How to find the Right Candidate: Ten Tips for Filling that Hard to Fill Position

- Entrepreneurial Skills

by Jock Purtle

New roles are appearing in businesses across the globe that require different and hard to find talent as well as specialised and technically educated applicants. To make matters worse, a large number of these new roles didn’t even exist ten years ago, so experienced and mature applicants are difficult to find or don’t exist yet either. To find ways to fill these positions, here are few steps you can take to make the process more streamlined. 

Determine why it’s hard to fill

A major first step to filling the role is to determine why it’s hard to fill.

Some main reasons why HR departments find roles hard to fill is simply because they’re not ‘selling’ the role correctly. Focusing purely on the role’s responsibilities isn’t enough if the applicants are expected to be millennials or candidates looking for growth. Enthusiasm about the company and its vision are just as important.

Have a clear company vision

bad-recruitment

People don’t just want a job, they want to be a part of business going somewhere. This is where your mission statement and values come in. Everyone who visits your office or your website should have it really clear what you are trying to achieve. Think big picture. And thing values. Use easy-to-understand, honest value words to create a mission statement — or statements if you want to make one for hiring, one for customers and so forth — and then display it proudly everywhere

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Read more about value exercises to build vision in your company

Provide assistance for the role

One of the major reasons a role can be difficult to fill is that the candidates — or those who would have applied — know what the role consists of and understand that there are a lot of difficult tasks involved. This presents a major issue if you need to fill the position quickly.

Combatting this is fairly simple with regards to the steps that need to be taken. Potential candidates need to know and understand that they will be assisted and will be provided with helpful teams and staff to make the tasks easier and less demanding. Promises of on-the-job training make people feel like they are joining a team, not just a job.

Hard to fill job

Targeted Advertising

Advertising that is directly targeted toward the most fitting candidates is also a great way to get applicants for the position who aren’t just qualified but are also up to the challenge. When advertising to millennials is concerned there must be a point made about the future outcomes of the role and the opportunities that will arise prior to an applicant succeeding in the role.

Glassdoor revealed that more than 60 percent of millennials are most attracted to the outcomes and growth opportunities beyond the role, so highlighting that in advertising and job listings is essential.

Where you advertise the role can also make a difference and you should try to diversify where you advertise the role. Job ads on your own site will attract those with a specific interest in your company, but job boards, like Gumtree will attract a much wider audience.

Employee Referrals

If you’re exclusively looking for the highest quality candidates and want to spend minimal time on training and searching for candidates, then asking your current employees to refer their friends is a great idea. You can even incentivize these referrals for more eager recommendations. 

Your current employees are most likely to be friends, have out-of-work relationships, went to school with, or worked before with people who have a similar skill set and work ethic to their own, making them prime candidates right out of the gate. Statistics also show that employees hired from a referral are far more likely to remain with the company for a long period of time, keeping your employee turnover low.

Be less exclusive

Sometimes looking for the best employee leads HR and other staffing personnel to be exceptionally exclusive and generally ‘picky’ about who they interview and consider. This can be counterproductive as the candidate may be able to easily take on the workload without an issue. Waiting for the absolutely perfect employee make take a great deal longer than expected, so exclusivity is detrimental to filling a difficult role.

Competitive Salaries

When advertising and hiring for a role you must make sure that your salary package offered is in line with the competition. This is an area where you can’t afford to go in blind. Check the market and research what other companies are doing and offering their employees for a similar role with similar requirements.

You can also use this to your advantage to create a more attractive role than your competitors and ‘poach’ other employees.

Bad recruitment process

Ask the right questions

You can only learn so much about a candidate from her resume or C.V. And a right fit doesn’t just come down to past experience. Company culture fit is just as important. As is finding out if she can respond to certain challenging situations. Throughout the whole process, you need to be asking the right open-ended questions to get just the right insights into who may be your next colleague!

Also Read: 25 STAR Behavioral Interview Questions you should be asking

Online communities

Online forums and digital workplaces are a great way to scout for candidates to fill your harder-to-fill positions. Some of these websites have job boards that are routinely accessed and monitored by highly skilled workers and specialised individuals who may be able to seamlessly fill a difficult role. 

Internship or Trainee program development

This option is great for businesses who want to tailor their employees learning right out of school to be suited to the company. Businesses who train their employees right out of the gate for their workflows often have less continuity and efficiency issues as the intern has only learned how to do those particular tasks in the style of your business.

Intern and trainee programs are also less costly than a full salary of an experienced employee, saving businesses money.

Bonus: Don’t forget you’re being interviewed, too!

Just because you already have a job there doesn’t mean you aren’t in the hot seat, too. Particularly for hard-to-fill positions, stellar candidates won’t be interviewing for just one role. It’s important you as the interviewee are knowledgeable about the role and passionate about your business and vision.

What’s the best recruitment process you’ve been in? What made it special? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Have a look into our Management 3.0 Plus module to learn more about how to hire great people

Photo: Marten Newhall (Unsplash)

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