SmartRecruiters Blog

Strong Economy, Stressed Recruiters: Three Solutions for a Strained Talent Function

Monster’s “state of recruiting” survey finds competition for candidates is taking its toll on practitioners. Here’s what managers can do about it.

The rate of Americans leaving their jobs voluntarily reached a 17 year high this spring, just as unemployment hit an 18 year low. Economists and policymakers see these numbers as a measure of job-market confidence, and expect accelerated wage growth through the rest of 2018. All great news, but, for recruiters, a tight labor market makes for steep competition, especially for tech talent: the number of unfilled job openings is the highest it’s been in 17 years. Computer programmers can expect a million unfilled positions by 2020.

“Today’s strong economy is increasing the overall demand for talent, so recruiters are under tremendous pressure,” said Bob Melk, Chief Commercial Officer, Monster. In the company’s latest recruiting survey of more than 400 practitioners this August, 62 percent report their jobs being more difficult than the previous year, and 67 percent say the difficulty exceeds that of five years ago.

“[All this] underscores the need for an integrated recruitment strategy spanning the entire candidate lifecycle,” Melk says. “For recruiting to be effective in 2018 and beyond, it must go beyond traditional methods. A multi-solution approach – combining marketing, digital, and analytics – is critical in moving recruitment stress to recruitment success.”

Yet despite these concentrated efforts, the results aren’t what they used to be, with an average 44 percent of candidates being passed off to hiring managers, a 10 full percentage points short of the desired 54.

If you think about it, the above solutions are just different ways to advertise; important, but not a complete strategy in itself. It’s time to lay the foundation for longterm TA success, and the general consensus is that it will take new skills, and, for many, new tools to better recruit in a tight talent pool.

So what are the three action items to begin achieving these hiring goals?

  1. Start marketing: Only 36 percent of recruiters surveyed reported using employer branding strategies, this despite the fact that 67 percent said they needed to understand Marketing to be successful.
  2. Balance the scales between digital and human: Sixty-four percent of recruiters say they lack the tools to make their job smoother and another 51 percent say that a lot of the tech they do have actually makes it harder to connect with humans.
  3. Learn to analyze your data: Fifty percent of recruiters report feeling anxious about time management and 67 feel they need to be analytics experts to begin tracking important metrics.

The proliferation of human capital management solutions in the last five years has given HR high hopes of becoming a strategic business-function, like marketing did the early 2000s. The tools to attract, select, and hire the right candidates are out there. Recruiters just need to convince the boardroom to invest in them.

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