The Biggest Recruitment Challenges Right Now

Recruitment has always had its fair share of challenges. That’s why the recruitment industry isn’t for the faint of heart. Recruiters are basically employment matchmakers; they’re working hard to pair the right people in the right positions in order to help companies better serve their customers. But that’s much easier said than done, and can require a ton of heavy lifting. Cold calls, rejections, and ghosting can take a toll on any recruiter. But when you find the right person for the right position, victory is sweet, and you can know you really made a difference in a company’s productivity.

In different years and seasons, recruitment challenges take different forms. Whether it’s a candidate-driven market or employer-driven market, the state of the economy, the growth of certain industries, and the global climate are just a few factors that can influence the ease or difficulty of the recruitment market at any given moment.

In order to succeed at recruitment, recruiters have to know what they’re up against. By understanding the recruitment field, you can get out ahead of potential challenges and ensure success in your endeavors. So what are the biggest recruitment challenges right now—and how can you outsmart them?

Locating Passive Candidates

If you’re searching for a senior-level position where you’re requiring a higher level of expertise, you’re likely going to be looking for a passive candidate. Passive candidates are people that would be a great fit for your company, but aren’t actually seeking a new job. You need to find a way to connect with them that doesn’t come off as poaching or predatory, and you also need to connect with them when they aren’t in typical job-seeking spaces like networking events or job boards. According to LinkedIn, passive candidates make up about 70% of the global workforce.

How to solve the problem: leverage employee referrals. If your employees have some motivation to help you with recruitment, they’re likely to dip their toe into their own professional networks. This can open the door to brand new passive candidates that you would have never connected with otherwise. They’ll be able to convey better than anyone what it’s actually like to work at your company, and their network is more likely to trust them you’re a recruiter. Your employees could be your very best recruitment tool, if they have the proper incentives to do so. 

Reducing Time-To-Hire

Reducing time-to-hire is one of the oldest recruitment challenges in the book, but it’s as prevalent as ever. If you feel like filling open positions is taking forever, you may want to consider how to cut down on the timing in order to keep your positions full and your company moving full-steam ahead. Effective recruitment can’t be rushed—but it also doesn’t have to be a slog.

How to solve the problem: conduct an audit of your recruitment process. It may sound daunting, but taking a day or two to really look over how you move candidates through your pipeline might save you a ton of time in the long run. Consider whether there are certain steps in the process that could be eliminated. Do you really need that third round of interviews? Could you make your initial application shorter so that potential recruits can fill it out quicker? Is there a way to cut down on your own response times, or entice recruits to respond faster to you? By taking some time to work on recruitment, instead of in recruitment, you can eliminate any kinks in the hose and keep things flowing smoothly.

Implementing AI

Artificial Intelligence is top-of-mind for nearly everyone in business, and that includes recruiters. A lot of recruitment teams are excited to cut down on dull tasks by implementing chatbots, autoresponders, and AI interviews. But AI can also be really intimidating to set up and begin using—not to mention pricey. Some recruiters may be wary of utilizing AI because of these fears, and it’s also difficult to implement AI while keeping the “human touch” in your recruitment process. After all, nobody likes feeling like just another data point.

How to solve the problem: start small. You don’t need to jump into the AI ocean all at once. Begin with small changes to see how effective AI can be for your company, or even if it’s the right decision. Something like a recruitment software that helps organize and auto sort potential candidates can save you tons of time while leaving the actual interview process up to a human resources professional. That way, AI can help cut down on time while still leaving you with lots of control over your pipeline. You can always ramp up your AI usage over time if you find that it’s a good fit for your business.  

Attracting the Right Candidates

According to GlassDoor, 76% of recruiters believe their current greatest challenge is attracting the right job candidates. There’s a lot of noise in the recruitment industry right now, with a lot of people seeking new positions and a lot of positions waiting for recruits. That means breaking through that cyclone to match up the right person with the right position becomes all the harder. Recruitment isn’t about simply checking a box; it’s trying to find the right person for the job. If you fail to do that, you’re going to be in the exact same place in a few months when the recruit you located realizes the position isn’t right for them and quits. It becomes a giant waste of everyone’s time.

How to solve the problem: Be clear when it comes to your employment brand. Your company brand, while important, is different than your employment brand. Your employment brand is how employees think, feel, and act in your workplace. Skills can be taught, but if someone isn’t a good fit with your workplace culture, things won’t work out. The clearer you can be via social media and in interviews about what it’s like to work at your business, the better.

Claire Swinarski is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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