What are your biggest pain points/challenges with recruiting talent into your organization?
I'm doing some market research for an upcoming training session and would appreciate your input on the challenges and frustrations you currently face with recruiting, identifying talent and making hires for your organization.
In my experience the frustrations depend on the type of position you are trying to fill. My biggest frustrations when looking for creative types is that new technology (software etc.) have made the thinking process too dependent on external/mechanical factors. Therefore, young minds are not adept at problem solving and creative solution seeking. This leads to limited and less creative end products. I realize that you are seeking ore of an HR response, and I am offering more of an educational or systemic frustration, but this is an issue that merits a solution. Good luck on your training session.
First off in the way of background, I have a small manufacturing business with a dozen or so employees. Most of the challenges recruiting talent involve finding good candidates. We are usually hiring for assembly workers, welders or painters and sometimes staff for the office, accounting or receptionist types of things.
We are in an area with a low cost of living but one where shale gas has made the candidate pool smaller. We have a low base pay with a substantial production bonus along with profit sharing and the pay seems to keep the guys we have happy enough but when we advertise and list the pay and bonus the lower base pay is what people see and it does reduce the number of applicants.
Problem one is where to advertise. We have had moderate luck with Craig's List for the lower level positions. Newspaper ads used to be effective for us but seem to be our number 2 choice. We have used Monster.com way back for a plant manager and were swamped with decent applicants. I have not tried Linkedin but see that as a better choice for higher level jobs than what we usually hire for.
The biggest problem is finding quality applicants. Good people have jobs and our pay scale is not enough to lure them away. We do a short test for both office and production people. It is around 10 questions and takes 10 minutes. That has helped. For example because we sell fairly large machines nationwide (and worldwide) some knowledge of geography is helpful. One of our office staff questions is "Name 3 states that start with the letter C?" It amazes me how many times we get something like 1. Connecticut, 2. Chicago, 3. Canada for the answer. The short tests we use have been very helpful in helping us to identify those with talents that will let them be successful.
The other big problem is finding people who are going to be reliable and show up for work when they are supposed to. We seem to end up with people who are too hung over to work at least once or twice a week.
My challenges include:
1) Lack of prior employers willing to give a reference for a candidate.
2) Unqualified candidates who do not read the ad
3) Restrictions on questions that can be asked in an interview
4) Candidates that are using your offer only for leverage to get a better deal from their current employer
5). High cost of placing ads
Great question. In my opinion, time is the greatest challenge when hiring. Hiring can be a long, tedious process and for solopreneurs, they have little free time to sort through hundreds of applications or screen candidates over phone interviews. Going through a recruiting company is a time-saver but they can be costly, which is why I think many small business owners try to be patient and hire themselves. Business.com wrote an article comparing recruiting services, doing it yourself, and more and more job sites that are starting to pop-up and can help streamline the hiring process. Here's the article for reference: Hiring: DIY or Recruiting Services