Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Recruiting for Hard-to-Fill positions

Hard to fill.jpg

We all have those few particular roles which, for various reasons, we struggle to fill. When I was an HR Director, I always found it difficult to find senior business process specialists for large audit teams. Why? Talent was scarce and the skills were, excuse the redundancy, specialised. It’s common for recruiters to experience these challenges. If you have found yourself in a similar situation, here are a few questions you may want to consider in order to improve your opportunity to recruit for these roles:


1. Are they really hard-to-fill?

Start by evaluating your competition. Is your organisation exclusively having difficulty filling these positions or are your competitors struggling too? There may be underlying barriers preventing you from reaching and engaging ideal candidates. For example, how accurately are you positioning roles and how aggressively are you promoting opportunities? Are you simply defining your roles too tightly or are you limiting your recruitment sources?


2. Do you have a compelling proposition for these people?

If the positions are truly difficult to fill, then you probably do need to change your recruitment strategy. This may include evaluating compelling roles and company culture prior to putting more effort into actual recruitment efforts. For example, when I was sourcing those business process specialists, I found the most common reason why they left was because the existing auditors rejected them. They weren’t treated well. Perhaps if we had improved the current company culture, those hard-to-fill vacancies would have stayed inhabited.


3. Are you hiring key influencers?

Once you have identified a compelling proposition, you are ready to start recruiting. Try to align your recruitment strategies to not only meet key needs for today but to also promote future growth. For example, recruit candidates who not only meet the vacancy description, but who could also attract future candidates for that specific position. This is where key influencers come into play. Use their network and talent pipeline to promote your organisiation as “the new hot place to work”.


4. What’s your workforce planning process like?

Take the time to evaluate the role workforce planning or non-planning has played in bringing you to the situation you are in today. I’m not suggesting that WFP can always solve hard-to-fill recruiting challenges, but very often it can. Think further ahead, considering whether the hard-to-fill roles you have today are likely to be the same ones you’ll be struggling with 10 years on, or whether additional roles will join them. Be proactive and start taking action on these now to prevent you or your successors from experiencing the same roadblocks in the future.


5. Is your recruiting process sound?

Identify any cracks in your recruitment strategy that might hinder performance. Are your processes up-to-date? What about the capabilities of your recruiters? Are you using appropriate technology? An effective e-Recruitment system is not going to produce hard-to-find candidates out of thin air, but it can certainly help you identify them, and manage their interactions with your organisation in a more professional way.


This post is sponsored by iCIMS.

iCIMS is the leading provider of talent acquisition software for growing businesses. Through the implementation of easy-to-use, web-based solutions, the iCIMS Talent Platform helps organisations manage everything from sourcing, to recruitment, to induction all within one streamlined application.

Check out a free walk-through of the iCIMS system or make contact at +44 (0) 118 9000 706 or europeansales@icims.com.


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