The demands of hiring for high volume are especially pressing in an evolving market. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that new jobs are popping up in several industries. The BLS Jobs Openings Survey reports the number and rate of job openings increased by 6.9% (749,000) last month. And while reentrants to the market have also surged (by 200k in August), it’s still a job-seekers market.
Recruiting and staffing professionals are faced with sorting through numerous applications and resumes to find the cream of the crop, but some industries struggle to fill high-demand jobs. A few such industries include Senior Sales Executives, Sales Directors, and County Directors for Startups, Senior Accountants, and experienced IT professionals, according to recruiting experts we recently connected with.
Fortunately, these experts were able to offer some valuable tips to help you overcome nine unique challenges to filling high-demand jobs fast:
1. Swimming against the tide
Hiring high-demand jobs can often feel like you are swimming against the tide. We regularly need to recruit for niche roles. Because of the uniqueness of the role, it can be very hard to recruit someone on short notice.
For example, someone who is going to be a reviewer for some of our pieces needs to have a higher than average knowledge about coffee. More importantly, they need to be in a position to express it articulately and informatively, keeping in mind the lay user. This is a unique niche and it is nearly impossible to train someone into loving a beverage, but a passion for coffee is a near mandate for this role. To identify a writer who has this level of knowledge and understanding of the products and the abilities to bring them to people is a difficult proposition.
I find references to be most reliable when hiring for such niche roles. Apart from that, I largely depend on my LinkedIn network to reach out and identify any resources. More often than not, it is through these two channels that I usually end up filling up these positions.
Alex Mastin, Founder & CEO, Homegrounds
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2. Change in leadership
Recruiting to fill senior-level positions can be particularly challenging now that millennials and Gen Z are taking over the leadership reigns in the respective companies. Undoubtedly, their leadership style is different from that of their baby boomer successors, and it will take some time for stakeholders to come to terms with these changes.
Meanwhile, matching the needs of the existing young talent pool of potential senior executives with the legacy needs can be quite tasking, resulting in an unusually long time-to-hire. Niche LinkedIn groups, for example, Sales Director and Sales Management Executives, have been especially helpful in networking and headhunting passive candidates and experienced executives who are in between jobs.
Good old networking with my contacts has also resulted in some great quality leads who have ended up filling the various executive roles. In my experience, most senior-level employees are passive candidates, and recruiting them requires a different ball game altogether. Seeking out direct referrals rather than cold-calling has got me the best results in my senior-level recruitment and outreach strategy.
Paul French, Managing Director, Intrinsic Search
3. Working against scarcity
When it comes to filling high-demand jobs, the biggest challenge often comes down to scarcity. For one, it is often very difficult to find highly qualified candidates with the right technical skills and knowledge, especially on short notice. Moreover, even if we manage to pinpoint a few potential top recruits, the problem is that workers in that field are often in huge demand.
As a result, they often tend to be juggling a variety of job offers from other companies and organizations. This means that we are constantly having to face stiff competition and are forced to offer highly competitive salaries and benefits, otherwise risk losing top talent to competitors, even before the recruitment drive is over.
In our company, we usually use Hiretual, which is a sourcing tool that utilizes artificial intelligence technology, thereby speeding up the recruitment process significantly. It uses machine learning to help us find candidates and even allows us to rank them in order of suitability for the open job role, based on the filters we select, whether it be their qualifications, professional experience, etc.
This makes it especially useful when you need help in quickly filling vacancies to maintain efficient business operations. Besides that, it even offers a wide range of useful features that allows us to fine-tune our candidate search directly to your recruitment aims. For instance, if we are looking to diversify our workforce, the tool allows us to source candidates from underrepresented demographics in our niche.
Eden Cheng, Co-Founder, PeopleFinderFree
4. Gaps in experience
The roles that are challenging to fill and in high demand have shifted over the past year, and I anticipate those changes continuing. The main challenge is finding applicants who have the required skill sets/experience to take on senior positions.
I suspect that these high-demand jobs experienced less uncertainty during the last 2 years—since they are so critical to operations. For example, senior accountants weren’t the ones being laid off when companies were cutting budgets — and they’re jobs that can be easily done remotely, as well. It is definitely a “buyer’s market” from a job seeker’s perspective when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting jobs in the last half of 2021.
In my experience, it all comes down to identifying the right talent pools. Toward this end, I would advise against sticking to the “all-purpose” job boards and sites—the top talent has mostly been hired out of these pools already. Professional organization websites and forums are an excellent resource for locating this type of talent.
We’ve also had some success recruiting via social media, both via job-specific sites like LinkedIn and more general pages. Reddit is one particularly under-appreciated resource for finding talent in many fields, and most have dedicated subreddits frequented by professionals.
Michael Moran, Owner, Green Lion Search Group
5. Social media noise
Building out your social media networks is one idea I have for quickly filling high-demand roles.
Establish Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for your business.
To recruit and network with applicants, create YouTube videos and blog post series. You may show prospective recruits what it’s like to work at your company and emphasize why your staff enjoy going to work every day by using these social media sites.
For high-demand jobs, using content to show prospects why your organization is so terrific is an excellent recruiting tactic. Encourage all of your staff to use social media to locate applicants, especially recruiters and hiring managers. Employees should be given training on how to grow their online networks and how to help find applicants. Meanwhile, keep track of which networks are giving you the most traction and yielding the best outcomes so you can focus your efforts.
Mike Chappell, Founder, Formspal
6. Humdrum job descriptions
One suggestion I have for fast-filling high-demand positions is to write a detailed, engaging job description.
Candidates desire a streamlined, positive buying experience supported by strong branding and a high-value product in today’s job market, just like they would in any other consumer marketplace. The job description is the first place to start when it comes to attracting potential candidates to your hard-to-fill position.
Be captivating, inclusive, and, most importantly, realistic. Readers do not appreciate a broad list of required talents and experience qualifications. Instead, focus on what your firm has to offer, including your mission, beliefs, and the distinct advantages of working with you. While precise job criteria are essential, don’t overlook the special bonuses, social responsibility efforts, and challenging projects that distinguish your organization.
Richard Mews, CEO, Sell With Richard
7. Shotgun resume slingers
If you want to hire golden-rip candidates for high-demand roles, steer clear of global job boards. Most job seekers using them shotgun resumes at whatever job ad that comes by in hopes something will pop up. As a result, you’ll get a candidate pool with little to no high-value candidates.
Instead, my recommendation is to hit niche marketplaces (e.g., FlexJobs, StartUpers, Handshake) where the cream of the crop hangs out. While general-purpose job boards serve as a central hub designed to source talent across a variety of verticals, niche marketplaces help find candidates with specific skill sets and expertise that will have a better chance to fill your high-demand roles.
Magda Klimkiewicz HR Business Partner at Zety
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8. Constantly evolving industry
The tech space is constantly evolving and so there’s an ongoing need to upgrade – employers want to bring in candidates who are current in the space and likewise employees who are looking for opportunities that keep them updated with the latest tech. This could lead to attrition issues which in turn could lead to increased hiring costs.
Another issue, and this is specific to some locations, is a big notice period. The longer the notice period, the longer it takes for the candidate to join us, but it also gives the candidate the opportunity to look for other options which put a dent in the hiring process.
A good tracker can help monitor the fast-moving hiring rounds. Use your internal team and past employee network to serve as a referral medium. Referrals typically have a higher success rate as the person referring usually has a good handle of the requirement, especially if they are from the same business workstream as the hiring.
Jana Tulloch, CPHR, CEO of Tulloch Consulting
9. High volume of competitive talent
One of the challenges we face when filling high-demand roles is the volume of quality candidates due to the level of discernment that needs to be in place to select the best of the best. Another challenge is when we work with employers that don’t know how to play the game properly in order to attract and recruit top talent.
There are so many moving parts in the recruiting process that have to come together in order to find a top player. It comes down to tools, human resources, and the fundamentals that are put in place to make it happen.
For example, you have to have relevant, updated access to candidate information (not necessarily resumes) in order to recruit. If you don’t have access to candidates beyond Google and their resume to attract talent, you have to have an internal recruiting process that has sourcing, the pool of candidates, the evaluation and selection of the candidates all covered — and then the relationship building and decision making around candidate behavior.
It comes down to having the right people on your team who can move quickly but also have the skills to slow down and make tough decisions. If you have someone who is super quick, it is a learned skill to discern talent and access the right people who have that quality factor in place.
Kathleen Steffey, CEO of Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search