In this week’s blog post, we tackle recruiting for hard-to-fill positions in both Australia and The Philippines.

What defines a role that is “hard to fill”?

Let’s look at this in the simple terms of supply and demand.

In Australia, the more technical the position is to fill, the more scarce are candidates with the competent skills and experience. Or it may also be because it is a newly created job.

In the Philippines, a hard-to-fill job may come about because of the lack of qualified job applicants as many prefer to work abroad, seeking higher pay or have problems with work schedule or location.

Difficulties may stem from a variety of different reasons but for whichever the reason, it seems a new approach to recruitment is needed. Assuming that you have used all of the well-proven traditional sourcing methods open to you, if the process has been taking too long, what can you do about it?

“Review and adjust your mindset as an evaluator”

Patience and acceptance should be in your mindset when dealing with hard-to-fill positions. You need patience for the time it will take for the challenge. And you need to accept it as a challenge, and not compromise your standards – but perhaps rather on your own limiting beliefs on the recruitment process.

Look at the job and candidate specifications. Ask yourself, is the selection criteria reasonable and realistic? Is the recruiter and the hiring manager aligned in purpose and selection criteria? There have been too many times where a job was found “hard to fill” because of unrealistic expectations. Make sure you are not setting criteria that only a superhero could meet. Check that all of the aptitudes and competencies being sought are really necessary for the job.

You may also need to review your stand on remuneration with the package and its relation to benefitting the company if the role is filled sooner rather later.

“Keep it simple and get through the process and quickly as possible (without cutting corners)”

Sometimes these hard to fill roles are due to an over-engineered, over-complicated recruitment process, when it doesn’t need to be. Once you have identified a potential solution, you need to act quickly and act on bringing the process to a conclusion.

Look at the selection process itself. It may be possible that the process is so stretched out that candidates are losing interest. Candidates that are already in good positions will not put up with an over-elaborate selection process and it may well be these people that you are after.

Is the company engaging with candidates or treating recruitment as a process. Is the company inspiring and holding their attention? Companies not only should identify a person, but also make an effort to appeal to that person.

These are just a few schools of thought on the problem with hard-to-fill positions. Have you encountered a hard-to-fill position in your firm? What did you do to fill it in a timely and professional manner?

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