Attract, Engage & Hire Talent for Hard-to-Fill Positions

As the global economy slowly recovers, employers will remain focused on maintaining financial flexibility and doing more with less (hence why the state of the job market is in so much trouble). Applying the same mindset to their workforce, employers have gotten more specific about the combination of skill sets that they are looking for, not only seeking technical capabilities in a job match but holding out for the person that possesses the additional qualities above and beyond what will help drive their organization forward. This confusing stance is upsetting to the every-day job seeker who will need to take more responsibility for his or her skills development in order to find ways to remain relevant to the market. 

The laundry list of bulleted requirements for most jobs is becoming outrageous, and in most cases, these are not easy-to-find requirements. Perhaps God could be a match for some of these jobs, but in terms of mere human beings, I do not see it happening!

I dislike this “hard-to-fill” mindset. I know that some jobs, by their nature, are going to be a challenge, but the impossibility of finding a proper candidate is getting out of hand.Here are a few reasons why I’m so irritated:

  1. It is Alive! After a while, hard-to-fill jobs take on a life of their own. Recruitment perceives that the requirements are bizarre, and as such, a self-fulfilling prophecy begins to take hold. Very soon, no one is good enough for the job as the hiring manager breezes through resumes and rejects them all. The recruiters fail at every turn to impress the hiring manager, who actually thinks that this is a reasonable search. Sadly, it’s often a needle in the haystack dilemma that will come to no good for anyone involved.
  1. Hard to Please Hiring Managers. Hard-to-fill jobs often come from the most unreasonable hiring managers. These are the managers who “know what they want and want what they want” with little regard to the available population. From those individuals, who are seldom pleased with recruiting in the first place, there seems to develop an almost stubborn pleasure in finding reasons for not interviewing candidates. Often, they will have a superficial conversation with a candidate by phone— if you pressure them. Then, when you try to contact them, they will not get back to you, and when you do eventually track them down, they will tell you they did not like the candidate. Reasons why? ‘It’s in some notes I have. I’ll get back to you.’ They seldom do.
  1. Circus Time. Hiring managers reach out to several sources. The hiring managers now turn on all recruiters with a fury, saying that they just do not like any of the people you are showing them. Now that recruiting is demoralized, the fun and games really begin as the several recruiters embark on pumping in resumes. Naturally, because this is a hard-to-fill job, reaction time is often slow because the expectations to fill the job are not very high in the first place. Endless time is taken as the “critical job” sits empty. Honestly, how critical can it be if no one is doing it for six or eight months? This amps up the manager’s expectations to even greater levels because if they are going to extend finding this person to several recruiters, the person better be a water-walker.
  1. In most cases, the job title is so common that it puts the recruiter and the company at a disadvantage of finding the right person for the role.
  1. The job description is problematic. It’s usually packed with a laundry list of things a hiring manager wants, and it’s typically vague and never really captures the true detail needed to isolate the right candidate for the role. This creates confusion for both the candidate and the recruiter, which is why it takes longer to fill the role. 

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there are no hard-to-fill positions but just hard-to-please hiring managers and/or corporate cultures of dysfunction. Most positions that are open for endless amounts of time are that way for a reason. Setting true expectations is key. Most hiring managers in today’s market want the diamond candidate for cubic zirconia salary. Hard-to-fill jobs are a problem begging for a solution. Empower recruiters to hire great employees, because if you don’t, they fail and end up chasing after illusions and sad possibilities.