Even before the pandemic turned our economy upside down, experts pointed to a concerning rise in labor shortages. From home health care specialists and construction workers to food service staff and CDL truck drivers. Today, hard-to-fill positions run the gamut of industries and often include many of the mission-critical “in-person” and frontline roles within an organization. This includes warehouse staff, custodial staff, front-end staff, and any position that can’t be filled with remote workers.
As an employer or recruiter, your top mission is to fill every open position with the best talent you can find. In a candidate-driven market, this can be a daunting process, but it doesn't have to be.
Recruiting for hard-to-fill positions requires a fresh approach, a realistic budget, an updated strategy, and a dedicated team. Read on to learn about the qualities that can make a position hard to fill, as well as our top strategies for hiring hard-to-fill positions.
The Evolution of the Hard-to-Fill Position
In the past, the term “hard to fill” was often used to describe any position that was specialized or technical. However, in today’s reality, the term covers any job category where there is more demand than supply. If you’re struggling with hard-to-fill positions, you’re not alone, but there are ways to overcome the challenge.
You’ll Need a Strategy
When it comes to hard-to-fill positions there is no time for the “post and pray” method of recruiting. You need a strategy.
One that involves precisely targeted job postings, to get you in front of your ideal candidates. SMS candidate nurturing to ensure that you are reaching every applicant and reducing drop-off in the early stages of recruiting. A system for screening and filtering candidates quickly and efficiently as speed is of the utmost essence in today's market. Our research shows that candidates will abandon a position in under a week if they haven’t heard back from a recruiter. And lastly, you’ll need accurate analytics to allow you to track your team's progress, manage your recruiting campaigns and make proactive decisions based on data.
Assess Your Job Description
When it comes to putting your hard-to-fill job in front of your desired audience, the first step to catching their attention is crafting an accurate and compelling job description. If the job you’re recruiting for involves competing with other companies for top candidates, an outdated job description isn’t going to cut it.
Start with a thorough analysis of the job itself including some competitive research into what other companies are posting when listing similar positions. Ensure top candidates don't scroll past your job listing with positive language that highlights the benefits and rewards that are unique to working for your company.
Instead of a laundry list of skills and experience qualifications required, take this opportunity to sell candidates on your organization and let them know why they need to work for you vs. the competition. Obviously, the specific requirements for a given role are essential but don’t forget the company perks, career advancement opportunities, social responsibility initiatives, and challenging projects that make your company unique.
Another top tip here is to add your salary offering in the title whenever possible, particularly if it is higher than average. You can get creative in this area if you're in an industry such as hospitality or restaurant where tips make up a portion of the salary. For instance, if you offer minimum wage plus tips and the average server makes an additional $5 per hour with tips added in “up to $20 per hour” is more appealing than “$15 per hour plus tips.”
Some of the most difficult possitions to fill are new or newly emerging roles within a company. For these roles, it’s time to get personal and look within. Particularly if a new role is one where industry or company-specific knowledge is essential. In these instances, upskilling a qualified internal candidate can be a quicker, more cost-effective, and more efficient route to filling those hard-to-fill slots.
If you haven’t been working to encourage cross-functional training and internal mobility, this could be a great time to start. Consider setting up internal sites where existing staff can learn about opportunities within the company departments other than their own.
Additionally, provide employees with access to information and mentoring to make career mapping easier. When you build cross-training and mentoring initiatives into your company culture, you can not only help to reduce turnover and attrition but also increase employee engagement and reduce your hard-to-fill challenges.
Use Social Recruiting
Figures from Statista show that there are expected to be 3.96 billion social media users worldwide in 2022—a 4.8 percent increase over the previous year. Social media is an ever-present feature in the lives of almost everyone these days, and it’s not only used for entertainment, and staying connected but also in job searching. In our recent survey, we found job seekers polled were 4 times more likely to search for employment on social media than on a company career site.
Furthermore, as much as 70% of the total talent pool is made up of passive candidates. That’s what makes social recruiting one of the most efficient methods to cut through the noise and source candidates.
Effective use of recruitment marketing impacts both – the quality and quantity of your candidates. With recruitment automation from Seiza, you can request custom social recruiting ads in just a few clicks. Once ordered, the campaigns launch in days using Seiza’s proprietary targeting technology to reach an audience of over 260,000,000 candidates that can’t be accessed on your own.
Encourage Employee Referrals
Employee referrals are one of the most powerful sources of top-quality candidates. Referrals are typically of higher quality, close more quickly, and are less likely to turnover. Employee referrals can be a great resource for hard-to-fill jobs, especially when you need to fill a position quickly.
With hard-to-fill roles, turning your existing staff into part of your recruiting team can give your efforts a boost by bringing in quality candidates that will already be familiar with your organization.
Break Down Bottlenecks With Automation
In today's culture of instant access, people have become accustomed to one-click ordering. The reality is that the job market is now the same as any other marketplace. According to LinkedIn, 60% of job seekers will abandon an application if it is too long or complex. Additionally, Seiza's research has shown that job seekers will abandon a job if they haven't heard from a recruiter in less than a week.
Automation from Seiza can help you to break down the bottlenecks in your hiring process by automating manual repetitive tasks and allowing you to screen and sort candidates by qualifying criteria in just a few clicks. It also offers built-in SMS messaging to help you get in touch with 90% or more of the applicants you receive making sure you never miss a quality candidate.
Analyze and Adjust
While strategic planning, automation, and social recruiting can help you source talent for hard-to-fill roles, the key to success lies in your ability to track recruiting analytics. With Seiza’s platform, you get real-time analytics offering you insight into valuable KPIs like time to fill, processing rate, and campaign performance. These metrics can help you to be proactive in your hiring decisions and adjust quickly to achieve higher performance from your team as well as your ads.
Partner With Seiza and Say Goodbye to Recruiting in Slow-Motion
When recruiting for hard-to-fill positions, remember that hiring doesn’t wait. To become super-reactive, in the marketplace, you need to find the right shortcuts.
Shortcuts to instantly find qualified candidates without wasting time and energy. Shortcuts to succeeding in meeting deadlines even with a small team. Shortcuts to identifying the right candidates faster. Shortcuts to engaging and keeping every qualified applicant you receive.
Seiza’s automation platform offers these shortcuts and more and provides you with the tools you need to hire in “fast motion”. Contact us today for a demo of our platform, and to discuss your free trial!