As jobs become increasingly specialized and the market remains competitive, it can be difficult for employers to find candidates to fill certain positions. Although frustrating, conducting research on current and previous postings and shifting your recruitment strategy can help you find candidates for these hard-to-fill roles.

Determine what makes the position “hard to fill”

If you receive several applications for the job, but the quality does not outweigh the quantity, you may have a difficult to fill position on your hands. Take the time to evaluate why you may not be obtaining as many applicants or why the majority of candidates do not meet your qualifications.

Consider the following reasons why the role is hard to fill:

  • Limited number of people with specific skill set
  • Compensation is low
  • Undesirable location
  • Job description is too specific
  • Weak company brand
  • Company culture does not align with potential applicant

This information can be gathered through research and by asking for feedback on job postings. For instance, conduct salary research on the position and area of job and compare it to other organization’s listings to see if your salary is competitive. Consider conducting a survey with colleagues outside of your organization to gauge if the job description is overly narrow and to see if they can accurately describe your company culture after viewing your website and social channels.

Revise your job description

If the position has been open for a while with little applications, you may want to consider the wording in your job description. Ask yourself:

  • Does the job description feel inviting to my target candidate?
  • Are benefits and perks that are applicable to this specific hire included?
  • Does it convey why they should work for us as opposed to another organization?
  • Is it effectively communicating my employer brand and corporate culture?

Citing required years of experience and other generic requirements can actually hinder access to candidates who would otherwise excel in the open position. Decide if applicants actually need the years of experience you’re requiring or if other interpersonal skills are more necessary.

Additionally, include language that highlights the benefits and any perks that are offered by working at your organization – aside from health benefits and vacation time. Highlight your corporate culture, give-back programs or other elements that make your organization special or unique. The hiring process is a two-way street, so your job posts should also be selling candidates on why they should work for you.

Think outside the box

Relying on text alone is not enough to gain traction for job postings, especially if you are experiencing hiring challenges for hard-to-fill positions. Utilizing a tool like VIZI, which transforms text-based job descriptions into visually engaging job posts, can help to grab the candidate’s eye, differentiate your organization and highlight unique benefits.

You can also take your multimedia even further by creating short vignettes or recruitment videos about the job and what it’s like to work at your company. Interview the hiring manager so potential candidates are familiar with whom they will be communicating with during the hiring process. Additionally, make sure to include other members of your staff, specifically people the new hire would have close contact with, so the applicant has a better idea of who they will be working with. The more visuals and personalization incorporated into your recruitment process will help to showcase why candidates should come work for you.

Get employees involved

According to LinkedIn, referrals remain the number one-way people find new jobs, and companies can leverage this and expand their talent pool by up to 10 times through their employees’ networks. Make all job postings shareable across social platforms so employees can promote within their networks. This increase in reach allows more qualified candidates to see the opportunity, and therefore, an increase in candidates into your pipeline.