their figures can also be a great way to motivate them and show your appreciation. You never want an employee who feels like leaving, because the work is too challenging. You want your employees to beg for more work. If your biggest problem is you don’t have enough challenging work for your employees, then you have an exemplary staff.

Thanks to Nate Masterson, Maple Holistics.

Competing with Large-Scale Organizations

In terms of hiring, the greatest challenge small business owners face is competing with larger companies for top talent. When you can’t afford to offer the same level of salary and benefits as more established enterprises, it’s easy to lose the attention of competitive candidates.

The key to overcoming this challenge is knowing how and where to advertise to get prospects’ attention. This is another major challenge. You must craft a job and company description that speaks to those who can find what they’re looking for from a smaller company. A description that really highlights your small company’s benefits (growth, involvement, perks, etc.) is critical. Teaming up with a talented recruiter and seasoned copywriter can go a long way in getting the process started. Of course, you can expect a bit of trial and error before finally crafting a job ad, that truthfully attracts the right talent.

Thanks to Jim Robertson, Alternative Board Woodlands.

Originally published August 28 2018, Updated December 17 2020


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About This Topic

The primary objectives of recruitment and selection are to ensure high-quality candidates who are culturally fit and work toward shared organizational goals and vision.

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