Hiring and retaining the right candidates are the two biggest factors that set apart a great company from an average one. Not being able to close open positions for a long time affect a company’s reputation and becomes a recurring problem in talent acquisition. If you are a recruiter and you have had issues with your company’s recruitment strategy in the past, look no further. This article addresses the most pressing recruitment challenges and how to overcome them.
Hiring is a dynamic and multifaceted process that requires coherence, structure and continuous optimisation. Therefore, there are several challenges that arise at every step. These hiring challenges revolve around identifying the right match for a specific role, getting them excited about working for the company and retaining them. Another pressing challenge is to ensure that recruiting a particular professionals also brings a good return on investment to the company.
The next section dives deep into ten such obstacles bothering HR (Human Resources) departments and recruitment agencies worldwide.
With evolving global markets and talent requirements, HR strategies too need an upgrade. Identifying gaps in the strategies and making efforts to fix them is key to overcoming most challenges of recruitment and selection listed below.
Utmost efficiency is necessary for grabbing candidates’ attention and inspiring them to look out for a new role. Therefore, your recruitment strategy should be innovative and relevant if you want to overcome the challenges in hiring employees.
Without trouble, the biggest recruitment challenge is getting a talented candidate’s attention. Even if you manage to inform them about the position, convincing them to apply and join your company is another issue. There is too much noise out there. So how do you cut through the other 200 recruiters trying to reach the same individual?
The long-lasting solution is to build a strong employer brand. The latter enables you to improve your candidate experience. It also helps candidates make hiring decisions that align with your company’s values.
Social media can be an excellent platform to talk about what it is like to work for you. For example, you could highlight wellness activities you have in place, how inclusive and accommodating you are to your employees’ needs, etc. For most candidates, such factors are immensely important.
The best candidates have a lot of choices, which means they are also very fussy. They will not choose to work with a company that has a poorly managed recruiting process. It is important that your company makes a great first impression. It is imperative to treat candidates well right from their first interaction with you.
One effective strategy is to better your interview process. Being cordial and transparent will make it easier for you to stand out. You also need to make sure you respond swiftly when you find someone promising, so they do not slip through the cracks, especially if they are pursued by other employers as well. If you work with a recruiter, make sure that person is responsive as well.
A high number of applicants but not enough qualified candidates is a recipe for an HR nightmare. The skills gap among jobseekers is the most common challenge faced by recruiters. As a result, HR professionals find themselves screening and weeding through irrelevant applications and profiles. This often results in multiple rounds of interviews, which can be very time-consuming.
Invest some time in being deliberate and intentional with your job descriptions. Part of the talent shortage problem is that employers are looking for employees who have a broad range of competencies, from technical to soft skills. You can solve this by creating flexible job descriptions that prioritize certain skills depending on the needs of a position.
Several talented candidates tend to be passive observers waiting for a wonderful opportunity. If your recruitment methods are not helping you reach these candidates, those methods could be outdated. For example, if you are still relying on traditional advertising strategies, then you might be failing to reach many potential candidates.
Social media is a great platform for targetting passive talent as it helps improve your employer brand. Additionally, you can utilize the data collected from your company website to see how many people are viewing your job listings, how often.
According to a report by Deloitte, “Talent supply could influence whether organizations are likely to invest in reskilling; to what extent workers will seek changes in their employers or careers; how organizations could use the alternative workforce to access the skills and capabilities they need; and how heavily an organization might lean on technology to replace, augment, or collaborate with their workforce.”
Several disruptions across the world have led to the peak of the global talent war, with endless competition to secure the best people. Moreover, it can be expensive.
Experts advise being proactive instead of reactive by always having an active pipeline of potential talent. An effective way to do this is by using your current employees’ networks — they relate to many people who would make great employees. That way, when you have a job opening, you will already have candidates in your system who are qualified and interested in working for your company.
Once you overcome the initial challenges in hiring employees, there is another set of obstacles related to shortlisting the top talent and streamlining the selection process.
Interviewing is hard. It is easy to be swayed by your own biases or to get lost in a delightful story that has nothing to do with the job being filled. If you are not careful, you could end up hiring the best interviewee, but not necessarily the person who is best for the job.
Utilize assessments that measure candidates’ skills, culture fitment and more. Use SMART metrics. You need to develop a structured interview process that provides ways to evaluate candidates more reliably. Research has shown that structured interviews — where you have a clear set of questions to ask each candidate and assess them against the same criteria — increase your chances of hiring quality employees.
It is not possible for every HR manager to know all the technicalities of each job role. However, you must acknowledge that it causes a credibility issue when recruiting. Candidates feel unclear and unsure of what their job entails when their questions do not meet satisfactory answers.
Get an expert on board. It is great to have one or two specialists from each team available during interviews, so they can answer all questions directly. It will also give the candidate an idea of whom they will be reporting to or working with in the future. They will know what questions they can ask and who will be answering them, reinforcing their faith in your credibility as an employer.
For many, recruitment might appear like a straightforward process. Just identify the perfect candidate, send them an offer, and wait for an acceptance. But it takes way more than that. It requires a thorough understanding of human psychology and the subtle nuances of interpersonal relationships.
High employee turnover can cost your company a lot of money in recruitment costs, new-hire training or losing employees who were doing an excellent job for you. While employee satisfaction surveys can help you gather useful insights, you may have to invest more time into one-on-one communication. The latte helps understand candidates’ professional needs and aspirations better.
Employers should offer tangible and intangible benefits apart from the salary as one of the measures to reduce turnover rate. For example, if your employer-sponsored health plan is subpar, many talented workers will look elsewhere. And even if you do not want to offer more money upfront, you should at least consider offering other types of compensation like flexible work hours or work-from-home options. It goes a long way in showing you care for your employees.
Not having a system in place means:
Use a recruitment marketing platform that lets you manage job postings and applicant responses in one place. Most platforms will also keep track of how many times a job ad was viewed and clicked on, so you can cut spending where it is not effective. It is vital to make it a habit to check and study analytics to see which sources bring in the most qualified candidates and conversions.
If you want to attract excellent prospects, you must employ them quickly and shorten your hiring process. To speed up, it is important to develop a recruitment plan that defines exactly what skills and experience you are looking for in the candidates, how much time and resources you can devote to the search, how many candidates are required and how much time is necessary for interviews. Moreover, each member of your team must be aware of this plan.
Using plain language in the job description is a great start. Your job ads should describe the tasks, responsibilities and qualifications you expect from the candidate. To take it a step further, you could personalize your description by highlighting a project or success story related to the open position. Your job ad should be both informative and engaging for potential candidates.
Your recruiting experience is the driving force that shapes a company. By overcoming the above recruitment challenges, you will be setting the exacting standards your company needs to stay competitive in today’s market.
What we have said above boils down to this piece of advice: when you are planning recruitment strategies, you must keep candidate psychology at the forefront. At the same time, what has worked for others may not be suited for dealing with your own candidates. Thus, you must keep a close eye on the distinctiveness of your company and the industry it operates in.
Originally published March 31 2022, Updated March 31 2022
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.