Company Culture

Difficult times in hiring and how you can prepare for it

This blog will help you understand the indicators to get a good grip on the forces that are changing the corporate recruiting.

Table of Contents

LinkedIn recently published their annual Talent Trends survey of 2016 presenting the demographic of the global talent pool. They surveyed over 19,000 contractors and full-time workers from around the world about how they change jobs and the best ways to attract and place them. Image above is part of the report showing geographical distribution of skilled workers.


To hiring managers, above picture might look like a screenshot straight from the movie ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, but the real picture isn’t that pretty. ManpowerGroup, a leading workforce solutions company, conducted their annual Talent Shortage Survey of 2015 and found some illuminating pieces of information. After surveying 41,700 hiring managers in 42 countries they identified the proportion of employers having difficulty filling positions, which jobs are difficult to fill, and why. They also discussed the impact of talent shortages on the organization and steps to remedy them. 


Here is what they discovered-

  • Globally, 38% of employers are struggling to fill jobs in 2015. More unnerving are the Indian stats: 58% of recruiters report difficulty in filling jobs.
  • Skilled trade workers, sales representative, and engineers are the top jobs employers are having difficulty filling.
  • Reasons listed by employers for having problem recruiting are widely ranged. Lack of available applicants (35%), lack of technical competencies (34%), and lack of experience (22%) are the highest-ranking reasons cited by recruiters as the major issues they find in candidates.
  • 54% of hiring managers feel that talent shortage is having medium to high impact on their ability to meet client needs.
  • Talent shortage is also affecting other key spheres of organizations and is resulting in reduced productivity (42%), increased employee turnover (30%), lower employee morale (26%), and reduced innovation and creativity (25%).


These stats reveal a reality in which the skills of the growing workforce have taken a regressive turn. No matter the root cause, talent shortage is here and with intent of staying.


Adding to the woes of diminishing skilled talent is the banal treatment of human resources like an afterthought by corporations in their business strategies. To quote iCIMS CEO, Colin Day, “In recent years, companies have invested heavily in technology, like customer relationship management (CRM) software, to create meaningful customer connections while streamlining business processes. While billions are spent on CRM software to foster authentic, value-based connections with customers, when it comes to talent and hiring, many organizations continue to use outdated technology not designed for the most critical function – recruiting.” 


Despite paying little attention to recruitment marketing, many of the top executives have increasingly reported about their problem of talent acquisition. We all know how hard it is to find good talent in the market and harder still to groom and retain it. Yet, according to the same ManpowerGroup survey, recruiters are not doing enough to address talent shortages. Here are some more numbers-

  • More than 1 in 5 employers is not pursuing any strategies to address talent shortage.
  • 9 in 10 are not adopting any recruitment strategies to utilize untapped talent pool.
  • Only 1 in 5 is providing additional training and development to existing staff.

These numbers don’t stop there but that’s an ample amount to trail the flawed nerve of present hiring scene. The old workforce practices and recruitment techniques are not yielding the same results they used to before. Thus, embracing new technologies, designing new practices and adopting a lithe growth mindset are imperative to battle hiccups HR departments face today.


Good news for recruiters is that a number of prominent hiring pundits have analyzed these issues and have come up with solutions as well as future trends in the hiring bazaar. Follow these indicators to get a good grip on the forces that are changing the corporate recruiting.      


Create relevant job descriptions


Candidate in today’s world are as picky as the recruiters. They swiftly shrink away from a dull, vague and poorly written job descriptions in which they were initially interested. It’s simply not enough to create a job description and wait for applications but to create a job post that encourages and attracts candidates from a diverse pool of skills.


Since, today’s job seekers know their worth, it is a desirable quality of the job descriptions to have a noteworthy selling potential. Making the application process fast, easy, transparent and clear helps in this competitive industry, where a gap of a single day may result in loss of highly skilled talent.


Some quick pointers to help-

  • To start with, canvas potential applicants to create a list of keywords/phrases that would definitely excite them about the profile.
  • Next, survey the job descriptions offered by other firms for a similar profile and compare (with help from a test group) them with your own. Observe the engaging highlights, if any, and try to borrow them if your own description doesn’t contain them.
  • Empower your employees to redefine the job descriptions to more suitable and friendly ones to allow for diversity in applications. One of the coolest examples we’ve seen it done is-


Develop robust but adaptable hiring strategy


Hiring departments around the world are focusing on flexible hiring strategies, which are more process-driven than goal-driven. A future-looking approach makes more sense dealing with surprises while showing you as strategic because you plan ahead of time. While forming strategy, ask questions like

  • Where does the most talent density lie amongst the demographic?
  • What needs to be done by the candidate/s you’re seeking?
  • How to quantitatively measure performance of hired candidates?
  • How is the relevant talent moving in the industry?

Identifying and rewarding the top performers as well as arranging for trainings and skill development must be incorporated early on in the hiring agenda. Additionally, effective succession planning and promotions help fill your leadership roles with better-prepared internal candidates.


Social talent recruitment


Technology and online social space has eased the job for most of the recruiters. Social recruitment is no longer the supplement of traditional resume based hiring and with growth of social professional spaces, it is bound to replace conventional resume-interview process.


As if to prove the point, LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends report reveals that social professional networks are recruiters’ best bet in finding high quality talent. Most of the passive talent is also present on these networks and leveraging the social space to reach out to them is a good move towards creating a talent pipeline.


Also noteworthy is the importance of leveraging the employee network to attract best talent in industry. Most of the top performers in your firm are bound to have friends that are equally good in other companies. Maybe they are looking for a new job or maybe they aren’t, but it doesn’t hurt to encourage referral hiring culture in the company. Almost 50% of hires at the best firms are done by referral hiring. Combine it with the power of social media and you could create an exceptional pool of talent ready to be hired. 


Quick tips on social hiring include not just being limited to job boards, resume databases and social media but proactively reaching out to multiple sources such as conferences, meet-ups, blogs and online communities.


Passive talent recruitment


Passive candidates by definition are those not actively looking for a job but are open to future opportunities. Instead of waiting until a post is empty, create a pipeline of suitable candidates who are qualified and show interest in your company culture.


According to, one in five employers with current openings available cites revenue loss due to extended vacancies. So the numbers too guide to getting a talent pipeline in place.


In fact, according to LinkedIn 2015 Global Recruiting Trends report, 75 percent of professionals categorize themselves as “passive” candidates. It has become hard to ignore the passive candidate pool now, more than ever. When recruiting for one position, always keep an eye out for quality talent for future positions, especially if you are looking for specific job profiles.


Reach out to these candidates via their social media profiles and through any other presence they have on the web. Creating a good employer brand, excellent company culture and including proper incentives has proven to appeal to highly skilled passive candidates.


Remember, passive candidates will be the ones more experienced than the regular candidates out there so they will be capable of providing more value to the organization


Employer branding


Rising awareness of self-worth and need for a growth environment among skilled talent has led them to constant evaluation of corporates as brands. While becoming an employer of choice has always been desired in this tight labor market with such well-reported talent shortages, the ability to attract and retain top talent is becoming a key differentiating factor for businesses.


With a firm footing in social media, video interviews, and constantly engaging candidates by showing the company culture, corporations have started shaping brand experience for candidates before they even apply.


“Since recruiters are out on the front-line and they are the ones whose hiring efforts may be hampered by a poor employer branding strategy, corporate recruiters are having to change and must begin to lead the way in building and sustaining employer branding initiatives”, says an article published on, and we rally behind this point hundred percent.


Understand the value of Big Data analytics


An article published on WSJ in 2012 reported, “After a half-year trial that cut attrition by a fifth, Xerox now leaves all hiring for its 48,700 call-center jobs to software that asks applicants to choose between statements like: ‘I ask more questions than most people do’ and ‘People tend to trust what I say.’”


That is the power of data and it has increasingly become relevant today as we are creating terabytes of it per second. With a stress on amplifying efficiency, meeting deadlines and trimming costs, employers are progressively relying on data to evaluate metrics that affect employee performance and retention.


Interestingly, Big Data analysis has also pointed, at times, to talent markets with low-competition, which results in cost-effective hiring strategies. Since, every other business function except HR has adopted the data-based decision-making, it’s time hiring managers followed suit.


Amazingly, hiring algorithms have already entered the industry and proclaim to have better hiring capabilities than human judgment. As factors that get candidates hired can vary wildly—from academic achievement to work experience to appearances, companies are leaning towards data-driven approach to reduce various biases a recruiter might have. There’s a multitude of advantages of analytics over conventional recruiting. Listed below are some of its benefits.

  • Data will tell you about the quality of hire, cost of hire etc. that will be used to identify the factors affecting the hiring process.
  • Using correlations, you can identify which sources, criteria etc. have produced top-performing candidates.
  • Predictive analysis can reveal the future performers based on their interview responses.
  • Data helps in calculating and differentiating between bad hires vs. good hires. 
  • Based on data, recruiters will be evaluated on their quality of hires.


With the ever-evolving hiring scene, it’s best to adopt these practices early on as the competition is fierce and those left behind will unfortunately have to settle with mediocre hires. Equip yourself with these strategies and more to have the first say at hiring best talents and win the recruitment wars.