6 biggest recruitment challenges and how to overcome them


Finding qualified candidates for open positions has always been one of the biggest recruitment challenges. From sourcing enough quality applicants to screening to assessing and interviewing, you must be efficient at all stages. 

Recruitment challenges

You will likely encounter challenges at each stage of recruitment. However, you can overcome these challenges with strategic planning and using a few efficient technological solutions like an applicant tracking system, assessment tools and video conferencing softwares.

So, if you are facing issues with your recruitment success and cannot figure out gaps in your recruitment strategy, this article highlights what you need to know. It talks about the biggest recruitment challenges and solutions to overcome them.

1. Shortage of talent

Filling up a skilled position could be a task. You will have plenty of applications but not enough applicants with the desired skill set. Due to the shortage of talent, it has become a candidate-led market. Good candidates have multiple job offers at a time. Since they have more choices, they are hard to please. 

Talent shortage

How to overcome it

The most effective solution is to have a well-managed recruitment process. Also, prioritise certain skills over others based on your needs to have more qualified candidates. And if you find a promising candidate, respond swiftly, establish good communication and ensure enhanced candidate experience.

2. Hard to grab the ideal candidate’s attention

One of the biggest recruitment challenges is grabbing a qualified candidate’s attention. Even if you convince a candidate for an open position in your organisation, there will be 100 other recruiters ready to offer the same candidate a better deal.

How to overcome it

Through employer branding, you can develop a lasting solution to overcome the challenge. For candidates, it is immensely important that the organisation they work with has a good career growth prospect. Build a strong employer brand, so your organisation stands out when reaching out to talented candidates. With strong employer branding, you will be perceived as a good employer emotionally, instinctively and intellectually.

3. Hard to test a candidate’s skills accurately

Many recruiters have trouble testing candidates to determine if they fit into the role. A candidate who looks best during the interview may not be the best at the workplace. 

Also, biases may creep into the hiring process.

How to overcome it

Online candidate assessment can help you test candidates accurately. You can test candidates for their:

  • Soft skills 
  • Technical skills
  • Cultural fit test
  • Personality test
  • Cognitive skills test
  • Emotional intelligence test
  • Other role-specific tests

Using the PyjamaHR applicant tracking system, you can add screening questions to your job post and start assessing candidates right after they start the application process.

4. A slow and lengthy hiring process

A slow and lengthy hiring process hampers both candidate experience and engagement. If you have 10 open positions and, on average, 100 people apply for each role, you will have 1000 resumes and many emails.

How to overcome it

You can start with recruitment planning. Write a simple job description and shorten the application process. Use technology to improve candidate experience and employ talented candidates faster:

  • Use an applicant tracking system to quickly process and screen candidates for further hiring rounds.
  • Automate interview scheduling using Calendly or a more advanced digital recruitment software like the PyjamaHR ATS for speedy interview scheduling.
  • Integrate the best video conferencing tools like zoom, Microsoft teams or the PyjamaHR video interview feature improved for HR purposes.

5. Absence of a system to track and measure the recruitment success

Not having a system to track the recruitment process means you cannot quantify how much your efforts yield. You will not know whether your job posts are reaching the right candidates, which recruitment channels and job boards are performing better and what are the gaps in your recruitment strategy. 

How to overcome it

A simple solution is to make the recruitment data-driven, bring all the measurable activities in one place and keep track of how they perform. You must have a system in place that tracks:

  • How many qualified candidates apply to your job opening
  • Application completion rate
  • Candidate source quality
  • Recruitment team performance
Recruitment report

6. Low retention rate

Maintaining a high employee retention rate is another big recruitment challenge. A low retention rate could mean you could not meet your employees’ professional needs or lack communication.

A low retention rate also means a high new hire turnover. It can severely hamper your budget. You will be spending money again on hiring more candidates and training them.

How to overcome it

Apart from offering competitive salaries, give benefits like health insurance, paid time offs and professional development opportunities that keep them hooked. You may consider offering benefits like flexible timing and work-from-home options. It would mean you care for your employees.

Skilled candidates are selective about the jobs that they take. It naturally poses challenges as you try to sell the open positions. Do everything to grab the attention of qualified candidates, from strategic planning to branding to modern-day approaches like social media and technology solutions. An applicant tracking system can help you take time off from doing some of the standard processes and hence invest more time making strategies and strengthening your recruitment plans.

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