How to Solve 8 of the Most Common Hiring Challenges

Written by
Faith Madzikanda
Last updated:
March 29, 2024
Created on:
March 27, 2024

How to Solve 8 of the Most Common Hiring Challenges

Evolving technologies, expectations, and job market conditions have arguably made recruiting more difficult than ever before. 

For example, the Willo 2024 Trends Report found that 61.7% of employers anticipate salary expectations or competition from other companies as the key challenge they will face hiring and retaining top talent.

Modern recruiting is full of small, but significant hurdles like this that demand out of the box solutions. So, in this Willo guide, we'll address some of the most common hiring challenges and share some insights on how you can combat them effectively.

What Are Some Common Challenges in Hiring?

To start, let’s quickly run through a few of the most common hiring challenges we see companies struggling with:

Attracting the right talent

Attracting the right talent takes time—especially in candidate-driven markets. Many companies are struggling to find the right fit for their roles due to time constraints, budget limitations, or simply not targeting the right audience.

Source: Willo 2024 Hiring Trends Report

Quick tip: You need to be very clear in your job listings. This starts with being honest about the job’s needs (e.g., do you really need a specific skill? If so, include it. If not, add it to a nice-to-have list). Take it a step further by structuring interview questions to ask for specific examples or demonstrations of a skill—that way, you'll have more objective data with which to decide. And remember—the cost of waiting for the right hire is much lower than the cost of a bad hire (which can cost up to 40% of the individual’s salary).

Engaging qualified candidates

It can be difficult to keep high-quality candidates engaged because they get contacted regularly by recruiters. Additionally, they might be juggling several job offers simultaneously because of their unique skills, which means recruiters typically need to make extra efforts to keep them on board. 

Quick tip: For small-scale, high-level hiring (e.g., searching for executives), take some time to research what motivates each candidate using public social media information, bios, and published content. Use these insights to personalize your outreach. For high-volume hiring, use an ATS with automated email and texting to keep communication regular. You can also try A/B testing different messages to fine-tune your approach based on response rates and candidate feedback. 

Interview scheduling 

While the interview process is an unavoidable necessity in recruitment, recruiters often struggle with efficient interview scheduling—especially when hiring at scale or connecting with international applicants. Things like email chains, scheduling conflicts, no-shows, and limited capacities drain resources and slow down the hiring process.

Quick tip: Consider implementing a scheduling tool for live interviews, so candidates can self-select available time slots. Or, use asynchronous interview tools like Willo that allow candidates to complete interviews in their own time so scheduling isn't an issue. For example, MyTutor was able to increase their recruiting capacity by 75% using Willo’s async interviews.

Source: How MyTutor Increased Recruiting Capacity And Reduced Overheads

Recruiters could review interview recordings as they were sent in, without worrying about scheduling conflicts. Their hiring process became much more efficient, leading to a 12% reduction in overhead.

Hiring bias 

Unconscious bias is a major issue in recruiting. It tends to creep in when recruiters are pressured to fill roles quickly or when they rely on their instincts due to a lack of clear evaluation criteria. In either case, it leads to worse hires and can result in a less diverse workforce.

Quick tip: Train your recruitment team on strategies for recognizing and mitigating unconscious bias. Also, think about structuring your interview and using a consistent evaluation process so that each candidate has a fair experience.

Poor candidate experience

There are a few factors that can negatively affect the candidate experience, like an inconvenient application process, delayed communication from recruiters, and unfair screening. As a company, having a brand reputation linked to poor candidate experiences can severely decrease your likelihood of attracting highly qualified candidates. 

Quick tip: Start by setting expectations in your candidate communications. Let them know when they should expect to hear from you—or, better yet, give a brief overview of the entire application process. If you don’t have exact times, give ranges (e.g., “Step One: Screening. This looks like XXX and will take between Y and Z days/weeks to hear back from us as we review all applications.”). 

How? Let’s discuss.

Our 8 Tips to Solve Common Hiring Challenges

1. Establish recruitment goals

Of course, your ultimate recruitment goal is to hire the best candidates, but you’ll need to define what this means for your company overall and for each role you’re looking to fill. The best way to do this is by tracking metrics around your current hiring process, so you can identify the weak points and set measurable goals. 

Data can give you reasons behind your lack of qualified candidates, like a complex application process, insufficient content on your career page, or vague job descriptions. Once you know the reason, you can then set up a specific goal to address your problem. 

Here are some metrics you should be tracking (along with a few things they can tell you about your hiring process): 

  • Job listing impressions: Low impressions can signify a lack of visibility for your job postings, meaning they are not reaching enough potential candidates. This could indicate that you need to diversify your recruitment channels or improve your SEO.
  • Positions per recruiter (or team): This tracks how many positions recruiters or teams can fill in a given period (often quarter). If this number is low, you may need to simplify your recruiting process by introducing new technologies or designing recruitment processes that scale well.
  • Application completion rate: The higher, the better—a low application completion rate can point to an overly complicated application process. Start identifying and cutting unnecessary steps (e.g., do you need a resume and a phone screen, or could async video screening accomplish both?).
  • Time-to-hire: This is the time it takes from posting a job listing to making an offer. A longer time-to-hire (>36 days) may mean your process is too complicated, but it can also be the result of slow decision-making, lack of qualified candidates, or other factors.
  • Candidate conversion rate: What percent of candidates move from one stage to the next? By collecting data, you can build a recruitment funnel that helps you pinpoint bottlenecks and unintended obstacles.
  • Employee retention: Beyond just filling empty positions, successful recruitment should also focus on retaining employees in the long term. High employee turnover can be costly for companies and may signal underlying issues with culture or management.

The goal is to collect a range of metrics that isolate different stages and aspects (e.g., personnel, tools, SOPs, etc.) of your hiring process. This makes issues much easier to troubleshoot. For example, if you notice a low candidate conversion rate after a certain stage, you have a much more specific place to start looking for problems.

You can gather the data with the help of your website analytics, or recruiting software like Lever, JazzHR, and Teamtailor (all of which have native integrations with Willo).

2. Diversify your recruitment channels

A reason you might not be attracting the talent you want is because you’re not understanding the importance of diversity and inclusion when sourcing talent. By reaching more diverse talent pools, you can attract the top 1% of talent to propel your company forward. 

You should consider: 

  • Using job boards and platforms with a wide range of candidates: Specialized job boards and platforms catering to underrepresented groups can directly reach diverse candidates.. 
  • Partnering with diversity-focused organizations: Partnerships with nonprofits that focus on promoting diversity in the workforce can help you reach a broader talent pool through events, workshops, career fairs, and mentorship programs. In some cases, these organizations may also offer training or courses on more inclusive hiring practices—it could be a great opportunity for your team to learn more.
  • Leveraging social media and online communities: You can also use social media to connect with candidates, instead of just relying on job boards. However, to get highly qualified passive candidates interested, you’ll need to post more than just your job ads. Start up constructive conversations that apply to diverse groups by posting insights about job search trends and ask your audience if it aligns with their experience. 
  • Implementing employee referral programs: While employee referral programs are common, specifically encouraging employees to refer candidates from diverse backgrounds can enhance their effectiveness in reaching diverse talent. 
  • Fostering an inclusive employer brand: Developing an inclusive employer brand involves showcasing your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through your website, social media and job ads. Make sure to highlight stories of diverse employees, share data on your company’s diversity initiatives, and stay transparent about your goals and progress. 

3. Consider asynchronous interviewing

Solve the challenge of interview scheduling and time-to-hire by streamlining your interviewing process using one-way video interviewing software. It’s a fantastic upgrade to your recruiting process that helps you alleviate the recruiter burden while maintaining efficient candidate screening. 

Not only will your recruiting team benefit, but the majority of candidates report it as more convenient to record their interviews at a time that works for them. Candidates also say they appreciate knowing that everyone is being asked the same set of questions. 

This is where Willo excels.

Willo Scorecards

Our candidate screening platform helps companies save time and make more confident hiring decisions. Simply set up your async interviews, send out your invites to multiple candidates, and review responses with your team at your own pace. You’ll also be able to set up a scorecard for each role to make shortlisting high-quality candidates quicker and more consistent.

Lastly, we also offer identity verification features to check if your candidates are eligible to work for you.

4. Build up your employer brand

We know that the vast majority (83.6%) of employers say an employer brand is a vital tool to attracting and retaining top talent. And no wonder: research shows that having a strong and positive employer brand can reduce the cost per hire by 50%. It’s essential in attracting qualified candidates because it helps them gauge if your company is a good fit to work and what type of value they can gain from working for you. 

To build up your employer brand and attract top candidates, you’ll need to showcase what makes your company stand out for employees. 

This includes:

  • Office culture
  • Perks and benefits
  • Company values (e.g., inclusivity, environmentalism, etc.)
  • Employees

The key is to be honest—showcase the reality in the best light possible, rather than talking in aspirational comments that you can’t deliver on. Make use of your website’s career page, job board listings, social media channels, and recruitment marketing to consistently show what makes your company the best place to work. 

Source: Nike

For example, you can find out from your current employees what they love the most about working at your company and share their testimonials on your website and social media. Just make sure to ask for their consent first. 

5. Implement fair hiring practices to reduce hiring bias

By allowing unconscious biases to influence your hiring decisions, you’ll undoubtedly miss out on amazing talent. While it may be difficult to catch unconscious bias when making small decisions in the recruitment process, there are some effective steps you can take to reduce it considerably. 

  • Standardized job descriptions: Use neutral language in your job postings to avoid deterring qualified candidates from non-traditional backgrounds. It’s best to prioritize essential qualifications and skills rather than nice-to-have attributes that may not be critical for the role.
  • Structured interviewing: Implement a consistent set of interview questions for all candidates applying for the same position. This uniform approach allows for a fair comparison based on responses and competencies demonstrated during the interview. Willo can effectively complement this tactic because you can also avoid the chance of interviewers asking these questions differently across candidates. 
  • Diverse decision-making panels: Assemble a panel of decision-makers from various backgrounds, departments, and levels of seniority in your organization. This can provide multiple perspectives on a candidate’s fit and is less likely to result in collective biases.  
  • Pre-employment assessments: Incorporate skills-based assessments and standardized tests as part of your selection process. By focusing on job-related skills and performance tasks, you can objectively evaluate your candidates. 

Don’t forget to regularly provide training for HR personnel and hiring managers on recognizing and combating unconscious bias. 

6. Automate reference checks 

If you require reference checks in your hiring process, use automation to help you streamline the process. You can opt for creating standardized templates for reference checks, or using a reference checking tool to completely take over the process for you.

Fortunately, Willo also offers integrations with reference checkers like Xref and Zinc.

7. Enhance candidate experience

Creating a great candidate experience shouldn't be overlooked in favor of quick results. It’s essential for building a strong employer brand that attracts top applicants and competes with other companies in your industry.

Here are some simple and effective methods you can implement to create a positive candidate experience: 

  • Clear and consistent communication: From the outset, provide clear information about the recruitment process, including timelines, stages, and what each step entails. Regular updates and transparent communication will keep candidates engaged, reducing uncertainty and frustration. 
  • Stay respectful: Treat all candidates with respect and professionalism, regardless of their application outcome. Personalized communication, prompt responses to questions, and courteous interactions all contribute to a positive impression of your company. 
  • Keep the application process simple: Streamline your application process to be as straightforward and user-friendly as possible. Make sure your job portal is mobile-friendly, minimize the number of steps it takes to apply, and clearly specify the information and documents candidates need. 
  • Post-application support: If feasible, offer support and resources for candidates not selected for a position. This might include suggestions for other roles they may be suited for or access to third-party career development resources. Such support leaves candidates with a positive impression of your company, potentially encouraging them to apply again in the future or recommend you to others. 
  • Candidate surveys: Ask candidates to share their views on the length of your hiring process, communication methods, and their personal experience. This will give you first-party data with which to make improvements over time. But be careful to focus on overall trends rather than single opinions; in any case, connect ideas to your overall goals of a streamlined and positive candidate experience before implementing anything. If you don’t, you might make frequent changes that deliver little value.

8. Foster team collaboration 

Unfavorable hiring decisions can often occur because hiring teams have weak collaboration systems in place to review suitable candidates within the stipulated deadline. The best way to deal with this is by incorporating a reliable tool that allows your hiring team to communicate and collaborate effectively.  

With Willo, you won’t have to worry about inefficient team collaboration.

Our Showcase™ feature allows you to securely share interviews with your team members, as well as collect feedback about candidates from any internal stakeholder. You can implement this feedback to add more context to candidate outcomes, create shortlists, and make sure your hiring decisions are fully collaborative. 

Elevate Your Hiring Process With Willo

Move forward beyond traditional hiring methods and combat multiple hiring challenges at once by incorporating a powerful asynchronous video interviewing tool (like Willo) into your recruitment process. 

Our award-winning solution can help you streamline and scale your hiring process, make data-driven decisions, increase recruiter capacity, and improve candidate experience.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a free trial today!

Faith Madzikanda
Customer Success
LinkedIn profile

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