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5 Simple Fixes for the Toughest Recruiting Challenges

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Unless you’re an in-house recruiter at Apple or Google — two highly sought-after places of employment that enjoy an endless stream of resumes — you probably struggle with the same recruiting issues most companies face. Particularly with a continued talent shortage, recruiting can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.

Here’s how to solve a few common recruiting issues:

1. Candidates are harder to find

Talent shortage aside, attracting candidates is a whole new ball game these days. Job boards, career fairs and a standard “we’re hiring” message on your website just aren’t enough. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)

Work with your marketing and PR teams to ensure your social media presence is strong and has a substantial following. Come up with creative ways to announce job opportunities.

For example, at GrubHub Seamless, where I lead the people team, we include messages about joining our team throughout our product, from when a hungry diner places an order to when they get a confirmation and receipt. News of open positions reaches people who are familiar with our brand but maybe never thought about our company as a great place to work.

2. Candidates aren’t qualified

The perennial recruiting challenge: you seem to attract tons of candidates, but they lack the skills you need. According to the Job Preparedness Indicator, only about 17 percent of employers find candidates who present the skills they need to fill open positions.

To begin, take a closer look at your job descriptions. Do they accurately describe the skills and qualifications required? Are you asking for qualifications that are nonexistent or too lofty? Are you putting too much emphasis on the amount of experience or education?

Help candidates visualize the role by highlighting day-to-day tasks and skills necessary to do the job. Involve current team members in drafting these positions so they’re as accurate as possible.

Another opportunity to find great candidates is to source internally. Taking the time to train a hardworking, dedicated employee for an open position could be the right move, and it sends a message to all employees that the company is willing to invest in its employees.

3. Candidates disappear quickly

Perhaps you’ve already experienced the disappointment of extending an offer to a candidate, only to find they’ve accepted another. Or, worse, the candidate is no longer interested. Top performers don’t stay on the market long, and the longer the time between interview and offer, the less excitement candidates can begin to feel about the position and your company.

With criticism sites like Glassdoor.com sharing firsthand accounts of a company’s hiring process, recruiters must consider the candidate experience. Take a moment to map out the experience at your organization, from the moment a prospect learns of a job opening to the end of the new hire process. This means getting everyone from recruiting coordinators to hiring managers on board with the process and timeline.

Is your application and interview process too lengthy? Do you set reasonable expectations for when a decision will be made? Do you let a candidate know when they’re no longer being considered? A Candidate Experience Awards Survey of 8,500 job seekers found that one of their biggest job complaints was an employer’s failure to communicate their status.

4. Candidates want more than a paycheck

It’s easy to offer competitive salary, but the ability to offer a vibrant and engaging environment is a new benchmark for companies vying for top talent.

Employee perks are one area that can be used to create a work environment that empowers, motivates and enriches employees’ work experiences. Health benefits, flexible work schedules and education subsidies are some of the top perks companies offer to strengthen their commitment to employees and give them a competitive hiring advantage.

Another perk that’s getting increased attention is food. At GrubHub Seamless, we conducted a nationwide survey of nearly 1,100 full-time professionals. We found that 60 percent reported more food at the office would make them feel more valued and appreciated by their employer.

While free food all the time is unrealistic for most companies, the occasional catered meeting, pizza party or sweet treat can bring a smile to everyone’s faces, while also bringing them together to talk, collaborate and form meaningful relationships.

5. Candidates dismiss your company

In our highly connected world, news about how companies treat their employees travels fast. If your company has had layoffs, cuts in compensation or general bad press, its “employer brand” may be suffering. Repairing the image may be necessary to get top talent to consider your company.

Look to your employees to help you with the effort. If your employees are happy, they’re more likely to help build new relationships for the company, share positive news and help with the recruiting process.

Consider a referral program as an incentive for your employees to bring in their contacts, who will most likely make excellent hires. Stay on top of employee engagement by conducting surveys or using other forums or vehicles to collect feedback and take action on what you learn so your people strategy remains focused on the areas of greatest impact.

Karen Miller is the Vice President of the People Team at GrubHub Seamless, the leading online food ordering service that makes it easy to feed the office where she is responsible for defining and executing Seamless’ people and HR strategies.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.