How To Hire For Hard To Fill Roles

Once a recruiter asked me “What is a good strategy to hire a Data Scientist? We don’t get enough resumes. Even if we do, they don’t fit the description.” And it is true for many other hard to fill roles.

Let’s try to explore reasons why some positions are hard to fill.

Sourcing Candidates Is Difficult For Hard To Fill Roles

Some skills are so niche that resource pool for such skills is often sparse. It could be either because the technical skills required for such jobs are very new and advanced or it could be because such technical skills are dying.

In such scenario, you cannot afford to miss even a single candidate out there. You should use every medium to find talent that you are looking for.

Below some of the recruitment strategies for hard to fill roles.

A. Use Employee Referral

Let your employee be your recruiter! Employee referral is your best chance to find people with niche skills. It is rightly believed employee referrals are at par quality, tend to stay with company longer and much more. You just need to implement employee referral program and make sure it provides right engagement for employees to make it a success.

B. Use Social Media Network

Brand your company using social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Grow your company network by publishing useful content. Use these platforms for recruitment marketing. Encourage your employees especially from the hiring team to post job opportunities on their individual pages.

C. Use specialized Social Network

At times, it is hard to reach to passive candidates because they could be inactive on most popular social platforms or even job boards. For example, if you are hiring for niche IT skills, you may want to explore specialized platforms like GitHub, StackOverflow. If you are hiring for designers then you may want to explore Behance.  Make sure you reach out to them in more personalized manner than just sending a cold email or making a cold call.

D. Discover Candidates In Your Existing Database

If you have been hiring for hard to fill roles, you really can’t afford to loose resumes of such profiles. Use recruitment technology that will help you search your resume database efficiently.

hard to fill roles hiring strategies

Candidates Don’t Fit The Job Description

You would agree that sometimes we come across job descriptions that are complex, unclear or mix of many things. It generally happens when hiring manager is not sure what skills to look for. Yes, it happens. This is common in the transition phase of technology.  Existing folks trying to hire for futuristic technology without consulting to an expert! In fact, it is also difficult to identify an expert.

In the example i discussed in the beginning, where recruiters were trying to hire data scientist; the job description was a mix of many things. The result of that was they they ended up receiving resumes of database developer, DBA, Java developer, Quant candidates, etc.

They were also using job boards like monster, indeed. When they were searching for candidates using keywords they ended up finding candidates that were no close to job descriptions.

So, why despite sourcing resumes from various sources we find most of those resumes don’t fit the job description. It could be because of two things –

A. Flawed or Unclear Job Descriptions

Job description is an opportunity to sell your job. It is an opportunity to attract best of the talents. Hence, it is very important that we write job descriptions with utmost importance.

When you are hiring for hard to fill roles, spend time to research about that role. Study the kind of candidates your competition is hiring. Consult to an expert about role and responsibilities of that job profile. You could also explore technology options like AI platform Textio that helps you write killer job descriptions.

B. Inefficient Screening of Resumes

When you are not sure what to expect in an ideal resume, you would struggle to screen resumes. You would need a domain expert to screen these resumes. Either you could outsource resume screening to recruitment companies who claim to be an expert in that domain or you could use modern recruitment software that help you screen resumes using AI.

Final Thoughts

Remember it is always going to be tough to hire best candidates for hard to fill roles. However, above practices will help you prepare better and improve your probability of finding better candidates sooner.

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