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Oct 10, 2022

What is your biggest struggle in talent acquisition today?

This question was posed to recruiting practitioners to gain a sense of their biggest challenges right now. Here’s what they had to say.

Meeting Candidates’ Comp Expectations

The labor market has tightened significantly versus in years past, and qualified candidates have more choices than ever before. Therefore, our greatest challenge at this moment is the competitive market at large. 

My colleagues and I are consistently navigating challenging multiple-offer and/or counter-offer situations with our candidates (and good for them!). We are tackling this challenge by discussing candidates’ compensation expectations early and often during our interview processes with the goal of making our first offer our strongest offer. 

We aim to ensure our candidates’ expectations and our compensation packages are the right match from the start. I am a strong believer that the time to negotiate starts at the first interview, not at the time of offer extension. — Cassie Sturdevant, Talent Acquisition Partner, The Chartis Group 

The Risk-Averse Candidate

While unemployment is still the lowest it’s been in the last two decades, there is a lot of buzz around companies doing major reductions in force. This has potential candidates concerned about their own job stability. 

Overall, candidates seem more hesitant to make a career move right now, with fear of being the “last in, first out” if anything goes south with the new company. From what I’ve seen, candidates are asking a lot more questions around the stability of the company, department, position, project, and/or product at hand. 

As recruiters and hiring managers, we need to be prepared to speak to the company’s financial stability (revenue, run rate, stock value, long-term exit plan, etc.) if we want candidates to even consider working at our company. This means we also need the buy-in from executives to be able to divulge this sensitive information to top candidates who we are serious about pursuing. — Alyssa Rhoda, Director of Talent Acquisition, Zefr 

Dealing With How and Where People Want to Work

Acquiring talent, in any environment, has its struggles. The current struggle I have seen across the board is a changing tide in how and where people wish to work. This will become a cemented topic in the recruitment process. 

While this can seem like a struggle, it depends on how you market your policy and what’s important to who you’re talking to about it. Be upfront and honest about your company’s culture (remote, work-from-home, hybrid, in-office) and you’ll find the conversation will eventually become as natural as discussing various benefits. — Hunter Richardson, Head of Talent, LiveView Technologies

Hiring in Rural Areas

Our greatest struggle has been finding qualified clinicians to fill our various roles in rural areas. It is different from the past because, post-Covid, many clinicians have left the healthcare industry by changing careers or taking early retirement. Some have moved out of the region to be closer to family. 

As a recruiter, I have changed my thinking from taking a competitive approach to taking a more collaborative approach. I share applicants with other system members (within Dartmouth Health) that might not fit my current role but meet another facility’s needs. I find that other recruiters have also started to adopt this strategy, which helps us all to provide the best patient care possible for our community, which is our ultimate goal. Alysia Straw, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital-Dartmouth Health

Shortage of Talent in the Trades

I work for a Fortune 500 company in the environmental services industry, and we are not immune to the skilled-trades labor shortage. We saw many of our seasoned CDL (commercial driver’s license) drivers and diesel mechanics retire early during the pandemic, and we anticipate more to retire over the next 10 years. There has also been a decline in applicants pursuing trades since 2018, and we’re not expecting this scenario to improve without any proactive measures. 

So our company has had to focus on developing and building  a talent pipeline of diesel technicians and CDL drivers through partnerships, in-house training programs, and other means. — Raphael Garcia, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner, Republic Services

Predicting Organizational Needs

One of the greatest struggles has more to do with the macroeconomy and predicting the needs of the organization in an ever-shifting environment. This mainly gets down to the “science” side of talent acquisition, where it’s about capacity planning, having tight alignment with other teams, and understanding the impact macro conditions have on organizations. 

We are focused on a seismic shift in the way we consider talent based on the candidate’s skills versus pedigree (degree or prior company). This requires us to adapt the way we assess and interview talent for their skills, behaviors, and motivations to perform our critical roles at LinkedIn. And it requires a mindset shift for our hiring teams to believe in skills versus pedigree. 

This started with aligning our company on a set of core hiring principles that address who we hire, how we assess, and how we make decisions. We’re early in that journey, and incredibly excited about how this will change the way we recruit and hire talent. Erin Scruggs, Vice President of Talent Acquisition, LinkedIn

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