Chris Russell

3 min read


Dealing with Today’s Recruitment Challenges

What are employers thinking when it comes to the recruitment challenges of today’s crazy job market? A lot of companies are scrambling to fill positions and so they have started to resort to desperate measures, now offering free tuition (Wal-Mart, Target etc) to big signing bonuses of $1k-$2k-$3k or more.

Eric Smith, CEO of applicant tracking system TalentCare told me this on my podcast recently. “We tell people today that you need three things with one thing underlying in order to compete. One is you have to know what’s competitive in terms of compensation that changes quickly. Sometimes it’s going up, but pretty soon when things level off and go back down. So if you don’t have a mechanism to understand what local compensation for this role, that location is, you need to get one fast. The second thing that we say is that you really need to invest in your brand in today’s markets. Retention comes with having a clear story, but having that brand laid out is critical to attracting applicants.”

Boost Your Recruiting Speed

He also said employers need to look at the underlying data. “It gives you the ability to make recruiting process much, much better, right? So people don’t always think of recruiting as a process, but data can inform how you can make that better. So, as an example, I ask people all the time, do you have a report that tells you every time a new applicant comes in, it looks like good applicant qualified. meets all the criteria. Do you have a report that tells you whether your hiring manager or recruiter reached out to that person within two hours by texting you guys, if you don’t have that report, then you can’t possibly know if you’re meeting best practice, that’s best practice in today’s market. So recruiting processes is something that people overlook.”

T-mobiles Director of Talent Acquisition Sheri Ratliff told me over Zoom that they are trying new channels. “We’re getting very creative with the marketing, with the places we are finding talent. That includes looking at new talent communities specific to underrepresented talent with just sites and marketplaces that we haven’t gone before… even apprenticeships. Those are things that we probably wouldn’t have considered or not moved as quickly on, but we are now because we know there’s talent that does want to work. We just need to find them.”

Get Creative with Recruitment Marketing

Gina Alioto from Symphony Talent points to recruitment marketing. She told me on my podcast that “we know that technology, particularly recruitment marketing platforms and CRM is a significant investment for organizations, and it’s not only the cost of the platform itself, but also all of the time and resources that it takes to implement. And then on top of that, if it’s not the right system or not implemented the right way, the costs of having to go back and change all of that plus missed opportunities, all the while are huge.”

“No matter where you are in your journey, we’re all experiencing change to some degree. And we also know that top of mind for all of your listeners right now probably is that there are over 10 million jobs open, which means there are about 1 million more jobs open than active job seekers. So for everyone it’s very challenging, more than ever to find, attract and retain talent right now. And technology is going to help you do that better. In fact, 74% of organizations, the spend for HR tech increasing, but technology can also significantly complicate already complex situations. And adoption seems to be a barrier to achieving all that the technology has to offer. Um, in fact, 82% of organizations are struggling with adoption challenges”, Alioto added.

Tough Challenges Ahead

By most estimates the labor shortage isn’t likely to abate anytime soon. In iHire’s latest talent retention report we see a peek at why;

1.) Voluntary employee turnover is up 6.5% year over year. 31.4% of employees left a job voluntarily in the past year, compared to 24.9% who said the same in iHire’s 2020 Talent Retention Report. While 6.5% is not a staggering jump, resignations are occurring at a greater rate than terminations or layoffs – 20.2% of survey participants left a job involuntarily in the past year.

2.) Workers are changing careers. 21.1% of respondents said they’ve made a major career change in the past year (i.e., they left a job to pursue a completely different industry or career path versus simply changing their place of employment). This trend is likely propelled by employees in industries most impacted by COVID-19 who are reevaluating their career goals and eyeing sectors promising greater stability. 

3.) Salary is the top motivator for leaving (and staying). 70.9% of survey participants said they would leave a job due to unsatisfactory pay, while 77.9% said a pay raise would convince them to stay with their employer if they received a better job offer. For this report’s third consecutive year, salary is the No. 1 factor in leaving or staying at a job.

Suffice to say these are challenging times to be a recruitment marketer. Employers must remain vigilant to the latest trends, speed their hiring funnels and cultivate every channel they can find for talent.

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Emissary is a candidate engagement platform built to empower recruiters with efficient, modern communication tools that work in harmony with other recruiting solutions.

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