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How to overcome recruitment’s biggest challenges

Posted: 4 Jul 2017

How to overcome recruitment’s biggest challenges

The UK's digital skills crisis is making recruitment more challenging than ever for businesses. A 2017 study of more than 1,400 businesses by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found that nearly three-quarters of firms are having to manage a shortage of digital skills in their workforce.

The race is very much on, then, to get candidates with the requisite digital skills through the door. Failure to do so will have an impact on a firm’s bottom line, according to the BCC.

Those with out-of-date recruitment methods look sure to suffer. Businesses and recruiters are now required to be much more proactive to secure the top talent. Simply posting a job ad across all lines of communication is unlikely to yield the desired result in 2017.

Before we look at what a modern recruitment strategy looks like, however, we first need to define the three top challenges recruiters are trying to overcome:

1. Cutting through the noise

When there is a high demand for talent, like there is now, half the battle is getting on the radar of the right candidates.

2. Securing the perfect candidate

That perfect candidate might have multiple offers on the table, leaving recruiters with a lot to do in order to convince them that theirs is the offer they should accept.

3. Attracting millennials

Millennials might be demanding, but they possess many of the digital skills that firms are craving; it’s crucial that firms adapt accordingly to attract and retain this generation of workers.

So, what can be done to overcome these pain points?

Work on your employer brand

Employer branding is still a relatively new concept in recruitment. It’s essentially the process of promoting your company as the employer to work for among your target group. In theory, if you get your employer brand just right, the perfect candidate will approach you for a job – or at least will be the first in the queue when a position becomes available at your organisation.

Employer branding requires recruiters to apply a marketers’ mindset to their recruitment – treating candidates like customers. That means engaging with them on social media, feeding them content that positions the business as a market leader, and showcasing what it is that makes your company better than the rest. Then, when it comes to filling a vacancy, you won’t have to worry about cutting through the noise – candidates will already be tuned in to what you have to say.

Create a great candidate experience

When the perfect candidate is deciding whether or not to accept your job offer, they will consider their candidate experience – the collective result of all the interactions they have had with your company across the entire recruitment marketing and hiring process.

Creating a great candidate experience, then, is crucial to securing the perfect candidate. If they have any grievances, say, about the manner in which their interview was conducted or the efficiency of your communications, they might very well decline your offer.

Spend time and money ensuring that candidates can seamlessly transition from one stage of the recruitment process to the next. A quick checklist would be…

  • Use data to improve the structure of your careers site

  • Make individual pages more engaging and easier to follow

  • Give your careers site some personality (in keeping with your employer brand)

  • Personalise the interview process for individual candidates

Promote training and development

In PwC’s seminal ‘Millennials at Work’ study it was revealed that millennials favour training and development over financial reward. Flexible working hours ranked higher than cash bonuses, too.

At this stage in their career, millennials are more concerned about how their CV looks, knowing that they will reap the rewards in the future if they can acquire the skills that will put them in demand.

Businesses can benefit from millennials’ attitude to work by leveraging a group of highly motivated workers who have grown up in the digital world, which has provided them with those prized and in-demand technical skills.

In lots of ways, recruitment has become more challenging since millennials and technology began to really play a part. But, as we see it, it got a whole lot more interesting, too – just as long as you have a partner like Stopgap who can help you overcome those challenges.

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