How to Overcome Recruiting Challenges in Today’s Economy


With the changing economy, companies are hoping to expand. However, the skilled talent they need to grow is getting harder to find. The positions many industries are facing surprisingly high challenges on are:

  • CFOs: 65 percent

  • Lawyers: 62 percent

  • CIOs: 61 percent

  • Advertising and marketing executives: 53 percent

Forecasts predict even lower unemployment rates and higher job creation as 2021 progresses — or to put it another way, there’ll be fewer candidates for more jobs. If your business is looking to hire, you need to recognize that it’s a candidate-driven market. You’ll have to work double time to staff vacancies and new positions, especially if the positions require vaccinations. Here are some challenges you may face:

Recruiting challenge #1: Hiring on the rise

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.2 percent in August 2021. The number of unemployed people edged down to 8.4 million, following a large decrease in July 2021. Both measures are down considerably from their highs at the end of the February-April 2020 recession. Job creation for August was a huge disappointment, with the economy adding just 235,000 positions, the Labor Department reported Friday. With a shrinking pool of talent to draw from, employers can expect an ever more competitive hiring market.

Recruiting challenge #2: Stiff competition for talent

With plenty of opportunities and fewer applicants, the best candidates often get multiple job offers. To convince these people to join your firm, you need to showcase what you offer that your competitors don’t. Top priorities for candidates include attractive pay, work-life balance options and a satisfying job experience.

Recruiting challenge #3: High employee turnover

Many reports state that 46 percent of employees would consider leaving their companies for a better job, even when they’re not actively on the job hunt. No doubt some of these folks are your own workers. Especially at a time when recruitment is so tough — not only time-consuming but also costly — you should make every effort to limit your vacancies.

Recruiting challenge #4: Lack of skilled candidates

If you don’t think there are many skilled candidates in the pool now, just wait: Chances are, it will only get worse. Recruitment is particularly challenging for employers in fast-growing sectors, such as healthcare. Between 2016 and 2026, the BLS anticipates support roles in the healthcare industry will increase by 23.2 percent. Job growth is also expected to exceed the national average for financial analysts, accountants, auditors and IT professionals, among other specialties.


How to get the upper hand


Recruiting challenges are intensifying, but it’s not impossible to overcome them. Here are several tips to improve your chances of securing top talent:


Recognize compensation is not the place to skimp. It goes without saying that offering a good salary and benefits package puts you at an advantage, but this is especially true today. Also, consider non-monetary incentives: Commute time is a top concern among many candidates, so offering work-life balance options — think flexible hours and telecommuting opportunities — can help attract applicants. The future is remote working.


Put your best foot forward. Know your strengths and make sure your company culture is central to your hiring strategy. A company that combines enticing perks, a commitment to social responsibility and a track record of innovation is often appealing to good candidates. Survey have found that 87 percent of employees believe it’s important to consider a company’s reputation for innovation when evaluating a potential employer.


Don’t try to do it all alone. Hiring the right person is pivotal today, when skilled professionals are scarce and companies can’t afford the cost and disruption a “do-over” requires. Working with a staffing agency like Network ESC can solve many of the recruitment challenges you may face in 2021 or 2022, including finding a good fit the first time around. A reputable staffing firm — especially one specializing in the field where you’re looking for candidates — can help significantly because of its wider access to job seekers, including those not actively looking.


Stop looking for the ‘perfect’ candidate. Given the small pool of available talent, it could be that no applicant will possess all the soft and technical skills you need, as well as the exact experience you desire. Instead, you may want to consider hiring individuals who show potential and the ability to learn quickly, then create professional development and learning opportunities to gradually bring them up to speed.


Work on retention. Keep your employees satisfied in their jobs by creating a positive, supportive work environment:

  • Offer more vacation

  • Focus on employee appreciation

  • Promote professional development

  • Start a mentorship program if you don’t already have one

  • Give staff your personal involvement in achieving their career targets

The recruitment space is ever-changing and Network ESC is here to help make it easier!

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