Anyone in HR knows this is a difficult time to be a recruiter. Whether you blame it on the downward-trending economy, the Great Resignation, or the number of companies desperate for labor, the fact is, the power balance right now rests in the hands of talent. Finding the right employees for open positions at your company isn’t just stressful; it can also feel borderline impossible.
But here’s some good news: It’s not.
Things still cost money, so people still need jobs. And if your organization is a great place to work, there are people who will want to work for you!
In fact, many of the challenges recruitment faces right now are challenges that have been around for ages. They may feel larger now, but the root causes and root solutions remain the same. Technology has shaken things up, and the business climate has shifted forever from the coronavirus pandemic. What employees are looking for in a job is slightly different than it used to be in the past. But that doesn’t mean recruiters can’t stay flexible, adapt, and find the right employees for their company.
Here are four recruitment challenges and how to overcome them.
Your Candidate Pool Feels Too Small, and You Can’t Find Applicants with the Proper Qualifications
First things first: If you can’t find enough qualified applicants, you can take two approaches.
The first is to look at the job description itself. Are the qualifications you’re asking for really necessary, or do you just feel like a master’s degree seems like a good idea? In these trying employment times, you may need to lower the theoretical bar a bit—it’s a good time to reconsider industry standards that don’t make a ton of sense anymore. If someone has equivalent experience, could that be just as valuable? Once you have all of the qualifications ironed out, does your job description list them clearly, or are some important things easy to miss? Job applicants are likely reading hundreds of descriptions a day, and more likely than not, they’re skimming. Anything important needs to stand out.
The second is to brainstorm how you can widen your talent pool. Consider social media ads: Where do your current employees hang out online? Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn ads may bring in more people. You could also consider attending more networking events, reaching out to others in your industry, or even consulting your e-mail list if you feel like you need to cast a wider net.
Every Time You Find a Great Candidate, They’re Wooed Away by a Competitor
It’s the worst part of every recruiter’s job: the moment you find the perfect candidate, send a top-notch offer, and get turned down. It’s incredibly frustrating and can leave you feeling disheartened.
If you’re having a hard time sealing the deal, consider asking employees who have turned you down why they did so. It may feel awkward or vulnerable, but the information they provide can also be incredibly valuable. Maybe you’ll find that what you thought made your job offer rock solid isn’t actually what employees are seeking anymore. Perhaps you’ll find out that a flexible work schedule matters more to them than compensation or that they’re looking for better parental health insurance instead of more paid time off. Who knows? The point is that until you ask, you won’t!
The other problem you may be encountering is simple to fix: a lack of clarity. Maybe you were going to include these things in your job offer, but you didn’t make it clear soon enough. Consider giving vital information, like payment and vacation days, upfront. That way, potential employees can know what they’re in for and make a fairer decision.
The Process Takes Too Long, Leaving Open Positions Open for Ages
Speed is an eternal issue in the recruitment process. The longer it takes you to fill vital roles, the longer your company suffers, and other employees picking up the extra slack may consider heading for the hills, too. If finding new employees starts to feel like pulling teeth, there are a few steps you can take to make the process more efficient.
Check out your technology. If you haven’t yet started utilizing a recruitment customer relationship management (CRM) program, now’s the time to start. CRM’s allow you to store application data in the cloud, reach out to your talent pool more quickly, and track everything with ease. They will also eliminate a ton of time spent organizing your process and ironing out details. Doing everything manually in an Excel® sheet is going to add quite a bit of time to the process.
Look over your process, and see where you can eliminate bumps in the road. Are you including higher-ups in the process early on? Have you thought about limiting your interviews to those you already feel fairly confident about? By condensing your hiring timeline, you’ll be able to fill open roles more quickly and avoid the recruitment speed trap.
Employee Churn is a Consistent Issue and You Can’t Find Your Way off the Recruitment Treadmill
Recruiters don’t often realize how big a piece of the puzzle employee churn really is. If you’re unable to keep your current employees happy and engaged, you’ll find yourself constantly in active recruitment mode. If you’re constantly in active recruitment mode, you won’t have time to set up systems, establish your talent pool, and find your footing. Instead, you’ll always feel rushed, chaotic, and like you’re one step behind.
The solution is simple: Keep your employees happy! Small things like anonymous employee surveys can actually help immensely with this. Are employees feeling satisfied with their compensation? Do they feel content with their current roles and responsibilities? Once an employee decides to leave, make sure you do an exit survey to get the person’s thoughts on what the role was like for him or her and why he or she is choosing to leave. By getting ahead of the game, you’ll be able to lower employee churn and spend less time in the hectic pipeline of recruitment.
Claire Swinarski is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.