The Eight Biggest Challenges Facing Recruiters

This is the first article in a nine part series by Smart Recruit Online. The series explores the Eight Biggest Challenges Facing Recruiters.

By Mark Stephens


Market Fragmentation

The end client recruiter, in particular, faces the daunting task of trying to understand what tools and services are out there. After a sustained period of innovation, there are hundreds of potential solutions to the problem of how to get your job filled.

Unfortunately, amongst the very good ones, there are also some very poor ones too. From Job Boards, to aggregators, to social media, to sponsored advertising, to agency recruiters, to resourcers, to RPO’s … the list goes on.

Accept that each job requires a different set of solutions and the problem is magnified.

The challenge is to find the best combination of advertising media and technology, and apply the appropriate process in order to get the job filled in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

Identifying a tool or service that can centralise all your recruitment activities will bring some sanity to this challenging problem.


Improving Efficiency During The Recruitment Process

Unnecessary and ineffective administration time and duplication of effort is what soaks up the vast majority of a recruiter’s time.

In particular, sourcing potentially suitable applicants and reviewing CV’s and profiles can take hours, if not days. When calculating the cost per hire metric, many recruiters fail to factor in the time that they spend on administrative aspects.

Finding ways to get more good quality applicants into your shortlist, in the fastest possible time, is essential. As is managing an efficient way in which you reject unsuitable applicants quickly, while protecting the corporate brand.

A good recruitment management system will dramatically reduce time in many administration areas.

The Candidate Experience and Protecting the Company Brand

Company Brand is all about reputation. A style, a logo, or a company image doesn’t mean anything without a reputation that inspires trust. You can start to build trust in your brand during the recruitment process, by giving each applicant a good experience of engaging with you.

Understanding how to execute this properly seems to be one of the biggest challenges for employers.


Avoid Making a Bad Hire

The person doing the recruitment on the coalface may well have a priority to get the job filled over and above anything else. The business owners’ priority is always to find the best-suited person for the job. That is because they realise the impact that both a good and bad hire can have on the company and its people.

PWC and KPMG surveys estimate the cost of a bad hire that leaves in the first year of employment to be double the salary paid to that individual. By applying better due diligence in the form of screening, behavioural and cultural profiling, the company will ultimately make better hiring decisions.


Improving Direct Applicant Quality

Every recruiter is looking for the secret sauce to this challenge.

Poorly written adverts that are not well optimised and that do not get advertised in the best channels are at the centre of many companies problems here.

Long-term strategies to build talent pools and to establish relationships with quality individuals ahead of trying to recruit them, is something that most companies struggle with.


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Time to Hire

My first point here, is that this is the wrong metric to measure. Notice periods are beyond the recruiters’ control. So time to offer is a far more sensible metric to assess your performance on.

Jobs are filled more quickly, ensuring that good candidates do not get lost during the process.


Measuring Performance and Results

Recruiters need to generate simple, accurate reports that allow them to measure performance and establish areas for improvement.

What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t improve, but measuring the right components is equally important. A good recruitment management system will provide you with detailed reports and set you on a course for improvement across all areas of your recruitment activities.


Reduce Recruitment Costs

Many companies look at agency costs as the area in which to make savings, but a good candidate that excels in their job can repay that cost several times over in the first year.

However, if you can recruit the same or better quality directly, then you should do it of course. Having the right tools, systems and process is critical. You also need to do
your homework, not just in regards to your generic approach, but for each individual campaign that you run. If you deploy the wrong tactics to a role, there is a good chance that you will end up paying twice.

Many fixed price solutions are able to offer extremely good value for money when it comes to your media advertising, and some come with outstanding management systems that can help you to address many of the other challenges that recruiters face.

Look out for those offering a free trial of their service. Get online demonstrations and ensure that you look into their fulfilment rates and case studies for clients in the same sector or with similar challenges to your own.


Next week: The Fragmented Recruitment Landscape Is a Pandora’s Box for Recruiters


About the Author

This article was originally published on the Resource Library. Mark Stephens has over 20 years of business management experience, across Sales, Marketing, Recruitment and technology environments. Mark is a serial entrepreneur and is the current joint MD of the F10 Group and the founder of Smart Recruit Online, Ask the Experts, Websmart UK and most recently the Recruitment Alliance.