The most common hiring challenges and how to overcome them

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While each recruiter and the challenges that they face are unique, there are some hiring challenges which plague everyone. If we were to host a venting session for all recruiters, then here are the most common hiring challenges that are likely to come up:

1. Finding quality candidates 

Although you may be receiving a large number of applications, most of them seem to be unqualified for the role. One-liners as cover letters? Plagiarised answers? Do not have the required skills? 

Ideas to overcome it: 

I. Use knockout questions 

You can introduce questions that will reduce the number of unqualified candidates early in the hiring process.

They can be both subjective and objective. For example:

– Do you have 2 years of experience as a copywriter? (Yes/No)

– What are your salary expectations?

– Please mention any relevant projects that you have worked on.

– Would you be willing to relocate?

This helps you in filtering any candidates who will certainly not fit the bill.

II. Create candidate personas

Do you know who your ideal candidates are? And no, we don’t mean that they have 5 years of copywriting experience with a 99.9% conversion rate.

This shouldn’t just be limited to the skills they possess and what they bring to the table. While all of that is certainly important, you also need to know what motivates them and what are their interests. This will help you in creating better job descriptions and engaging passive candidates.

III. Try out different sourcing channels 

Have you been using the same channels for sourcing since time immemorial? This could mean that your job posts are not being seen by relevant candidates. Consider exploring different channels such as social media, employee referral, Google for Jobs, and so on to increase the visibility of your job post.

IV. Explore employer branding

Source: Swiggy

Now that you have created a workplace that you are proud of, why not offer your prospective employees a glimpse into it? You can showcase your culture in the career pages, social media, and even job descriptions. 

Once people know how amazing your workplace is, they would be more willing to invest their time in the hiring process.

V) Try Fresher Jobs on Internshala

Our AI recommendation engine suggests candidates who would be the right fit for your job posting. You can then invite these candidates to apply for your job.

2. Reducing time to hire 

A long time to hire can dissuade many candidates from joining your organisation. Hence, this recruitment challenge should be a priority for any team.

Ideas to overcome it:

I. Build a talent pipeline

At the most basic level, you should be actively networking with professionals in the same industry as your company. You can do this by attending events or asking someone in your network to introduce you.

Other than seeking potential candidates, you can have a form on your website that can be filled by candidates who may not be able to find a vacancy right now. You can add these candidates to your applicant database. 

II. Audit your current process to identify bottlenecks

Go through your hiring process step-by-step and review how long each step takes. For example, maybe the time between final interview and selection is long. Next, figure out if this is giving you quality candidates. In this case, you can think of ways to keep the candidates informed and engaged. If the current process is not yielding quality hires, think of ways to optimise this step.

III. Create internal recruitment opportunities

Perhaps you already have employees who would be a perfect fit for another position at your company. Therefore, you could advertise the current openings in the internal job board.

3. Screening resumes

A large number of applications can overwhelm your recruiting team. According to a study by Ladders, recruiters spend around 7.4 seconds on a resume. While some recruiters may have an eye for the right candidates, this duration may not always be enough and you may be missing out on good candidates. 

Ideas to overcome it:

I. Invest in an ATS

An ATS can help you automate certain tasks such as screening resumes. It can help you find resumes that contain keywords from job descriptions. This can leave recruiters with more time to review the resumes properly, which will help in finding a quality candidate sooner.

4. Removing bias from recruiting

One of the major hiring challenges that all companies struggle with is bias, both conscious and unconscious. Consequences of bias in recruiting include lawsuits, a lack of workplace diversity, and inability to resonate with your audience. So, how can you combat this?

Ideas to overcome it:

I. Write inclusive job descriptions

Review your job description to ensure they are gender-neutral. For example, using ‘they’ instead of ‘he/she’. Keep job titles and responsibilities inclusive as well. For instance, ‘firefighter’ instead of ‘fireman’. 

II. Blind/anonymous resume screenings

A blind screening hides any information about a candidate that does not relate to their work experience and skills such as name, gender, age, education, and ethnicity.

Although this is not a foolproof method to remove bias from hiring, this could eliminate bias from preliminary stages of hiring.

III. Conduct structured interviews and include diverse interviewers

Structured interviews consist of the same questions for all candidates so that they can be evaluated fairly.

In addition to structured interviews, your interview panel can consist of employees from different backgrounds and departments. If you believe this could create an unnecessary strain on your employees, then you could make it voluntary. For example, Amazon allows its employees to volunteer to be a part of interviews. Each employee must complete a minimum set of interviews to be eligible for promotion.

IV. Train the recruiting team

You can train your team to become aware of their bias and take steps to eliminate it. Since unconscious bias can be hard to detect, you can take the Harvard Implicit Association Test.

5. Creating a diverse workforce

A diverse and inclusive workforce comes with a number of advantages such as more innovation, increase in revenue, and reduction in turnover. However, creating a diverse workforce has been a hiring challenge even for tech giants like Microsoft and Apple. 

Ideas to overcome it:

I. Proactively hire for diversity

While stating that you are an equal opportunity employer is great, you could also take steps to actively hire from the community. This can include attending job fairs for the community,  creating effective employee referral programs, and networking with professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Once you have hired candidates, make sure that they have the tools to succeed at work. This can include mentorship programs and employee resource groups.

II. Make your communication gender-neutral

Both your external and internal communication should reflect your inclusive culture. This includes using gender-neutral language in marketing campaigns, emails, job descriptions, and UX microcopies. 

III. Create a disabled-friendly workplace

While this may seem a huge undertaking, it is actually pretty simple. Make minor changes such as giving the option to adjust heights of desks, making your website disabled-friendly, and having a quiet space.

These are a few steps that you can take to improve diversity at your workplace. To learn more on the subject, read Diversity and inclusion in the workplace: Creating a workplace where everyone belongs.

6. High job offer rejection rate

Although you may be finding the best candidates, you are unable to bring them onboard. In many cases, this could mean starting the recruitment cycle again which results in significant loss of time and lowers the morale of the team. 

Ideas to overcome it:

I. Reduce time to hire

One of the topmost reasons for job offer rejection is the sheer amount of time it takes you to extend it. This could be because skilled candidates can be hard to find or the candidates may accept another offer because they weren’t sure about getting an offer from your company. 

So, optimising your time to hire is essential.

II. Provide a good candidate experience

Your candidate experience should be as good as your customer service. Think of your hiring process as a trailer to what awaits the candidates once they join the company. 

Even a good compensation package can’t make up for a bad candidate experience which will result in rejection.

So make sure that each hiring step leaves a good impression on the candidate.

III. Offer a unique Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

An EVP refers to everything that your company can offer a candidate in exchange for their skills and time. An irresistible EVP consists of benefits that are genuinely helpful, strong company culture, learning and development opportunities, mentorship, and employee recognition.

7. Talent acquisition

Acquiring talent that will elevate your business has become one of the topmost priorities for most organisations. However, the process is not without its fair share of roadblocks.

Ideas to overcome it:

I. Build a talent pipeline

Yes, you need this here as well.

When it comes to talent acquisition, you have to shift gears from reactive to proactive. Put your stellar networking skills to use by connecting with experts on social media, attending industry-related events, and keeping employees informed about the vacancies so that they can refer others.  Add candidates who were a good culture fit but didn’t make it through the interviews to your pipeline. Maybe there is another future role that can be perfect for them.

2. Work on your employer brand

Employer brand is also referred to as a ‘talent’ brand because of the role it plays in attracting talent. So, if you haven’t been managing it actively, then you should start doing it now.

Other steps you can take include offering a unique EVP and ensuring a positive candidate experience.

8. Improving candidate experience

A good candidate experience is a great way to spread the word about your hiring process. However, candidate experience at most companies falls short of expectations and is one of the common challenges of recruiting.

Ideas to overcome it:

I. Update all candidates on their application status

Do you recall the feeling of an important message being left on read and never being responded to? Not knowing the status of your candidature can feel somewhat like that and even worse. 

It is one of the topmost pet peeves of every candidate. So, make sure that you update candidates as soon as possible. This applies to each stage of the hiring process and every candidate.

 If you want to take it up a notch, offer feedback to candidates who made it to interviews and then got rejected.

II. Create anonymous surveys to get feedback

Source: Godrej

Do you often wonder if you are on the right track with your hiring process? One way to take guesswork out of the process is by asking the candidates. To make the process comfortable for all candidates, send anonymous surveys. This can give you excellent insights into what you are doing right and what can be improved.

Fresher Jobs on Internshala comes with a recommendation engine, in-built ATS, and social media sharing options. If you believe these can help you with effective hiring, give it a try by registering and posting a job.

Image credits: <a href=’’>Business photo created by yanalya –</a>

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