Recruitment challenges: What do they mean for you?

Recruitment challenges: What do they mean for you?

The world of recruitment has experienced significant growth and development in recent years, as highlighted in our previous blog on the future of recruitment. But such rapid advancement inevitably brings with it a set of challenges which organisations must navigate in order to maintain a robust talent acquisition function.

Our research, conducted in partnership with Changeboard, reveals that just 31% of survey respondents believe they have the right skills in their recruitment function to respond to future challenges. So what are these challenges, and how can you better equip yourself and your staff to meet them?

Matching skills to profiles

Finding the right skills for specific job profiles is the single most challenging part of the recruitment process, according to 29% of our survey respondents. This struggle is reflected in national statistics, including one from the NFIB Research Foundation which shows that 80% of small businesses hiring to fill roles find few or no qualified applicants for open positions. The perceived skills gap is particularly prevalent in UK's cities - the UKCES Employer Skills survey in 2016 revealed that nearly one in three city vacancies are classified as hard to fill, with one in five classed as skills shortage vacancies.

Such a skills gap has long been cited by those working within a recruitment function, yet there are solutions that can help to identify the right talent for roles. Start by reevaluating your hiring criteria, eliminating requirements that aren't absolutely essential. Then look at your application process - 60% of job seekers quit in the middle of an online application process due to how long or complex it is, which makes it imperative that your candidate experience is as user-friendly as possible.

Another option to help fill a skills gap is by looking within your own organisation. A LinkedIn Talent Trends study in 2016 found that 25% of professionals have their eye on a promotion, and 24% say that being overlooked for a promotion will lead them to be open to jobs elsewhere. Your organisation is filled with skilled workers who are already knowledgable about your business and industry, and by promoting them you retain this knowledge and experience.

It’s also wise to ensure your resourcing team knows how to utilise the latest attraction methods in order to connect with top talent. Our survey shows that 20% of respondents feel they use job boards ineffectively, with just 17% using them effectively. Meanwhile, just 19% of respondents believe they use social media in an effective way when looking for talent, suggesting there’s a key opportunity for further training and development in these areas.

Organisations that encounter difficult-to-source vacancies, or struggle to react to peaks and troughs in resourcing requirements, may benefit from additional support. A service such as Project Resourcing could help to navigate spikes in activity.

Strong competition for talent

For 17% of our survey respondents, high competition for available talent is the biggest challenge when recruiting. This, combined with the above lack of skills for vacant roles, can lead to an extremely competitive market. The challenge will likely get tougher before it get better, as 72% of

HR professionals believe that competition for well-qualified talent will increase in the wake of Brexit, according to new research from CIPD.

To mitigate this, organisations need to focus their attention on building a strong talent attraction function, measuring and evaluating processes to ensure the business has the right insight and tools to attract and retain the right people. Consider new ways to target the top talent, making use of new technologies and social media platforms, and ask for feedback when candidates drop out of your recruitment process to help you identify the areas you need to sharpen up on.

Another area to focus on is your employer branding and marketing. According to LinkedIn, three quarters of jobseekers consider an employer's brand before applying for a role, with an organisation’s websites and social media used to find out more information on what it might be like to work there. If you want to attract the top talent, you need to put yourself forward in the best possible light. Update your careers website and social media pages with information on what you offer and real-life stories from people within your company.


Our research shows that digitisation is the number one disruptor expected in recruitment over the coming three years, with automation and AI ranking third and fourth in terms of changes expected to disrupt the industry. Technology's impact on the modern working world has been unprecedented, and new moves into big data, cloud technologies and artificial intelligence are ushering in a whole new world for talent acquisition. With AI and automation raising questions over the potential to replace humans with automated systems, time will tell how much technology's changing role will impact recruitment.

Non-technology based disruptors include a changing workforce dynamic, with an age-diverse workforce set to shake up organisations and create new challenges when it comes to having multiple generations working together in harmony. In fact, our survey respondents believe this factor will be the second-biggest disruptor in the next three years.

The gig economy, as seen in the 15% of the British workforce who define themselves as contract or freelance workers, is another hurdle for recruitment professionals to navigate, according to our survey. Both challenges of age diversity and the gig economy can be addressed by a robust yet flexible recruitment function, which evaluates the needs of workers and adjusts their attraction strategies accordingly. For example, by promoting your agile work policy or your flexibility with part time work, you may attract more talent from the gig economy pool.

Get help from the experts

Recruitment professionals have a series of challenges to adjust to in the coming years, but strong, strategic teams should be able to navigate them successfully. For additional support in meeting these challenges, contact the team at Kelly Project Resourcing to see how we can work together.

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