What To Do If You Can't Find The Right Candidate

Jun 09, 2014 | Updated Aug 09, 2014

Despite the fact that it's a competitive market for job seekers, it can still be tough to find the right person for the role you're trying to fill. Whether you're a business handling your own recruitment or a recruitment agency working for clients on their staffing needs, when you have a very specific requirement, it can be a challenge. Maybe you need to change some of the methods you use to attract talent and take a slightly different approach.

Job Title
If you're just not getting the applicants you expected then perhaps the job title or the description needs to be re-evaluated. It's crucial to get the job title right because candidates will search on keywords and might miss your job posting if your company uses a non-industry standard title, titles that are too broad, too vague or ambiguous. You can most certainly use the company's unique titles once you have found the right person, but when you're searching for talent, it's best to stick with the industry standard and use titles that are compatible with the same roles throughout your industry.

Job Description
Often a job description is re-used every time the role needs to be recruited for. At some point it was probably written by the incumbent - whilst this is a good starting point, recruiting for a replacement is an opportunity to be more progressive, to find someone that will grow the role and your organization. The market may have changed since the incumbent started, the company may have changed and you, the recruiter therefore need to change the way you do things. Research the market to ensure you're using the right terminology, look at industry literature, read other job postings. Make sure your role sounds as enticing as the others out there.

Culture and Social Media
Maybe your title and job description are perfect and you're getting applicants for the role, but none that seem properly qualified or a good fit for your company's culture. If you're using online job boards to no avail, perhaps it's time to start looking at how social media can help with your search for talent. The most popular sites for recruitment are LinkedIn and Twitter.

LinkedIn is an excellent tool for keeping in touch with people you have worked with - either within your own organization or those that were clients or suppliers. Because many of them will be within your own industry, they are a great collective resource - you can reach out to them to ask for referrals when you're recruiting. Bear in mind that they are only likely to help you if you have a solid relationship that is based on trust. LinkedIn also gives you an opportunity to do some proactive recruitment - you can ask your employees to reach out to their own networks to seek out passive candidates that may be suitable for your role. They may not be actively looking for a change, but you may just be able to entice them.

Micro-blogging site, Twitter is becoming more popular as a recruitment tool. @Tips4Recruiters says "Twitter allows recruiters to strike up conversations with candidates at a rate that other social media cannot emulate. It also facilitates building up a niche and engaged following who can help expand the reach of a recruiter's messages considerably." The key with Twitter is to promote jobs by using hash tags that are relevant to the job role, and to include some of the most-used tags on Twitter for jobs, which are #recruiting, #hiring, #job, #employment, and #career. You also need to be able to direct applicants to your company site to apply for the role.