Every person (who is not an HR professional) thinks that there is absolutely nothing to the recruitment process. The HR department posts a job description online, job-seekers apply, HR picks out the most impressive resumes, invite the candidates for an interview and hire the best ones. Bam! The company miraculously has an exciting new addition to their talent force.
But every HR professional knows that the process to find quality talent is not as simple as an ad on social media, the newspaper or even a job site, for that matter. In actuality, the process of hiring is fraught with complexities. And to make things even more complicated, the realm of recruitment is quickly changing, and it becomes challenging for HR to evolve their methods and knowledge to keep pace.
The truth is hiring is a highly complicated, competitive process involving numerous hurdles that can make finding the right candidate tricky.
Day-to-Day Hurdles in the Life of a Recruiter
Let’s look at some of the issues that recruiters face…
Problem #1: Lack of good talent
Every company puts a lot of pressure on its HR department to find the best talent. But as we have established, finding quality candidates can be a tough job.
Very often, HR cannot land good candidates and sometimes even have to compromise. However, this may not be entirely their fault. This difficulty is (in part) due to a very real shortage of quality talent. According to ManpowerGroup’s research report, 63% of Indian companies report talent shortages that are only increasing.
Hence, finding the best candidates for the job has become extremely competitive, with many companies vying for a small pool of quality talent.
Problem #2: Reaching and attracting suitable candidates
Further, with so many companies vying for the same small pool of talent, recruitment sites, social media, and other platforms have become very cluttered with ads trying to attract the best people. It has become increasingly difficult to be heard in the noise.
Job seekers, too, have to contend with hundreds of ads for similar companies and roles, and it becomes tough to decide which ones are worth applying to.
Solution- Build a strong employer brand
However, the key to acquiring quality talent is not seeking the best candidates but getting the best candidates to find you. And the way to do that is by building and showcasing a strong employer brand and a reputation of being the most desirable place to work.
This is one of the most effective ways to stand out from the crowd and become the employer of choice. After all, it is all about perceptions!
Here are three things you can do to build a strong employer brand:
a) Find out what your employees want
Flexible/remote working options, a good work-life balance, health benefits, and a great physical work environment could be some of the things that organisations typically offer their employees. But each organisation is unique. So, to really understand what your employees want, it is best to ask them. Anonymous feedback/polls are good ways to find out precisely what employees have in mind so you can implement policies accordingly.
b) Work towards a healthy and positive work culture
A positive culture is part of your employer branding.
You cannot keep an unhealthy work culture confined to the walls of your organisation. Your employees are going to discuss it with their friends, families and sometimes even online.
Unfortunately, if people talk negatively about your brand and work culture, it does not create a desirable impression on job seekers. Hence it would help if you created a happy work environment for your employees.
c) Add in career growth and development
Everyone is particular about career development. People want to see themselves growing in the organisation. If your company can provide good growth and development opportunities, this will add to your employer brand, and your company will be top of mind when people explore new jobs.
Problem #4- Providing a great candidate experience
Managing time, candidate expectations, and ensuring a good candidate experience have always been challenging. But now, the pandemic has also thrown a spanner in the works and made these even more difficult. As a result, it has become tougher to deliver a great candidate experience and a personal touch while hiring and interviewing remotely. And so, the task falls to HR to navigate the obstacles to provide a unique and positive candidate experience.
The Solution: Automation!
Automation may sound counterintuitive when it comes to providing a personal touch and a good candidate experience. But automation can help you save time and streamline your whole hiring process. For example, it can help in reducing time spent on repetitive and administrative tasks (manual searching, appointment setting etc.), which will free up your team to provide a memorable human touch where it actually matters and makes a difference.
In addition, automation can help keep the candidate in the loop about their progress in the hiring process, which also positively affects the candidate experience.
Problem #5: Hiring to ensure inclusion and diversity
Diversity and inclusion policies look excellent on paper. However, the problems start when you have to start implementing them. When HR considers diversity and inclusion policies and applies them to the already shrinking talent pool, things get even more complicated. Studies show that the approximate share of diverse employees is currently 16-20% and organisations are looking to increase this to 31-40%, which is a foreseeable challenge.
The Solution: Relook at your hiring strategy
The only way to increase diversity in your organisation is to ensure diversity in the candidates applying to your positions, to begin with.
a) Word your ads appropriately
Ensure that your ads speak to a broad spectrum of candidates. For example, be more inclusive in your language so that your job postings appeal to candidates from different demographics, genders, backgrounds, etc. Let them know that you value diversity and that they are a good match with your company culture.
b) Source candidates from diverse places
If you stick to hiring from the same old places, you will end up with the same type of candidates. For example, imagine you are trying to find a graphics artist for your company. You could put your ad on a Facebook group where you may have access to a diverse lot of graphic artists. There are many such platforms, both online and offline, that you could tap into. All it takes is a little homework and effort to make your talent pools more diverse.
c) Encourage employees to refer their connections
Get your existing employees to recommend people they know will fit the bill or even share job ads in their circles. Creating a diverse candidate referral program is an excellent way to boost diversity in your organisation.
d) Don’t forget to showcase your diverse culture
By publicly showcasing the diversity and inclusion in your organisation through case studies, employee stories and such on your social media pages, you will establish that your company appreciates different backgrounds and ideas. It will also help to attract diverse candidates.
Problem #6: Finding candidates with the right balance of soft skills and experience
Every recruiter knows the specific job skills they are looking for in a candidate, and typically, the CV gives a pretty accurate picture of these.
Education, experience, special projects, additional qualifications are all in the CV, so it is pretty straightforward to judge a candidate based on these. However, it becomes tricky when looking for a candidate with just the right balance of qualifications and soft skills required to work effectively with other people within the organisation. Ultimately, every recruiter (worth their salt) knows that it takes both technical skills and people skills to succeed at a job.
The Solution- An effective interviewing system
Since soft skills are intangible, they can be tricky to gauge. Therefore, you need to build an assessment of soft skills into your interviewing process.
Many candidates provide pre-prepared responses to questions during an interview. As a result, many end up telling you what you want to hear. But this should not fool you.
Building behavioural questions into your interview will force the candidate to think and give honest replies. For example, the STAR (Situation, task, action, results) method helps to gauge candidates effectively. This will help you to analyse the work ethics, skillset, problem-solving, and learning ability of the candidates before you hire them.
Problem #7: Massive pools of CVs
These days, it seems like there are literally hundreds of applications for every job posting. It is quite a daunting task for HR to manually go through these mountains of CVs and effectively shortlist the best applicants. Furthermore, the whole pile of CVs may result in no suitable candidates, or HR could miss the one ideal candidate from the pile.
The Solution: Rethink the shortlisting process
a) Get a CV management software
A CV Management Software is a handy tool that can help you streamline the process of receiving resumes, sorting them out, and hiring quality talent. It helps to ease the burden on your recruiting team and also to prevent oversights and other unintentional errors that could lead to missing out on hiring the right candidates.
b) Maintain an updated CV database
Building and maintaining an updated CV database is a strategy that pays off well in the long run. It does wonders to save time, money and improve the quality of candidates for your company.
Your database consists of people who have expressed an interest in your company in the past, which increases their chances of wanting to join your company.
Maintaining a database also allows you to keep detailed profiles of your candidates. You can maintain CVs and notes on each candidate (if you have interviewed them/corresponded with them/spoken to them over the phone). When you need it, you will have valuable notes evaluating a candidate’s soft skills, income expectations, references, etc., at your disposal.
Problem #8: Hiring for junior roles
Most mid and large-sized companies hire a lot of freshers for various jobs.
While recruiting freshers may be cost-effective, they come with their own set of challenges. Poorly written, inaccurate, fake, overly embellished, incomplete CVs are only some of the issues the recruitment team has to contend with.
The Solution: Seek out the kind of freshers you want
a) Campus hiring
If you are looking for a particular type of fresher with specific qualifications, your best bet is to hire them straight from the educational institutions that impart these kinds of skills and culture.
b) Get referrals from your internal network
Everyone knows some young person who is just starting their career and needs a break. It is a precious pool to tap into. Also, your current employees will know if the person they are referring to will be a good fit for the company culture. This reduces your chances of getting random applicants and increases your chances of getting quality candidates.
Yes, granted that hiring has become more competitive and trickier. But compared to years gone by, there are now numerous platforms where you can find suitable candidates (if you know where to look). There are also different tech /software options to help streamline and ease the hiring process, and there are numerous ways to do things differently if you dare.
As mentioned before, by sticking to the same avenues, you will get the same kind of candidates you have always been getting. But, if you are looking to up your hiring game, you have to explore new ways of doing things because the old ways are not as efficient anymore.
Remember that technology is your friend, your employees can be your talent scouts, and social media can extend your reach beyond your imagination. If leveraged effectively, these can completely change your hiring game. In the end, it is all about finding novel and innovative ways to tackle new recruitment issues as they pop up.
And now, it’s your turn! If you have faced other issues as a recruiter and found your way around them, tell us about it! Go ahead, leave us a comment or get in touch with us- we would love to hear from you!