The 7 Biggest Challenges in Hiring Employees (And How to Tackle Them)

Looking at the current digital recruitment landscape, there are some clear challenges in hiring employees and attracting top talent.

Thankfully, at AdBuilder, we’re well equipped to help.

With our support, you can face and defeat these challenges. ⚔️🐉

In this blog, I’ll introduce you to the latest recruitment trends gaining traction in 2021 and show you how to deal with the 7 biggest hiring challenges currently facing employers.


What Are the Challenges of Recruitment Today?

In the saturated recruitment market, it can be tough to figure out which way to turn next.

Should your company be investing in candidate relationship management (CRM) software?

Or putting that budget into diversity training?

Or focusing on internal hiring?

The internet will offer you around a billion different answers, and you’ll start to feel like a dog chasing its tail. 🐕

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The truth is that a lot of it comes down to your specific organisation.

I can’t tell you exactly what you need to do.

Instead, this blog will seek to equip you with challenges and solutions.

You’ll then be able to figure out which of them will work best for your company.

Let’s start with what’s happening in the hiring industry in 2021.

7 Challenges in Hiring Employees

So, what are the seven biggest challenges in hiring?

And how can you overcome them and improve your recruitment practices? 🧐

By reading on, of course…

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Challenge 1: Drawing the Interest of Qualified Candidates 👀

The Challenge

It’s an undeniably busy job market out there, and jobseekers have the upper hand.

For example, more than 50% of jobseekers apply to five or fewer jobs before finding a new role.

Finding qualified candidates and securing their applications is commonly cited as an issue for employers.

Here are the main reasons that roles are left unfilled, according to research conducted by Express Employment Professionals:

  • 43% of respondents said applicants lacked the hard skills required
  • 38% of respondents said applicants lacked the relevant experience required
  • 29% of respondents said applicants lacked the soft skills needed to succeed in the role
  • 29% of respondents said applicants were unwilling to work the hours needed
  • 28% of respondents said there simply weren’t enough applicants

The Solution

There are many ways to better advertise your jobs and get them in front of the talent.

If you can’t find the candidates you’re looking for, it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board and take a closer look at your recruitment advertising methods. 🔬

Consider the following options as a jumping-off point if you’re facing this challenge:

  • Build a talent pipeline rather than starting from scratch every time you need to fill a new role
  • Diversify your advertising channels and catch a wider field of jobseekers/potential applicants
  • Raise the standard of your job adverts with the help of tools like AdBuilder and AdGrader
  • Include searchable keywords in your ads and raise their rankings on job boards and search engines

Challenge 2: Creating an Efficient, Time-Saving Recruitment Process

The Challenge

57% of applicants lose interest in the job they’ve applied for if the hiring process takes too long.

It makes sense, right?

Allow me to put it into context using food!

If you love a certain cake from a particular bakery, but the wait times to get your hands on the cake are always ridiculously long, you might be easily tempted away by a faster bakery. 🍰

Jobseekers don’t have time to waste.

So, if you’re the slowest employer they’ve applied to, you run the risk of them accepting another job before you’ve even managed to get back to them.

The Solution

The solution to this challenge lies in making your hiring process as efficient and time-saving as it possibly can be, whether that’s by reducing the time you spend writing job adverts or investing in automation tools.

The best ways to speed things up are:

– Creating a cracking job advert template that you can return to each time

– Turning to an automated job advert builder (like us!)

– Automating the application screening process (or putting more people on the case)

– Encouraging employee referrals (as internal hiring tends to be speedier)

Challenge 3: Figuring Out How to Recruit Diverse Employees 🌈

The Challenge

As we’ve already discussed, diversity policy is a massive factor in how employers are perceived and workplaces perform.

Inclusive companies, for example, enjoy a rate of cash flow that is 2.3 times higher per employee.

In fact, according to LinkedIn research, diverse hiring practices are the most important trend shaping the future of the recruitment industry.

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You want to be building a diverse pool of talent and considering every minority group as you do so.

After all, the challenges of hiring disabled workers will be very different from the challenges of hiring international employees. 💛

The Solution

If you’re struggling to figure out how to hire international employees, disabled workers and other groups that might be under-represented in your company, here’s what you need to do:

  • Limit bias and exclusionary language in your job advert using AdGrader, and ensure it covers all the important information (like salary) with AdBuilder.
  • Advertise your job opening in the places that diverse candidates are seeking, like diversity job boards. (For disabled workers, Evenbreak is a great example.)
  • Limit bias during hiring and onboarding with employee training and automation tools.
  • Implement a diversity policy that extends into the workplace and well beyond the hiring process, making existing employees feel safe and valued at work.
  • Watch your brand reputation increase and your candidate pool become more diverse as your existing employees recommend you.

Challenge 4: Advertising Jobs on a Limited Budget 📣

The Challenge

When you’re free to splash the cash, it’s a little easier to get your job adverts seen. 💦💸

Promoting your listings ahead of others might be expensive, but it’s an undeniable and sure-fire way to get seen.

If you haven’t got the budget to make that happen, what do you do?

How can you reduce the cost of job advertising while still getting the most out of the investments you can make?

The Solution

It’s all about listing in the correct places.

Discussing the third challenge, we mentioned diverse and niche job boards, and the role that they place in attracting a specific kind of candidate.

But this isn’t all they can do.

If you’re looking to stand out, heading to small and more specialised job sites like WorkInStartups or Investing in Women is a solid move.

Beyond niche boards, you can advertise your jobs best without a big budget by making them truly stand out.

Investing time and effort into crafting a genuinely good job advert.

This is something we at AdBuilder are ready and waiting to help you with.

Challenge 5: Building a Strong Employer Brand 🏗

The Challenge

“One of the biggest challenges in the recruitment process is persuading candidates that your organisation is a great place to work. The best talent have plenty of opportunities; differentiating your organisation as a preferred employer is critical.” – ITA Group

69% of jobseekers would reject an offer from a company with a poor employer brand.

That seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Nobody wants to work for a company with a bad reputation.

But listen up: A negative reputation isn’t the only thing that could damage your prospects with qualified candidates.

A lack of reputation and active branding could do the same.

Modern-day jobseekers want to care about the place in which they work.

They want to be invested and in tune with their employer, and at one in terms of ethos and values.

If you’re not out there online, building up your brand and representing your company values, you could be missing tons of top talent, including passive jobseekers that might be perfect for your company but never know you exist. 😱

The Solution

The best way to build up your company brand into something that followers are engaging with and people are paying attention to is with a strong social media marketing strategy.

With good social media marketing on your side, you can:

– Gain a stronger understanding of your customers, your clients and your candidates

– Meet jobseekers where they are

– Target new people, build relationships with them and widen your talent pool

– Increase your reach, brand authority and brand recognisability (including to potential applicants)

– Keep up with your competitors

– Advertise your brand and your job openings in a cost-effective manner

– Increase click-through traffic to your website (where further content marketing strategy will hopefully hold visitor interest)

Start on sites like LinkedIn and Instagram and keep building.

Put out regular content with value, and become a trusted, industry-leading brand.

When you do, you’ll find that recruitment runs a lot more smoothly.

Challenge 6: Creating a Strong Candidate Experience 💪

The Challenge

From advertising to onboarding, you should be working hard to create a strong, consistent and communicative candidate experience.

An experience that will drive people to apply and, if unsuccessful, apply again for a take two. 🎬

Candidate experience matters greatly, with 50% of respondents expressing that they had declined a job offer due to poor candidate experience.

With impressive CRM software available to your competitors and more job opportunities than ever to choose between, investing in candidate experience is a must in today’s recruitment market.

The Solution

There are three different stages to consider in terms of making sure that everything runs smoothly from the candidate’s perspective:

1. Advertising

When you’re creating and sharing a job advert, make sure that you’re focused on what the candidate wants to know rather than what you want to tell.

There’s a difference, and it’s distinct.

Candidates care about salaries, benefits packages and concrete information about the role.

Employers sometimes fall into the trap of caring too much about their own company and overloading on this kind of info, to the detriment of the whole ad.

2. Interviewing and onboarding

91% of new hires agree that the interview process influences their overall opinion of a company, with 40% saying it has a strong influence.

Make interviewing with your company pleasant and informative for the candidate.

Yes, they’re there to sell their abilities to you.

But you’re there to sell your company to them, too.

Also, make sure you regularly update candidates on the process and timeframes.

81% of jobseekers agree that more regular updates from employers would improve the candidate experience.

3. Retention

This stage leads up nicely onto challenge seven – the final of the biggest challenges in hiring employees…

Challenge 7: Sustaining High Employee Retention Rates (To Save on Hiring Costs) 📈

The Challenge

Though arguably not directly a hiring challenge, employee retention rates have a huge impact on recruitment.

Employee retention is a strong measure of company success, as workforces with higher rates work more effectively and efficiently together.

It also minimises workplace disruptions and dynamic shifts.

Beyond this, a good retention rate is a money saver.

When your employees are leaving less often, you don’t have to invest as much into hiring and recruitment.

The question is, how do you go about improving your company’s retention rate? 🤨

The Solution

Lowering employee turnover is, at its core, all about making the workplace a nice place to be.

You can do this in many different ways, including the following:

– Put energy into hiring the candidate who is truly a good fit for/passionate about the company

– Invest in development and make internal progression possible for every one of your employees

– Offer regular incentives like promotions and pay increases

– Respect and emphasise the importance of work/life balance and protecting employee mental health

– Offering flexible working arrangements wherever possible

– Listen to the wants and needs of your employees, and dynamically respond to them

– Create a friendly working culture where feedback is welcome, and praise is freely provided

Improve Your Recruitment Process, Save Money Down the Line

The recipe for hiring success is simpler than you think. 🧑‍🍳🍳

Season 5 Cooking GIF by Living Single

Invest in the right places, get a return on that investment, save time and money, repeat.

One investment that’s guaranteed to improve your application rates and make sure you’re giving candidates all the information they need?


Stay on our blog to discover even more ways of overcoming the biggest challenges in hiring employees:

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James Ball
Written by James Ball

James is the founder and owner of AdBuilder and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes and advertising.

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