10 Hiring Challenges Recruiters Face and How To Overcome Them

Hiring has become one of the most challenging tasks every manager faces. Industries like financial services can even take up to 60 days to find the right person! That means hours and hours of wasted time meeting unqualified candidates for recruiters both and the hiring managers themselves.

Whether it's adapting to the digital age's demands, mitigating unconscious bias, or streamlining the recruitment process, our insights aim to equip you with the tools necessary for successful and efficient hiring in this dynamic environment.

Common Recruiting Challenges

1. Aligning the Internal Hiring Committee  

Whether you’re re-staffing or filling a new role, it is essential to make sure that every decision maker involved with making the hire is aligned on what an “ideal” candidate really means. Here are two proven ways to approach this:

Approach 1: Identify the must-haves

The hiring manager should identify the must-have skills vs nice-to-haves and then clearly explain them to everyone on the hiring committee.  

Approach 2: Reconfirm essential skills before screening.

Recruiters should re-confirm all the experience and skills that are essential to being successful in the role with the hiring manager before they screen any resumes. This ensures that the hiring manager and recruiter are still aligned before qualifying potential candidates while simultaneously allowing the hiring manager the time they might need to reprioritize the roles’ needs.

2. Attracting the Ideal Candidate

Recruiters often face the challenging task of finding an applicant whose skills align perfectly with his clients' job specifications and it's one of the biggest growing pains for Fintech companies. This individual possesses the exact education, experience, and skills required for the position. However, in the digital age, many such candidates fall through the cracks due to inefficient virtual hiring processes. Lost emails, buried attachments, and misplaced applications often result in potential candidates going unnoticed.

The Solution:

Start by thoroughly understanding the job role. You can use a Boolean search recruiting method that includes all the ideal qualifications for the position.

  • Gather examples of strong performers with the same job functions in your organization.
  • Utilize exclusive search strategies to uncover similar talent but exclude the types of people you don’t want from your results.
  • This strategy allows you to select your best match and preserve the remaining professionals who meet your ideal criteria in your talent pool.

3. Managing a Flood of Resumes

In today's job market, "too limited" applications are frequently the source of hiring challenges. However, “too many” applications can also be a significant time sink. Sourcing talents can easily require 1-3 hours a day to sift through resumes for ONE vacancy.

The Solution:

Consider investing in an applicant tracking system (ATS) that can quickly process hundreds of resumes. It enables your team to collaborate and see the status of the hiring process at a glance. Using this strategy, your team will be able to provide feedback and review each other's comments. It will also make administrative tasks easier by including email templates, calendar integrations, and other features.

4. Determining How to Test Candidates

Many businesses rely on traditional formal tests in the hiring process. However, achieving perfect reliability on these assessments is challenging due to factors that can compromise a test’s integrity, such as incorrect or irrelevant questions or rater bias in the evaluation of job candidates. Validity is another concern as it measures the accuracy of the conclusions drawn from tests.

The Solution:

To assess a candidate’s skills, HR must first decide which tests are required and then select a test that accurately evaluates the required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs).

Recruiters must look for data that overlaps from two to three different sources, and wait for all relevant information before making a judgment, and use recruiter interviews as a first step in the process.

Try not to eliminate candidates after a single interview, influence interviews by discussing outcomes before the data is in, or use a single numeric score to judge a person’s ability or lack thereof.

5. Ensuring a Memorable Candidate Experience

There is often friction between job seekers and companies. Both sides may try to present themselves in the best light. A company may claim to be the best in its field, while a candidate may claim their experiences have made them the fastest learner and most adaptable employee in the market. The candidate experience, which defines “how applicants feel about your company during the hiring process,” is crucial as it impacts whether they apply to the opening or accept your job offer.

The Solution:

Some of the strategies to enhance the candidate experience include:

  • Make it easier for candidates to apply
  • Write clear job descriptions
  • Follow up with applicants early and often
  • Promptly answer candidate queries

Make the application process mobile-friendly. Text recruiting is the most straightforward approach for recruiting using your cell phone.

Be upfront and honest about your planned hiring timeline. Communicate when you expect the next round and when you intend to close the position.

6. Reducing the Time-to-Hire

The time-to-hire metric is crucial among the recruitment metrics to track. Taking too long to fill a post puts you at risk of losing out on high-quality prospects who move quickly. A long recruitment process can cause many candidates to lose interest in the position.

The Solution:

One of the most efficient ways to reduce hiring time is to use a talent pipeline, which is a pool of candidates that have previously been pre-screened for a certain position. You don't have to publicize your job, wait for applications, or spend time vetting applicants if you have a pool of qualified candidates on speed dial. All you need to do now is contact these people about the open position.

7. Making Data-Driven Hiring Decisions

Recruiters often lack the necessary tools to understand the market and candidate pool. Companies sometimes fail to ask the right questions about open roles, and many recruiters struggle to effectively analyze data to provide actionable suggestions to hiring managers. This is why one of the most significant challenges in recruitment is relying on gut feelings in hiring.

The Solution:

Leverage recruitment automation and AI. Artificial Intelligence can be programmed to screen a large number of candidates and recommend only those who pass the screening to the hiring team. You can also use predictive analytics to stay ahead of the competition. By analyzing the data of current employees, recruiters can learn what to look for in future hires. This can also help identify which talents, demographics, and even personality traits are associated with higher retention.

8. Building an Employer Brand

Your employer brand is the sum of what employees think of you. Many firms struggle to understand their company’s culture and the message they want to deliver. SMEs face challenges when deciding where to begin their branding activities.

The Solution:

Conduct an internal survey to understand what the current employees see as your company’s strengths and growth opportunities. Tell a captivating story about your organization, portray its culture, and entice people to join your team. Make a visually appealing and responsive employment site and career blog where you can showcase why your organization is a fantastic place to work. Upload videos and photographs of your employees and the office as employee testimonials. Write about the intriguing projects and innovative technologies that your teams are working on.

9. Hiring Remote Workers

The epidemic has made remote working the new normal. However, hiring remote workers presents its own set of challenges. It requires a different set of skills to manage remote workers, and it’s not easy to find people who are self-motivated and can work without supervision.

The Solution:

When hiring remote workers, look for candidates who have experience working remotely. Ask them about their home office setup and their ability to work independently. Use video interviews to get a better sense of the candidate’s communication skills. Also, ensure your company has the infrastructure to support remote work.

10. Hiring for Diversity and Inclusion

When hiring people from diverse backgrounds, recruiters often face challenges in their sourcing strategies. Companies may lack the correct strategy, technology, people, and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Some fail to implement the targeted reforms necessary for long-term diversity impact.

The Solution:

When writing inclusive job ads, limit the job duties to must-haves, and focus on the key tasks. Make sure the specific criteria are kept to a minimum. Verify if your diversity statement is included and ensure you’re following gender-neutrality. Some questions to ask include: Can we better showcase underrepresented talent? How do we promote an inclusive culture?

Why are we campaigning for diversity hiring? Is our leadership and recruitment process team diversified enough? Do we utilize diversity referrals?

By proactively addressing these challenges with strategic solutions tailored to the modern recruiting landscape, recruiters can optimize their practices, attract top talent, and drive organizational success in a competitive market environment.