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How to overcome 5 of the most common recruitment challenges

How to overcome 5 of the most common recruitment challenges

In this article we describe 5 common recruitment challenges organisations face in 2019 and what you can do to overcome them.

Recruiting top talent remains a tough job and involves a lot of work and dedication. Especially nowadays where reactive hiring takes the lead to find the right candidates “as soon as possible”.

From the many recruitment challenges that surfaced due to the increasing competition for top talent, we found that the following ones make an appearance for almost every organisation.

Let’s dive in.

Challenge 1: Attracting talent that is the right fit

Reactive hiring typically means that recruiters are limited time in screening a person to determine whether they are the right fit not only for the job but also for your organisational culture.

One of the most difficult things is not just hiring the right person but retaining them as well. Many companies face excessive talent acquisition and retention costs as they find candidates that have right skill set for the job but lose them after a while because the they don’t feel connected with the organisation.

Think about this….

Once you created a great job description you want to start broadcasting the wonderful opportunity you have on offer. Your career page, social media, job boards among many other channels are great to showcase your vacancy but also to inform the market about how it is to work at your organisation.

The more you say about your company culture, organisational style, and day-to-day activities, the better. It gives the prospective candidate food for thought and they are able to visualise how working for you looks like.

Here are a two of examples of companies that are doing exactly this to attract the best talent for their organization.


The benefits Google offers to their employees are known all over the world. In almost every piece of recruitment content they show how working at the world’s biggest search engine looks like.

Aside from embracing and valuing a diverse workforce, they also stimulate their teams to engage in various activities that strengthens the bond between their employees. They realized very soon that one of the most important things to improve team relationships is to encourage members to share how they feel about their work, their personal goals, and generally how they feel about the company.

The results showed that people don’t want to put on a fake smile while they are at work. They want to be themselves and feel safe in sharing what is bothering them and what makes them happy.


In a different vein, Cisco has opted to create a great candidate experience through optimising their career page to an extent that leaves little to the imagination of prospective candidates who consider working at this tech behemoth.

On their career page you will find videos of engineers explaining how they pave the way to a smarter technology-driven future and how they feel about working there in a unique and engaging format.

This is arguably one of the most effective ways to attract candidates and convert them into applicants. On-hand and valuable information from current employees at the company candidates consider to work for is invaluable and creates a great candidate experience.

Challenge 2: Delivering a great candidate experience

In our recent article I gave some actionable tips how you can improve candidate experience. A positive candidate experience is crucial to maintaining a favorable reputation as an employer. Whether a candidate gets hired or not, they will mention the ups and downs of your recruiting processes to other potential candidates.

Typical annoyances that we heard from candidates throughout the years are companies’ lack of transparency and communication in regards to application statuses. For job seekers there is nothing more infuriating than having to chase the recruiter themselves or not getting an answer at all. After all, they are making a life-changing decision which is no small feat and should not be treated as one.

Think about this….

Communicate, communicate, communicate. It is the absolute cornerstone of a good candidate experience. In each and every step of the recruiting process you need to make it second nature to inform the candidates in your pipeline about their application status. Even when they did not get the job.

Define your touchpoints. Draft a simple graph with your recruitment process touchpoints. Assign actions for each process step, assign owners of each actions. Do not forget to use available technology and tools to inform your candidates how the process will look like and what to expect!

Whatever it is you decide, it is imperative to respond to them throughout the whole process in a timely fashion in order to deliver a great candidate experience.

Challenge 3: Long-term cooperation with clients

It comes as no surprise when I say that the war for talent is real. This becomes evident if you look at the many parties that involved in big hiring projects who undercut their margins in order to win the client. It’s double-edged sword. A partnership can be very fruitful for both the supplier and the client as long as that cooperation remains lucrative for both. In reality, however, this is often not achievable.

A long-term relationship is difficult to achieve once the supplier of talent has to undercut their margins for the duration of the partnership. Unfortunately, there is not always a choice.

Nevertheless, by paying (significantly) less it could mean that recruitment agencies do not go the extra mile to find a candidate that is a right fit for reasons beyond the appropriate skill-set requirements. A risk that is barely worth taking if you consider the costs for replacing, training, and onboarding candidates that might or might not be a better fit.

Think about this….

Having an external party (recruitment provider) to help you source and place candidate use their capabilities to do these 2 things:

• Gather candidate feedback

Each day agencies are in touch with a plethora of candidates who each have their own motivation to join an organisation. One of the inevitable tasks for agencies is to find people with the right skill-set for the job, but going beyond and asking for what drives them to change careers and why is what gives a competitive edge on the client’s vacancy compared to other, similar, vacancies.

• Review the value proposition based on the submitted candidates.

After placing many candidates, it is imperative to identify a trend as to why candidates decide to take the job at your client. They collect answers to questions such as “How does this company help me reach my goals? or “What are the prospects for me in the next 5 years if I decide to stay here?”. This will help tremendously in zeroing in on the unique attributes your clients offer to the market and assists you in better promoting the job and submitting candidates.

Challenge 4: Reducing the time to hire

Recruiting can be a (really) tough job. In many instances it looks like climbing Mount Everest. Many tasks and many processes are involved. Some absolutely necessary and some perhaps a bit tedious or maybe even redundant.

You can expect that job seekers are involved in probably more than one recruiting process and it is not uncommon that they drop out of the process when they feel it takes too long. As a result, they are more inclined to accept offers elsewhere.

Think about this….

Take a hard look on not only your own recruitment processes but see if you can get involved into your client’s internal processes as well. (If you are an external provider).

For instance, being able to access Clients database (part of it/module/share point) in which the status of the candidate’s you submitted is visible you can save a great deal of time as you will not have to wait until the client comes back to you with feedback as this is probably written down in the notes from the client.

This is great in identifying why a candidate did not get the job and as a result how you can improve sourcing and submitting applicants that are a better fit and are more likely to be accepted by the client.

Challenge 5: Teamwork +Technology

Every successful recruitment strategy requires everyone who is involved in the process to work as a team. Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect. Not everyone uses the technology at hand such as the ATS system and therefore miss out on crucial candidate information.

Those that do use this technology in their daily work end up syncing and collecting this relevant data after which they have to relay it to the rest of the team members. This does not only cost a significant of amount of time, but it also eats your revenue. In addition, the time invested in making sure everyone is up-to-date can potentially detract from the candidate experience.

Think about this….

Companies that have an ATS should consider the platform as a valuable center of information of everything candidate-related. It is strongly advised that you opt for an ATS that will be used by everyone involved in the recruitment process in order to obtain as much information as possible.

An ATS allows companies to integrate crucial communication channels such as Outlook, slack, Gmail, and much more which gives companies a huge advantage as they are much better able to communicate any updates in almost real-time about candidates and potential issues that can be tackled in a faster pace.

What problems do you face in the competitive recruitment landscape? Get in touch with us and let’s discuss!


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