4 Common Challenges for Recruiters and How to Handle Them

Recruitment challenges pop up routinely, and they typically boil down to finding and keeping the best talent. Maybe the problem is in the process. Outmoded methods and dated technology don’t do anyone any favors. Or maybe your company suffers from a dwindling supply of qualified applicants. A recruiter’s work is truly never done. But with a few tweaks and a new direction, you’ll work through challenges a lot more effectively.

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#1: Overcoming a Skills Gap

You’ve got a job to fill, but the candidates don’t have the skills that it requires. Unfilled jobs cost companies in time and money. According to a March 2014 survey by CareerBuilder, the average company loses $14,000 for every job that remains vacant for more than 3 months.

The skills gap also has non-monetary effects. CareerBuilder says employers reported the following impact on daily business

    • Lower morale – 41 percent
    • Work backing up – 40 percent
    • Customer service decline – 30 percent
    • Lacking employee motivation – 29 percent
    • Higher incidence of work errors – 25 percent
    • Higher turnover – 22 percent

Sometimes the best teams have to be built from the inside. Insperity says recruiters should look internally for qualified candidates, and also consider training or internship for otherwise good candidates who lack certain skills. If there’s an aptitude, someone you might have considered a poor hire could turn out great.

#2: Boosting the Employment Brand

Your employer brand exists, whether or not you create it. If you let the public determine what is and isn’t true, you’ll have no say in the matter. And people do talk, especially through platforms such as Glassdoor.

But if you take a proactive stance, you can create the employment brand that you want to be known, and also do a little damage control if someone leaves a bad review.

An Inspirity report, “Obstacles to Hiring,” says brand building is challenging, but there are steps to put you on the right track:

    • Learn or define your company’s “core values”
    • Find out what makes your company different from the competition
    • Talk with employees to get their opinion about the company culture
    • Use market surveys to see how your company stacks up
    • Create a brand message and use it across every platform, from blogs and websites to job ads

#3: Removing Application Roadblocks

How easy is it for job applicants to find you and apply for a job? If candidates find roadblocks, or if the whole process is boring and unnecessarily long, you’ll lose a lot of them before they can make it through to the end.

One of the best ways to determine what works and what doesn’t is to try it yourself. It might look great. But function is critical. The goal is to streamline the experience for job seekers, so take note of everything that causes a snag.

Insperity recommends:

    • Minimal clicks
    • Timely follow up with applicants
    • Use applicant tracking
    • Stay engaged, even if you don’t hire. Former applicants are still in your potential hiring pool.

#4: Compensating for Limited Pay and Benefits

Maybe you can’t offer a high salary, and you worry that applicants will pass you by in favor of a better situation. You’ll be glad to know that money isn’t everything anymore. But candidates do need to know that you offer something else.

In lieu of traditional benefits and a high salary, Insperity says many candidates welcome creative perks. But this doesn’t mean free skateboards through the hallways or a napping zone for between projects. Here’s how CareerBuilder says some alternative perks rate with employees:

    • Friday half-days – 40 percent
    • Exercise / fitness center on site – 22 percent
    • Daily catered lunches – 21 percent
    • Massages – 16 percent
    • Casual dress code (jeans) – 15 percent

A day without challenges is a pretty boring day, indeed. But when challenges interfere with workflow and inhibit great hires, that’s when they affect your bottom line. They expand from your department and affect the whole company.

Losing an employee is expensive. So is a sustained job vacancy. But with an improved course of action and a different point of view, you’ll overcome the challenges that recruiting throws at you and help to build a great team.

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