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4 challenges facing recruiters in 2021 (and how to overcome them)

Recruiters face any number of challenges even when conditions are ideal. Whether it’s elusive candidates, irritable hiring managers or fruitless sourcing campaigns, it can be a very demanding role. Throw in a global pandemic and an economic crisis and suddenly the everyday annoyances seem almost mundane. These unique circumstances have led to a whole new set of challenges. 

1.) Recruiting from home

As the COVID crisis continues, there is still no concrete clarity in terms of when normality will return. Like many other sectors, recruiters have retreated to the relative safety of work-from-home. And while there is some relief in this, it still presents a number of strategic issues. Staying productive and connected is vital for anyone in recruitment. So, the technological pivot has been immense to bridge this gap. With face-to-face meetings off the table, the smart recruiters are leveraging software and tools. From video interviewing and online assessments to an intuitive ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and collaborative technologies like Microsoft Teams and Slack, the modern recruiter has to lean into these for success. There is some good news though, when used effectively, tech can reduce a recruiter’s time-to-hire by 50%.

Check out this blog post about the best tech to use when working from home.

Recruiters challenges

2.) Maintaining a positive candidate experience

A positive candidate experience is paramount. Every recruiter knows this. But how can you ensure one when everything is virtual? According to LinkedIn, nearly 46% of hiring professionals believe the outbreak has negatively affected candidate experience. Ironically, however, the best practices that worked pre-pandemic still work now! You just have to be more conscious in every stage that a candidate progresses through. Now, more than ever, potential employees value clarity and assurances. Make sure your outreach is prompt and accurate. Give them all the details they need for interviews and assessments. Have some ‘Plan Bs’ in place if there are technological glitches. And be empathetic. Times are tough and moving jobs is scary even for top talent. 

3.) Diversity, equity and inclusion

Companies are beginning to wake up to the issue of diversity and inclusion. There are waves of change but it requires buy-in from everyone. On a recent episode of The Shortlist, Alison Daley, the Founder and CEO of Recruiting Innovation, spoke about how recruiters have the ability to drive diversity through intentional recruitment practices. They can be the first port of call in reducing homogenization. But it requires foresight, work and education. Whether it’s unconscious biases creeping into screening calls, job postings that may discriminate or a lack of understanding about how to hire more diversely, every recruiter can do more. Training can be a great place to start with this. SocialTalent offers a huge catalogue of content on DEI best practices so your organization can get up to speed.

4.) Is it an employer or employee market?

We’re not normally ones to use clichés but everything is rather ‘unprecedented’ at the moment. Usually, when a recession hits, a recruiter can be a bit more strong arm in their tactics. With fewer jobs available, employers have the upperhand when it comes to negotiating powers. But there’s something very different at play now. According to HBR, both unemployment and job openings are at an increase. With some companies bouncing back quicker than anticipated, vacancies rising in positions that may be deemed risky in the given climate and a migration out from areas of high employment, it has made the waters murky. Some industries like tourism and transport have been massively hit, others like ecommerce and healthcare are booming. So how does a recruiter react to this flux? Well, HBR thinks that talent is still worth fighting for. Calibrate your approach and take COVID into account, but getting the best people on-board can make recovery that bit easier.

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