4 Reasons You Might Be Struggling with Recruitment

If you’ve worked in recruitment for any length of time, you know the difficulties of finding top talent. There are few things more frustrating than having open positions with nobody to fill them. It holds up important business procedures, wastes money, and causes immense stress at all levels of the company. It’s like you’ve turned on the water, but nothing’s coming out of the hose, leaving your grass dry and crumbling.

But the wrong thing to do when feeling that recruitment related stress is to panic. Instead, take a look at your entire recruitment process and try to find where the kink in the water hose is. Somewhere along the line, there must be a knot you need to untangle. Once you get that straightened out, things can become much more free-flowing and you’ll be attracting top talent in no time.

Here are four reasons you might be struggling with recruitment.

Lackluster Employer Branding

You obviously know that your company is a brand, known for its products and services. But did you realize that your role as an employer is also a brand? What others perceive working at your company to be like is what makes up that vital aspect of your company’s brand. And if top talent perceives your business as being a bad place to work, you’re limping before you’ve even gotten out of the gate.

How can you understand your company’s employer brand? First, look at public job websites. If you have a ton of negative reviews on places like GlassDoor, it’s going to have a massive effect on the number of job applications you receive. Then, look at your own employees’ satisfaction surveys and feedback. People talk, and if most people who work for you aren’t happy there, they’re going to be spreading the word among friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Lastly, take a look at how engaged employees are when it comes to things like company events or parties. Do people seem to take part in activities? Do they want to hang around their coworkers? That can help you further understand whether or not employees currently feel valued and appreciated.

If you have poor employer branding, it can be fixed, although it’s a bit of a long haul. The first and best step is actually changing workplace policies to make your company a friendlier, happier place to be. But in terms of public perception, you can start posting behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your business online, getting some testimonials from employees who truly do love the work they’re doing, or going to more recruitment events in person in order to counteract any bad tastes in the mouths of prospective talent.

Improperly Sourcing

If you feel confident about your employer brand, the next place to look is where you’re sourcing candidates from. You might be hunting down talent in all the wrong places. If you’re constantly posting on social media, but your ideal candidates are more likely to attend a networking event, you’re utilizing the wrong sourcing methods.

This is a fixable problem. It simply requires expanding your idea of recruitment into a more holistic model. Try and fill in the gaps, be they physical or digital spaces, where you aren’t currently recruiting. Ask your top performing employees how they first heard about the company. You could even consider starting some kind of rewards program for referrals from current employees—oftentimes, the talent you already have working for you is your best source for top talent elsewhere. Widening your reach will help you identify where you should be spending your time and where you might currently be wasting it.  

Misunderstanding Your Candidate Profile

If you feel good about your employer brand, and are seeing plenty of applicants, but the problem is that the applicants aren’t meeting your requirements? You might be misunderstanding your candidate profile. Something about the way you’ve described the job isn’t clicking with who you want it to click with. Maybe it’s too specific, and your pickiness is getting in the way of great candidates who might potentially apply. Or perhaps it’s too broad, and you’re getting too many applications from people you can’t even consider.

Take a long, hard look at the job application you’ve posted and who exactly you’re hoping applies. Those things should align as much as possible, while still leaving some wiggle room. One easy way to tweak this is to specify in your description which qualities are required and which are preferred (ie., maybe you’d like someone to have a Master’s degree, but it isn’t completely necessary). It also might be helpful to add a line or two encouraging people to apply who have some, but not necessarily all, of the capabilities listed.

Not Offering Proper Compensation

Lastly, if you have a great employer brand, are getting tons of applications, and bringing candidates in—only to have them reject your offers? You’re likely facing an issue with competitive compensation. It’s perfectly fine to ask candidates why they’re turning down a job offer; if you’re already doing that, you know how often the answer is simply that candidates had a better offer on the table. When a person is offered two great roles, but one is boasting a better financial package, it’s not hard to realize which one they’re going to say yes to. In today’s job market, employers have to be offering compensation that’s proper and competitive for the level of employee they’re seeking to hire.

While you can’t always raise someone’s base salary, remember that compensation can look really varied these days. Maybe allowing for some work-from-home days would make your offer more competitive, or throwing in a technology budget, or increasing someone’s Paid Time Off. Try and see how you can tweak your offer to make sure you’re able to match—or better yet, beat—offers from competitors. Getting top talent in the door is one thing, but getting them to sign the dotted line and come on board is a whole different ball game.

Claire Swinarski is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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