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Recruitment Strategies for Hard-to-Fill Positions

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As a recruitment professional, you might be used to screening and hiring several individuals for your company. You are skilled in using HR recruitment software, assessing resumes, interviewing, and providing pre-employment tests to ensure that you hire only the most qualified applicants in your talent pool.

Most of the time, you’re hiring for entry-level and rank-and-file positions. These ranks compose the majority of your company’s workforce and often have vacancies compared to other positions.

However, you might also need to hire for hard-to-fill positions in your company. The recruitment process for this rank requires a different set of skills and strategies to ensure success.

What is Considered a Hard-to-Fill Position?

A hard-to-fill position is a vacancy that most recruiters find challenging to find a perfect fit. Most of the time, this kind of job requires specific expertise or experience or one that has a set of risks or demands that narrows a talent pool.

Other factors that make hard-to-fill positions tricky to hire for include the following:

  • Unappealing or inaccessible physical location, workplace, or coverage area
  • Lack of a competitive salary
  • Absence of a diverse candidate pool
  • Too specific or too broad job description

How to Find Candidates for Hard-to-Fill Positions

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Although recruiting for hard-to-fill positions can be difficult, it does not mean it’s impossible. With the right tips, you can fill any position in your company no matter how challenging it may be.

Create a Recruitment Plan

Before setting out and looking for individuals who may be qualified for the hard-to-fill positions in your company, you need a recruitment strategy that will guide your team through the various steps of the hiring process. Your recruitment plan will also serve as your handbook in dealing with the different challenges that you may encounter when hiring for hard-to-fill jobs.

Your recruitment plan should tackle the things that you need to do to find and recruit the individuals who are qualified to fill the vacancy in your organization. However, it should also serve as an opportunity for your team to accomplish the following:

  • Align company goals
  • Tackle present skill gaps in the organization
  • Evaluate your current recruitment process

Ironing out the details of your recruitment strategy before sourcing applicants will make hiring for hard-to-fill positions easier for your team. With this document, you know how to handle dead-ends and other problems in your process once you come across them.

Write a Compelling Job Description

One problem that makes recruiting for hard-to-fill positions challenging is unappealing job descriptions. Job descriptions that are too specific regarding qualifications can deter any interested applicant. They may be discouraged to see how many skills they should have to get the job and might think that they are not qualified enough.

On the other hand, job descriptions that are too broad are also not very helpful. This kind of job description might make an applicant hesitant because of the lack of information about the job. Not including any information about your company may also make a candidate wary about your job listing.

The perfect approach to writing job descriptions for hard-to-fill positions is to be as compelling as possible. Aside from focusing on the long list of qualifications a candidate must have, you should highlight what your company has to offer.

Start by communicating your organization’s mission, vision, and values. Then, attract applicants by sharing the unique benefits they can enjoy once they start working in your company.

Go Niche

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Most of the time, recruiters find hiring for hard-to-fill positions challenging because it requires expertise and experience in a certain field. You need to find a highly qualified individual who has the right kind of specialization to do the job.

Using regular job portals to recruit for hard-to-fill positions is a difficult task. Most of the time, job seekers who frequent these sites are looking for entry-level or rank-and-file positions. Very rarely would you find a specialist lurking around job portals.

To ensure that you can get in touch with the group of people you’re looking for, you must go where they spend most of their time. Usually, you can find field experts when you explore niche communities, special interest sites, and targeted job portals. These websites provide specialists with a space where they can build networks that correspond to their field of expertise.

Build Your Employer Brand

Improving your brand as an employer may help make hard-to-fill positions easier to hire for. When individuals know that you care about your employees and provide the benefits they deserve, you will have more applicants willing to work for your organization.

To accomplish this, you can build your employer brand using social media. Create accounts for your company on different social media networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Then, post on your wall regularly and show your followers what it is like to work in your organization. You can do this by sharing stories from your current employees, where they share why they love working in your company. You can also give your audience a quick tour of your office and show them their workspace should they decide to work with you.

Aside from using social media to build your employer brand, you can use content marketing to your advantage. You can achieve this by writing and publishing enticing recruiting content on your website. By having interesting content, you have more opportunities to attract specialists and help them find your company easily when searching online.

Encourage Employee Referrals

To make hiring for hard-to-fill positions easier, ask for support from your team members. Launch an employee referral program to encourage your staff members to look at their networks and recommend individuals whom they think have the skills for the job. In return, give your employees an incentive for every successful referral.

This strategy allows you to widen your reach and get in touch with more qualified individuals instead of relying solely on job portals. Referrals from your current employees are also more trustworthy because your staff members will not risk recommending an unqualified applicant and damaging their image in the company.

You can manage and monitor the progress of every referred candidate using online applicant tracking software. This technology allows you to see who among the referred applicants have gone through certain stages of your recruitment process, such as interview and assessment. Using this system also helps you determine whether an existing employee is due for a referral bonus.

Offer Hard-to-Resist Benefits

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Once you have attracted enough applicants for your organization’s hard-to-fill positions, make sure to keep them by offering perks they cannot resist. One thing you can do is provide them with an offer of a highly competitive salary. The wage you offer should be enough to cover their living expenses and let them live a comfortable life.

If your chosen candidate lives far from your workplace, you can also provide them with transportation or gas compensation. This benefit will make their commute to work more manageable.

Offering these benefits to specialists can balance the work that they need to do for your company. Giving them the right compensation for their expertise will surely entice them to work for your organization.

Create the Right Recruitment Strategy for Hard-to-Fill Positions

Recruiting for a hard-to-fill position is challenging even for some of the most experienced recruiters. So, if you have a job opening that has remained vacant for a while, do not lose hope.

To make hiring for hard-to-fill positions more manageable, make sure to follow the tips listed above. These recruitment strategies will allow you to overcome the challenges that come with hiring for hard-to-fill positions.

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