21st November 2022

10 Biggest Challenges of Recruitment for 2023 with Solutions


What are the challenges in recruitment?

In general, the eternal objective for recruiters is attracting talent to fill the funnel and filtering until you fit the best candidates to the right roles. Sounds simple, summarised like that, right?

However, even if the central objective remains consistent, the context is like shifting sand, because the operating environment is continually being reshaped. Economics, legislation and compliance are perhaps the primary agents of change that throw up recruitment challenges. 

But more than this, like so many other sectors, recent times have seen the recruitment market rocked by macro-scale global events including the Covid pandemic and the energy price volatility that has precipitated soaring inflation and created a cost of living crisis. 

Essentially, the problems of Covid and inflation that recruiters face in 2023 are not the same as they were in 2022. Events move fast, situations continually evolve and even if the questions are the same, the answers to last year’s recruitment challenges may often be different. Here we look at the solutions to the 10 biggest recruitment challenges for 2023.

1. Picking the best tools for tackling the recruitment process elements 

The individual steps that make up the recruitment process include advertising jobs, managing applications, sifting CVs, assessments, and interviewing. There might also be a considerable back office operation too, including timesheets, especially when your agency supplies contract and freelance staff. 

For each of these, there is a RecTech solution. Some solutions integrate many of these processes, simplifying the buying decision and perhaps even reducing costs. You might find there are compromises, or you may have to alter the way you do things to match the software. To help you make the right choices to solve this recruitment challenge, identify what your specific problems are, such as where you waste the most time and make fixing it a priority.

2. Keeping candidates engaged during the application process

It may be a bit of a reflection on the seemingly transient nature of the world in general, but many recruiters who have encountered promising candidates find that job seekers quickly lose interest because they have been attracted elsewhere, wooed away by other recruiters or opportunities.

The best way to overcome this recruitment challenge is to make sure that recruiters develop strong relationships with such candidates. As part of the relationship encourage the candidates to be open with you and to communicate any misgivings about roles and whether they are considering any others.

Recruitment truly is a people business and relationship building is a good old solid search and selection skill that it’s easy to let slip when the recruitment process is awash with technology.

3. Staying in touch with successful and unsuccessful candidates

There is an overriding need to manage candidate communication and information. Having attracted a candidate, even when they are not successful in an application, you’ll always want to maintain their interest for when further suitable opportunities arise. Keep in touch with regular updates that are friendly and personalised.

Often, candidates may have applied for more than one job and may lose interest should you go quiet on them. For those that have not been successful, messaging them with new opportunities is a great way to capitalise on having attracted them and helps to fill the funnel for recruiting future roles. 

4. Reducing time to hire

Another evergreen problem is reducing time to hire. Agency client’s frequently have pressing and urgent needs. Moreover, candidates would like the process to be over in 14 days. It’s usually impossible to avoid the need for successful candidates to work out notice periods for previous employers, so to get new workers onboard as soon as possible, the best solution to this recruitment challenge is to try to shorten the search and selection process.

Efficiency is the key. From sifting CVs using keyword searches and parsing using machine learning algorithms, to video interviews, and automating process steps, a good RecTech stack that is integrated is invaluable for optimising the hiring process steps and accelerating the time to offer.

5. Standing out in the noise of the marketplace

Advertising a role is the first step of the recruitment process and it’s important to get off to a good start. An ad is the gateway to providing a great candidate experience. The primary solution for overcoming this recruitment challenge of standing out in a noisy marketplace, where there are lots of other opportunities screaming out “APPLY FOR ME”, is to focus on making sure your brand captures their attention. 

Brand isn’t just your name and logo. It’s also all the subliminal elements. Tone of Voice and wording or ads, the culture of the employer and your recruitment agency that is conveyed. Even the platform(s) where you choose to advertise jobs all say a little bit and contribute to the overriding impression.

6. Understanding the RecTech market

The Recruitment technology market is burgeoning. As with any market where there is too much choice, it can leave buyers a little bewildered by their options. With a myriad of technologies to choose from, there may be some confusion.

This might be about what a RecTech cloud software product actually does, but also why you need it. Part of the solution to the recruitment challenge here, is to identify the problems that you want to solve and ask the software service providers how their platforms address them. 

If you feel your agency needs help to overcome this recruitment challenge, then a good RecTech partner should be able to advise and provide integration services to get the different platforms in your RecTech stack talking to each other properly. This is not conventional IT support, it’s a specialised service from a company that understands the RecTech market.

7. Talent shortages, diversity and hidden talent pools

Through 2023 with a recession looming, the market is going to be more unpredictable than ever. Established challenges such as the skills shortage may unwind slightly, especially in industries like tech where there was massive growth during the pandemic amidst strong demand for work from home technologies. Big tech is certainly letting people go, releasing skills back to the market. 

However, this is not the answer to talent shortages. Recruiting from overseas markets is an option, but immigration considerations create drag. One good tactic for overcoming this recruitment challenge is to tap into hidden talent pools. Being more inclusive in job ad wording helps to attract candidates from ethnic backgrounds and with disabilities, supporting the need for diversity.

8. Maximising applications from as many candidates as possible

Using inclusive language to attract those from ethnic backgrounds and disabilities is one way to help fill the funnel, but that is just part of the bigger need to optimise the job description and person specs. Optimise in this context means to be concise and only specify the requirements that are absolutely essential. 

Consequently, the solution to this recruitment challenge is to keep lists for required skills, experience, qualifications, and certifications to an absolute minimum and don’t load ads with dozens of ‘nice-to-haves’. Quite simply, loading a job ad with a seemingly impossible set of requirements and expectations deters candidates that might have potential. Essentially, it’s time to stop looking for perfect candidates and start thinking about which ones are capable.

9. Making better use of data 

With so much cloud technology now being deployed by recruitment businesses, there is an enormous amount of data being generated. With multiple recruitment challenges stacking up, the answers to some of them might be right in front of you but hidden because they reside in discrete data sets from different software platforms.

A specialist RecTech analytics and reporting tool can help overcome the recruitment challenge here. Using advanced techniques ‘Big Data’ allows data from different apps to be brought together. Data lake and data warehousing enables all of your agency data from across your agency RecTech stack to be brought together and analysed to look for hidden trends or spikes that provide business intelligence and back up decisions with empirical data.

10. Dealing with gig economy pressures

As part of the gig economy, temp and contract recruiting have proved to be a valuable tool for helping companies to adapt in a market where demand is prone to wild and sudden fluctuations. Seasonal spikes are one thing, but lockdowns are an entirely different proposition, because they are impossible to second guess.

The wider gig economy where individuals are directly engaged as casual workers by employers may reduce costs by side-lining staffing agencies. However, for many employers, reducing costs produces increases elsewhere, such as for internal recruitment and HR functions.

The solution to this recruitment challenge is to stay close to your clients and work with them to understand their thinking and identify ways of making the relationship stronger and more mutually beneficial.

General advice on how to overcome recruitment challenges 

 There are some common threads to solving the specific challenges recruiters face listed above.

Never forget that recruitment is first and foremost a people business

Technology may have changed how the game is played, but it hasn’t changed how people need to engage with the process.

Invest in the right software to build your agency’s RecTech stack

The choice of technology and then developing the skills to use it is an essential source of competitive advantage.

Perceptions about your agency brand matter

Every touchpoint with candidates from job ads to successful hires and beyond says something about your agency. Avoid negative impressions by making sure your communications build your reputation and win trust.

ETZ’s leading timesheet and invoicing solution, streamlines the back office processing of your recruitment agency. Our complementary solutions, ETZ Comply for onboarding and document management and Caspian for business intelligence give agencies further capability to streamline and uncover opportunities. To find out more call us on +61 (0) 405 458 821 or book a demo.

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