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 the reasons why some positions are hard to fill.

Sourcing Candidates Is Difficult For Hard To Fill Roles

Some skills are so rare that the 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 a 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 the company longer and much more. You just need to implement an employee referral program and make sure it provides the 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. Using social media would help you to source both active and passive candidates.

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 a 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 lose resumes of such profiles. Use candidate sourcing methods such as searching, resume screening, a matching & ranking that will help you mine your resume database efficiently.

Related – Candidate Sourcing Strategies

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 a 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 at the beginning, where recruiters were trying to hire data scientists; the job description was a mix of many things. The result of that was 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

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

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 an expert about the role and responsibilities of that job profile. You could also explore technology options like AI platform Textio that helps you write killer job descriptions. Job descriptions play an important role in candidate engagement. Candidate experience is one of the most important things in the hiring process.

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 helps you screen resumes using AI.

Final Thoughts

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

Picture of Amit Gawande

Amit Gawande

Amit Gawande is a Co-Founder of CVViZ, an AI recruiting software. He has more than 15 years of experience in software development and leading large teams. He has built products using NLP and machine learning. He has recruited engineers, programmers, marketing and sales people for his organizations. He believes in using technology for solving real-life problems.

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