In Payscale’s recent Compensation Best Practices Report, 59% of respondents reported having positions available that had been open for at least six months — or longer! There’s a variety of reasons that these jobs proved tough to fill:

  • The physical location, workplace, or coverage area was not appealing to candidates
  • Company culture was a difficult match
  • Lack of a competitive salary or otherwise low compensation/benefit offerings
  • An overly specific, too narrow, or impossibly broad job description
  • Candidate scarcity: lack of necessary training, talent, or qualifications in the given field
  • Weak or compromised employer positioning/branding

Just because recruiting for hard-to-fill positions is difficult, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. So what can you do to succeed?

Here are some tips to strategically hire for those hard-to-fill positions

  • Craft a strategic recruitment plan:

Prepare yourself and your team for the unique complexities of every phase of the hiring process tailored to your hard-to-fill roles. This strategic recruiting approach will save time and money, help prevent expensive errors, and optimize your team’s response.

Beyond seeking a perfect fit for the given role, a strategic recruiting strategy provides opportunities, an opportunity to match business priorities and expertise gaps with your team’s overall future hiring initiatives. Assess the roles In the context of the coming year, and upcoming recruitment schedule, monitoring and assessment tools you use, budgets allocated, and management strategy as well.

  • Curate your Job Descriptions:

Your current job quest is similar to a marketplace from consumers. Applicants want a smooth, optimistic shopping experience backed by great branding and value in the product. The first move to gaining their attention when looking for hard-to-fill roles is in the job description.

Be persuasive, inclusive, and most importantly practical. A long list of skills and expertise required in snot appreciated by the readers. Instead, share what your organization has to give and convey your mission, values, and the unique advantages of working with your organization. Although the specific requirements for the role are crucial, don’t forget the special perks, efforts of social responsibility, and challenging projects that make your organization unique.
If your organization’s policy allows you, do share the salary range and compensations that you are providing. 61% of applicants claim salary to be the most important aspect in a job posting.

  • Emphasize recruitments at the college level:

Grab a major one by targeting young adults in their early careers. With interns and freshers, the more you can do the better. Device career shadowing activities for high school students, set up internship programs for high school and college students, take part in college training, and employ freshers for as many jobs as possible.

70% of Millennials say they learn about organizations through friends and job boards. Besides, it is important to know what they look for - be sure to provide career development opportunities and highlight culture at your organization in the job description. 80% of Millennials look for people and culture in their employers, followed by job potential. 60% Millennials find the growth prospects to be the most attractive perk.

  • Focus on what’s within:

Possibly the recruitment challenge for your hard-to-fill role is not due to the shortage of talent at all - it may be quite the contrary to it. Even the most daunting positions to fill are so fresh that no one has ever filled the role like that.

It’s time to get personal and focus on what’s within. The internal awareness of your business, culture, and processes is crucial to informing the broad-view priorities of talent in these types of roles. If you have already worked towards dissipating advanced information and training among your team members, all the better. If not, an upskill with qualified internal candidates is an easier and more effective way to match the external search.
If you haven’t initiated facilitating cross-functional preparations and internal mobility, this is a great time to start. In addition to offering additional support and convenience of day-to-day coverage, preparation for talent succession and attrition will go a long way with little extra mentoring.

  • Build your brand and benefits:

Today’s hiring world is profoundly multifaceted. Beyond salary, applicants tend to focus on organizations that cater to their lifestyle, values, and interests. Building a strong employer brand that communicates what it’s like to work at your organization can help your hard-to-fill job stand out to strong achievers in a sea of other choices. Bolster your recruiting strategy with tools that connect directly with talent: employee-referral programs, dedicated brand ambassadors, social media channels, and content marketing are all great brand-building methods.
Although the cultural fit is a must, what you offer employees is just as critical in terms of pay. Notice that modern compensation is much more than cash, with today's applicants showing greater interest in overall benefits, and your incentives plan will play a significant role in creating the brand of your company.

  • Referrals to save the day:

The most important source for seeking applicants is employee referrals. Employee references appear to be better performing, close earlier, and tend to stick longer with the company. Who's not going to like all that?

Closure: There is no secret recipe

A secret recipe to fill all your hard-to-fill roles sounds perfect, it’s unfortunately not that simple. These roles are given that name because the task is just that challenging. Even to those seasoned recruiters, the greatest of networking skills and innovative strategies need to be leveraged. That said, with a little planning and a lot of patience you will reach the finish line with the best-fit candidates you are looking for.


Do you have any strategies you follow on how to fill that hard-to-fill positions? We want to hear from you. Share your advice in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.