If you’re finding recruitment particularly challenging at the moment, you are not alone!

Across industry, research suggests an increasingly difficult recruitment process for employers. The lack of skilled candidates is evident – according to the Deloitte Recruitment Index 2016, 61% of internal recruiters reported increasing headcount as a top challenge for 2017.

A shrinking talent pool means an increasingly competitive environment for recruiters on both sides. With research suggesting there are currently two jobs for every job hunter, the favour is back into the hands of the candidate. (Hopkins Longworth)

Such conditions can cause businesses to be more forgiving of potential candidates and go ahead with hiring despite their doubts. This may put a plaster over your ‘wound’ for a few weeks, but it’s unlikely to yield the long-term remedy you really need. We’re here to help so that you don’t have to resort to such a ‘sticky plaster solution’…

Look inward

Sometimes, businesses are so caught up in the efforts of recruiting someone new that they forget to look at the people they already have. When recruiting for a particularly challenging role, it is worth looking inward and doing a bit of a ‘skills scan’ of your current team. Whilst it’s unlikely you’ll have someone who fits the bill 100%, you may find you have someone with the desire and business know-how to develop into the role. With existing employees, you don’t have to train them in the business sector – they already know it inside out – and so the focus is on any specific skills required for the role. Moving people around a little could mean that the roles they leave vacant are easier ones to fill, making your recruitment efforts that little bit easier.

Ask the expert

This may seem like an obvious one for us to say, but outsourcing really can help you save time, money and energy. The latest Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) survey stated that 39% of employers outsource at least one component of their recruitment campaigns. Why lose time and energy over something when you could leave it to the experts? Businesses often see outsourced recruitment as an unnecessary expense, but if it means getting your recruitment right first time round, and doing so more quickly, then it’s worth its weight in gold. Think of the things you could tick off your to-do list if you unshackled yourself from those 68 days of half-hearted recruitment? (Stat reminder: The average time to fill a job in the UK is 68 days – Hopkins Longworth)

Widen the net

Organisations can be guilty of making job descriptions that are more like wish lists! Sometimes, it’s a good idea to break down the job specification into three sections:

  1. Absolute musts
  2. Desirable
  3. Could be trained (within a time period)

And be strict with yourself when you do this exercise! It’s tempting to put everything in the ‘absolute must’ category, but you must question each and every item on the spec and see where you get. This may lead to you being able to ‘soften’ the job description a little and therefore, attract more applicants. It is also worth widening the net to passive candidates. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for this as it is essentially a huge community of professionals where people are either looking for a new job,  are not looking or are ‘kind of’ looking. And you can share information about your company and role with people in all three of these groups.

Get to the heart

So often we speak with organisations that are adamant about recruiting someone from a particular industry or with a very particular skill. Now in some cases, specialists are absolutely needed, but when this isn’t the case, we take a different approach. What is really important when recruiting is that you get the behaviours and values right. In so many cases, it doesn’t matter what industry someone has worked in, because if they have the requisite behaviours that your organisation thrives on, they’ll most certainly be able to learn the ropes of the industry and the service or products you provide.

How is recruiting going for you so far in 2017? Are you ‘flexing the spec’ or are you having relative success? Get in touch and let us know what your experiences are…