Hiring a new employee is a challenging task, especially in a world assailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost of mistakes is rising, so HR specialists must be even more cautious and adapt to the new reality. Let’s have a look at top recruiting challenges and the ways to deal with them.
The main recruiting challenges
There are many recruitment issues in HR, so pinpointing the main ones is a demanding task. The exact list may depend on your industry and even your particular business.
However, problems affect most recruiters. Here is our list of the most common recruiting challenges:
- Attracting suitable candidates. Recruiters have limited time and resources. So very often, they have to settle for the best applicant they can find at the time, not their ideal candidate. But a bigger pool doesn’t always mean bigger and better fish. HR specialists must build a pipeline, supplying more qualified talent with the right skills;
- Engaging candidates. High-quality professionals are bombarded by recruiters. Additionally, candidates with rare skills are often considering several job offers at the same time. You have to try hard to make your EVP stand out;
- Hiring fast. Vacant positions delay operations and bring extra costs. In some cases, making a hire can take months. If the hiring process is too cumbersome or hiring teams can’t reach a consensus quickly, the best candidates may find jobs elsewhere.
Hire fast — not on a whim, but making good, informed choices quickly, and placing recruitment of staff higher on decision-makers’ priority lists. It’s having an effective resourcing strategy and making the selection and offer process as timely and efficient as possible.—Rob Sellar, Managing Consultant at Eighty4 Recruitment
- Collecting and processing recruitment data. Using analytics is becoming a must-have skill in human resources. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Global Trends Report, the number of HR professionals with data analysis skills increased by 242% over the last five years. Companies have to make data-driven recruitment decisions, monitoring numerous talent acquisition metrics.
- Testing candidates’ skills objectively. Unconscious biases may interfere with selecting the best match for the job. Besides, developing a reputation of stereotypes interfering with hiring decisions may undermine the strength of your employer brand.
«Hiring issues that I made»: the most common mistakes in recruitment
The challenging nature of recruitment makes some mistakes inevitable. Every HR specialist has made hiring decisions that didn’t work out in the long run. We can’t avoid mistakes altogether, but we can learn from them. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Failing to take advantage of internal recruitment. Your ideal candidate may be right beside you! Filling roles internally takes less time and money than filling positions with external applicants. Additionally, an existing staff member is likely to become accustomed to a new position more quickly than an outsider.
- Rejecting an overqualified candidate. Some recruiters are afraid that such candidates will get bored quickly, search for a more satisfying job, and leave. But even if they don’t stay long, those people can help your team grow. And if you manage to get them interested, there is a chance that some other opportunities for development may surface later;
- Waiting for the perfect candidate. Every HR specialist wants to find the ideal employee. But if you wait too long, it may jeopardize the productivity of your understaffed team. Usually, it’s wiser to hire someone who has the required skills and fits your company culture. Other job-specific skills may be picked up later;
- Placing too much emphasis on references. Some applicants may exaggerate their experience and qualifications in resumes. Use references to check some of the details they’ve provided. However, shining experience at one organization does not guarantee inevitable success in another and vice versa. It is better to use a test or exercise relevant to the open role.
Recruitment challenges 2021
Talent acquisition has not escaped the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Normal adds strain to the usual problems of recruitment. Here are the main trends you should pay attention to resolve recruiting challenges in 2021:
- More emphasis on quality. Smaller recruitment budgets mean that making the right hiring decision on the first attempt is critical. Companies are becoming more scrupulous about the roles they need to fill and job requirements. Moreover, it is crucial to use talent analytics and HR automation tools. Better data analysis helps to identify the right candidate and allows recruiters to evaluate the process.
- Digital recruitment is a must-have. It has been around for years, but many businesses still have problems incorporating it in the hiring process. Virtual hiring is the new standard, relegating face-to-face interviews to a secondary source of information. Recruiters have to be comfortable with panel interviews over digital platforms and leveraging candidate assessment tools;
- The talent pool has changed. Remote work has become much more popular. The number of remote job postings doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled in some countries. Besides, COVID-19 has stimulated the demand for leaders who can adapt to volatile environments and manage constant change.
Virtual career fairs and events, fully-remote recruiting, more personalized career paths, and greater insights into candidate experiences are quickly becoming the new normal in a post-COVID-19 world.—Louis Columbus, a Principal with DELMIAWORKS, part of Dassault Systèmes
How to improve your hiring strategy?
Refining recruitment processes can help to overcome many of these hiring challenges. There are several tips you should consider while scrutinizing your recruitment strategy:
- Create attractive and unambiguous job postings. Make sure to provide specific and useful details about the vacancies. Job titles should be straightforward enough. Don’t forget to promote your company and give a promising applicant reason to choose you. Beware of jargon, complex sentences, and discriminatory language;
- Bolster candidate sourcing. Discover passive candidates on social media, attend industry events, conferences, and professional meetups. Promoting a referral program with bonuses is also a good idea. Use sourcing tools to speed up and scale the process;
- Construct talent pipelines—groups of candidates for roles that are hard-to-fill or positions with high turnover. To find passive candidates, check past candidates, interns, and former employees. Engage the most promising ones and keep in touch;
- Boost recruitment efficiency by using email templates, recruiting software, and checklists for standard processes. You may wonder—"Can I automate all the things — possibly?" AI chatbots can find out essential information for you and even engage passive candidates. Selecting professional video tools will make interviewing remote candidates easier. Applicant tracking systems manage searchable databases of profiles, providing features for cooperation;
- Enhance the candidate experience. Shorten the application process. Keep your career page up to date and user-friendly, and make your company’s benefits evident. And don’t forget to keep your candidates updated throughout the hiring process. ATSs usually provide options to set reminders and offer email templates to facilitate communication.
Easy checklist to back on track
What can you do to avoid or minimize recruiting challenges? Here are several simple rules you can follow to ensure the best result:
- Make your job requirements crystal clear. Scrutinize the work the person will perform. Otherwise, you won’t be able to assess the fit, ability, and motivation of a candidate;
- Try to minimize the influence of the first impression bias. The rule of thumb is to wait for at least half an hour before making any decisions;
- Want diverse talents? Hire in various ways. Expand your talent pool by relying on a performance qualified evaluation process. It will ensure that you include applicants from all backgrounds;
- Hire with long-term consequences in mind. Though hiring fast is a recruitment priority, speed isn’t your primary purpose. You can tell that the decision was right if in a year both the new hire and the hiring manager are satisfied with it;
- Assess strangers in the same way as acquaintances. Candidates with strong referrals or those acquainted with hiring managers should be evaluated based on their past performance and potential. For others, consider years of experience, lists of skills, and impressions after the interviews, which is not nearly as accurate;
- Cultural fit is essential, as well as a skill fit. You may select the most able candidates, but they won’t succeed in the new role without intrinsic motivation or agreement with company values.