Common Recruitment Challenges & How to Overcome Them

Woman recruiter folding her hands at a desk talking to a male candidate holding a clipboard

There are numerous recruitment challenges you and your team may run into on your quest to attract and hire top talent. Never fear — you’re not alone — 62% of recruiters say their job is more difficult today than it was a year ago, and 59% say finding qualified employees is more challenging than it was a year ago.

However, as recruitment obstacles grow and evolve, so do new solutions. Here are some tips for overcoming seven of your business’s most common recruitment challenges. Plus, insight into how a professional staffing agency partnership can decrease those challenges from your in-house employees.

Common Recruitment Challenges and Solutions

Trouble finding qualified employees

Due to the low unemployment rate, there are more open positions in the labor market than active job-seekers available to fill them. This can present various recruitment challenges for employers, such as having to work significantly harder to attract and source candidates. Other challenges include enticing candidates through higher salaries and better benefits.

There are a number of innovative employee recruitment strategies you can leverage to combat these challenges. You should begin by participating in digital recruiting. By posting your job openings in the right places, you can increase visibility and showcase your unique employer brand to attract qualified applicants who align with your business culture.

If you’re still having trouble finding qualified candidates for your open roles, it may be time to partner with a professional staffing agency or headhunter. Professional recruiters constantly work to expand their vast network of both passive and active job seekers. They can quickly connect with potential candidates on your behalf. This can get your job description in front of a qualified, ideal candidate who may not have been looking to make a career move (and therefore wouldn’t have been aware of the opening).

Poor candidate experience

Communication and transparency are key to a positive onboarding experience for a candidate. If there are lapses in communication or people feel like they’ve been lost in the process, it can lead to the loss of highly qualified individuals. Many candidates are looking into multiple job offers and openings simultaneously, so giving them an incredible experience is important.

Technology is bringing many tools to the table that can help improve the overall communication and organization of the recruiting process. Consider utilizing chatbots to keep candidates updated on the current status of their applications and help schedule and keep things moving. Provide them with a roadmap or outline of the entire process, set clear expectations on the next steps and the timelines, and then stick to it.

Ask your recruiting team to manage the first impressions and give feedback. Check your careers page on your website to ensure accuracy. Ensure that the first impression when interviewees show up in your building is what you’re looking for. Present potential hires with a positive experience to help set the tone and make them feel good about the company and the culture.

Related: Candidate Experience Best Practices and Why You Should Follow Them

High employee turnover rate

A high employee turnover rate can be detrimental to your business. It’s incredibly costly to repeat the interviewing, hiring, and onboarding processes to find a replacement for your original hire. Continuous turnover can also negatively affect your company culture by lowering morale amongst your existing staff. The good news? You can implement numerous retention strategies to help reduce your employee turnover rate.

Focus on giving your new hires an optimal onboarding experience. Offer them competitive pay, better benefits, and fun and valuable perks. Also, you should provide your current employees with advancement paths and opportunities for professional development. These incentives will help minimize the risk of a high employee turnover rate. Remember that the key to employee retention is putting the right candidate in the right role the first time around. After all, you don’t want to spend time and resources trying to retain an employee who isn’t a job and culture fit for your organization.

Internal HR/recruiting team is over capacity

Your internal HR or recruiting team has an extensive list of day-to-day responsibilities beyond finding qualified employees for your open positions. This often means they don’t have enough time or resources to dedicate to strategic hiring — especially in businesses with a small internal recruiting team. In this case, filling one position can be difficult enough. If you’re experiencing a sudden spike in job openings due to a high employee turnover rate, or project-based/seasonal capacity needs, this puts even more stress on your staff.

One of the best ways to take some of this weight off your internal team’s shoulders is by investing in the services of a professional staffing agency. You’ll have access to their large team of experienced professional recruiters without having to pay all of their salaries and benefits yourself. Plus, in times of growth, a recruiting agency will have the manpower to fill numerous roles simultaneously. Professional recruiters will handle the time-consuming recruitment tasks such as sourcing, screening, and conducting reference checks of applicants on your behalf. They’ll then present short-listed candidates to your internal team, so all they have to do is conduct the interviews required to make a final hiring decision.

Losing out on top talent due to a drawn-out interview process

Did you know those top candidates are only on the job market for an average of ten days before being hired? A complex, lengthy interview process doesn’t just frustrate your in-house employees responsible for these tasks. It can also present recruitment challenges that make it harder to acquire top talent successfully. Plus, when positions are sitting vacant for an extended period of time, your business is incurring additional costs you may not even be aware of — such as lost productivity and lowered employee morale.

There are a few ways to streamline your interview process, such as auditing your current process to identify inefficiencies and regularly updating your job descriptions. One of the best ways to hire top candidates faster is by partnering with a professional staffing agency. Thanks to their experience, expertise, and vast network of candidates, they’ll be able to help you get talent up and running more quickly through an expedited hiring process timeline. In fact, at 4 Corner Resources (4CR), our goal is to have a fully screened and qualified candidate for non-leadership roles within just 48 hours.

Related: Steps to a Highly Effective HR Recruitment Process

Hard time hiring for culture fit

Hiring for culture fit means selecting candidates whose beliefs, behaviors, and personality traits align with your organizational values and day-to-day workplace environment. Seeing as how just one bad culture fit can drastically impact your entire organization, it’s vital that you weigh an applicant’s soft skills just as heavily as you would their education, professional background, and experience. But how? Isn’t it impossible to know how a candidate will behave until they’ve been hired and started working with you daily?

You can take numerous steps to get a deeper understanding of a candidate’s behavior, demeanor, and values before investing in hiring and training them. One way is to ask culture fit questions such as, “What would you do if faced with XYZ ethical dilemma” during an interview to uncover if their answers align with your values. Another way is inviting top candidates for a conversation over coffee or lunch during their interview process so you can get to know them in a more personal, laid-back environment. You can even utilize pre-employment assessments to help evaluate candidates for hard job skills and “soft” skills like compassion and teamwork.

Differentiating the perks and benefits offered

Compensation packages are not just about the paycheck. It’s important to have a competitive benefits package with unique and meaningful perks to attract skilled candidates and improve your employee retention rates. Job offers should outline all the relevant benefits that come with the job and are included in the overall compensation. Many job searchers today are hyper-focused on work/life balance and are looking for employers that can offer that.

Your job listings should all include a brief overview of the benefits offered with employment. Review your policies and offerings annually with the HR team and be open to emerging trends in benefits. Consider paid family leave, tuition reimbursements, wellness benefits, and other cost-effective options to attract talent and make your current teams more satisfied with their current positions. If your company is offering something bigger or better than other competitors in the marketplace, it’s important to highlight it and ensure that potential hires are aware and add it to their considerations. 

Overcome Recruitment Challenges by Partnering With Our Staffing Experts

If your business regularly faces these recruitment challenges, you may be ready for professional staffing services. But, you won’t see success utilizing professional recruiters if you aren’t working with the firm that is right for your business.

At 4CR, we’ve continually ranked among the top staffing agencies in Orlando and can also serve clients and candidates across the United States. We take the time to get to know you and your business so we can effectively help you overcome your most common obstacles and fulfill your unique needs.

We hope to outline some of the most common recruitment challenges and a few solutions to each to help identify any inefficiencies in your hiring process and how a staffing firm can help you improve them.

Contact us today to uncover even more benefits of working with a professional staffing agency and what a 4CR partnership would mean for your business!

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Learn from our experts on how to streamline your hiring process.


What is the biggest challenge in recruiting?

The biggest challenge in recruiting today is finding the most qualified candidates and keeping their attention long enough to get them through the recruitment process. Things can take time, and if candidates feel like they’ve been lost in the process, they will likely move on.

Which factors have the biggest impacts on recruiting?

Communication is the biggest factor in successful recruiting. Keeping potential hires updated on the roadmap and where they are in the process. Other important factors include transparency, timing, and speed.

How do you test new recruiting strategies?

With many different recruitment challenges in today’s marketplace, changing your strategy is important if you are not finding the right candidates for your openings. Determine the measurements to test a new strategy so you can ensure that it’s working correctly.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn