Whether you’re an internal or external recruiter, a candidate looking for a new position, or a business owner wanting to improve how you source talent, it can seem like recruitment challenges are waiting at every turn. It’s important to understand and acknowledge challenges in recruitment, as well as explore ways to overcome them and get the results you want and need.
Challenge 1: Attracting and engaging the right quality candidates
Attracting candidates is easy, but attracting the right candidates who have the skills, talent and attitude for your company is harder. Finding these candidates at a time when they are available for a new position or considering a career move is also a delicate timing process.
Hiring someone for the sake of filling a position is never a good idea. If the candidate isn’t right, even if they’re the only one available, it’s best to wait until the right candidate comes along. Using freelance support or contractors can be a better way of adding resource to your team while you search for a permanent candidate.
Solution: Engage regularly with potential candidates and build a talent pool
Whether you recruit internally or use an agency, creating a candidate talent pool is a great way to keep tabs on who’s available in your industry, and what kind of experience or job they are interested in. Set up general introductions between your company and the candidate, and get some notes on their skills and experience, pay expectations and long term career plans. By keeping this low pressure and more along the lines of networking, everyone is able to feel more relaxed, creating a positive interaction.
Having a nurtured talent pool where candidates are known to recruiters and employers means that when positions open up (or when particularly sought after candidates become available), there is already some common knowledge between the two parties of what’s on offer and what the job entails. The candidate is easier to engage with and the recruitment process much quicker.
Challenge 2: Creating a positive hiring process
When you need to hire someone quickly, or test their skills and experience extensively, it’s easy to come off as too pushy or demanding. If your hiring process is long and drawn out, with multiple rounds of interviews and tests (and long waits for arranging these stages and feedback), this is just as bad as the ‘hard and fast’ approach. It can appear to candidates that you’re not invested in the hiring process, and when other companies are able to act faster and get offers on the table, most people aren’t willing to hang around for yours.
Candidates want to feel like their time is valued during the hiring process - it can set a precedent for how they expect to be treated if they join the company.
Solution: Re-evaluate your hiring process to streamline and improve
Look at the stages you take candidates through in the process, or the “candidate journey” as we call it - are there any that could be combined, removed, or perhaps only used in special circumstances to help decide between two exceptional candidates? How fast do you get feedback over to candidates following their interviews or skills tests? Are you involving people unnecessarily in interviews, creating delays due to busy schedules? Do you give time for negotiating an offer, and for candidates to consider the offer?
Streamlining your hiring process not only helps you bring people on more quickly, but it also helps you create a positive experience for candidates, even those who are unsuccessful. You can have a lean hiring process while still getting the right candidates in the door - an experienced recruiter in your industry is essential for this type of work.
Challenge 3: Employer brand building
Unless your company is exceptionally well known within the industry, or your industry is small enough that everyone rubs shoulders, not every candidate who comes across you is going to know who you are. Ensuring you have a strong employer brand is essential for communicating to candidates about what your company stands for, your values and beliefs, and what it’s like to work there.
Unfortunately, as with most things, people get wrapped up in their day to day work and building an employer brand tends to fall to the bottom of the list. It can be easy to assume that as long as candidates are still applying and coming through the door, everything else can be filled in at the interview.
Solution: Build your employer brand and keep it maintained
You don’t need to be a big corporate company to create a strong employer brand. Candidates will research you beforehand, so outlining what kind of benefits you offer, what the company culture is like, what pathways there are for development, and having regular insights and updates into life at the company are invaluable.
Take the time to review and update your employer brand at least once per quarter. Showing what it’s really like to work for a company, the highs, the lows, the perks and the quirks, will help you get the right candidates who will fit best with the culture and expectations of the company.
Challenge 4: Fair and diverse recruitment
Recruiting fairly and with diversity in mind is important, but it can be difficult in certain industries, particularly ones that have a high proportion of a certain gender, race, or ethnicity working in them. If your candidates coming through all fit a similar profile, but you want to diversify your company to have a more inclusive approach, knowing how to do so while still recruiting high-quality candidates is key. Strengthen your workforce through diversity rather than just for the sake of box-ticking.
Solution: Recruit in new places, and support education and training
Cast the net wider than usual when you’re recruiting, especially with “home working” on the rise. You may well find candidates willing to relocate, or perhaps they are looking for a unique challenge that they can only access at your company. Go beyond your usual spots for seeking candidates and post far and wide to attract fresh talent. Not only are you providing a fairer playing field for candidates by being more inclusive, but you’re also likely to be seen by a wider (and therefore more diverse) pool of candidates.
One of the best ways to ensure future diversity within an industry or company is to support training and education. You can help build the future workforce by supporting apprenticeships, training, and offering career development pathways. Provide equal opportunities within a workforce to grow and develop, and foster a new generation of employees who are empowered by your processes when it comes to fair and diverse recruitment and training.
Whatever your unique challenges or needs for recruitment are, the experts at IDEX Consulting are ready and waiting to help you take the next step.