5 recruiting challenges in today’s economy

recruiting challenges in today's economy




UK job vacancies have been steadily on the rise. In February 2019 there were over 846000 listed vacant positions, with more probably unaccounted for. Growth hasn’t been even across all sectors though. For example, the boom in demand for tech professionals has caused a significant talent shortage.


This growth is great news for recruiters. But despite this growth there are still a number of recruiting challenges in today’s economy. To give an example, in 2017, there were over 14 million university graduates in the UK. This inevitably leads to a lot job competition and makes it more difficult for recruiters to spot real talent. In this article we examine the top 5 most common recruiting challenges in today’s economy.


Filtering qualified candidates


As previously mentioned job vacancies are increasing in the UK and are the highest they have been in 17 years. This can make it very difficult to attract the best candidates for the job. A lot of job advertisements are written in an ambiguous language, so many people apply for jobs that they’re not qualified for.


A way to get around this problem is to remove this ambiguity. This can be done by adding simple yes/no questions regarding essential experience to the job description. For example, do you have 2 years experience coding in Python? The answer can only be a yes or no. This will effectively knock out the candidates that are under qualified.


Long hiring processes


Another recruiting challenge in today’s economy is hiring a candidate in a timely fashion. Companies are often very anxious to fill a role as quickly as possible because an empty role represents a loss for the company each day it lays vacant. In fact, it is estimated that companies that are unable to fill vacancies in specialist IT and tech jobs cost the UK economy £63 billion each year.


The inability to fill vacancies on time is normally due to lengthy hiring processes. Often candidates find other jobs whilst they are waiting to hear back about their progression to the next stage. A way to get around this recruitment problem is to optimize your workflow. Critically analyse your hiring process and ask yourself is every stage completely necessary? Can certain stages be carried out in tandem? When competing for hard-to-find talent, shorter is always better. Within reason, obviously!


One-size-fits-all hiring processes


There is nothing more frustrating to a recruiter than spending months finding the right candidate, extending a letter of invitation, only for the candidate to decline the position. Sometimes candidates get cold feet about a role because the hiring process was unpleasant and impersonal.


A way to counteract this recruitment challenge is to improve the candidate experience during the hiring process. There are simple ways in which this can be done like being friendly during interviews and asking questions that are intended to lead the candidate to an answer rather than to trip them up.


However, there are also more elegant solutions to this problem. For instance, molding the candidate’s environment. This can be achieved by getting to know the candidate more personally and trying to pair them with hiring managers that are most similar to them and have the same plan for their career progression.


Unjust hiring


Though there is a great improvement in job equality it is still hard for recruiters to overcome unconscious biases. It has been estimated that black male graduates get paid £3.80 less p/h than their white counterparts, and 8 out of 10 firms pay men more than women.


There are legal obligations that try to improve this situation though more can be done on the company’s side to improve equality and diversity. For example, implementing a blind CV screening process or ensuring that there is an equal numbers of men and women on hiring panels.


Out of date hiring methods


The final recruiting challenge is a lack of innovation in hiring technique. Once a company gets to grips with a hiring process they like, it is tempting to stick to that method and resist change. However, this can mean that the candidates that are best suited to the job and therefore most useful to the company are often overlooked.


It is important to stay up to date with the latest innovations in hiring processes. Some of the most successful and efficient hiring processes are assessment centers. Assessment centers are designed to select the candidate’s that show the greatest all round ability. For example, good communication skills, good teamwork skills as well as thinking outside the box. These can be assessed using straight forward tests, interviews and group tasks.


Some of the biggest companies in the world are now integrating new technologies into their hiring processes. For instance, the consultancy firm  Accenture have now incorporated VR tasks into their recruitment processes. Candidates wear a virtual reality headset and are asked to perform a number of tasks based on instructions given to them by fellow candidates.