MT May client blog

A Guide to Overcoming Common Recruitment Challenges

Recruitment sounds easy. But in reality, as any hiring manager knows, it’s not. Writing an informative job description and an enticing job advertisement is a challenge. This is followed by attracting the right candidates, selecting, interviewing, recruiting fairly, and making a job offer. Then there are people analytics, building a strong employer brand, and onboarding. All aspects of hiring create unique challenges.

Holding a position vacant while the right person is found is costly. All at a time when talent acquisition teams are leaner, as are their budgets.

Job descriptions and job advertisements

Clear and detailed job descriptions attract great candidates from the start. Ensure job descriptions accurately reflect the roles you're hiring for. Avoid writing a long to-do list of duties the candidate is expected to perform. Also, avoid any internal jargon - this means little to the candidate.

Our Tip: Remove any bias from your job ads. For example, words like ‘competitive’ tend to attract men, without providing helpful details about the position.

Candidate attraction

When Meraki Talent polled hiring managers and HR teams about their biggest staffing concern for last year, 17% said attracting talent.

The feast-or-famine scenario is frustrating and common in recruitment. When it comes to candidate attraction, it is quality over quantity. Job adverts, especially on click-and-go job boards, can attract multiple and often irrelevant CVs. Finding the right candidate comes down to having a smaller pipeline of qualified talent. Passive candidates can be key to finding quality, as they are already in work, possibly for a competitor, and hold a similar position to who you are looking to attract.

Be mindful that recruiters contact skilled candidates regularly, making it harder for your reach to stand out. In finance and tech, candidates with hard-to-find skills may have several job offers. It’s here that having a strong employer brand is vital.

Our Tip: Be clear about the requirements in your job ads and give a concise view of the role. If using a job board, opt for pre-qualifying questions to prevent candidates using a scattergun approach from applying.

Time to hire

A challenge is the hiring cycle. The process is lengthy, especially with multiple rounds, presentations, and notice periods. Throw in the complexity of Easter and the summer of Christmas recruiting, and further delays will occur.

Look at the steps and see if hiring stages or waits can be reduced.  A long hiring process can see you miss out on top candidates to competitors, so ensure you communicate with candidates, especially if there is a delay your end.

Our Tip: Advertise the role when it is signed off. Have an early conversation with a specialist recruitment agency so they can help identify suitable candidates. Be flexible in your interview schedule, accommodating early mornings, evenings, and/or online for the first interview stage.

Selection and interview

Selection is always a challenge. Skills and qualifications come into play, as does company fit. Meraki Talent recently surveyed hiring managers, HR, and talent acquisition experts. We found that passion takes the lead with 41% of respondents highlighting the importance of candidates who exude passion, ambition, and excitement. Almost a quarter (22%) look for self-starters, ready to hit the ground running. Here's a surprising twist: Only 15% of hiring managers prioritise long-term potential when evaluating candidates. So, if you’re hiring for the here and now, long-term potential might not be as important as it once was.

Our Tip: Create a standardised candidate evaluation template and tailor it to each role. Align interview questions and assessments with job requirements.

Fair recruitment

Companies often struggle to attract and hire diverse candidates, and unconscious bias can be the reason. Apart from legal obligations to provide equal opportunities, hiring objectively is good for business because it helps you hire the best person for the job without stereotypes interfering.

The power of people analytics

People analytics are a useful asset. Nowadays, thanks to AI, it can analyse historical data to predict candidate success.  Equipping recruiters with data and intelligence around candidate capabilities is powerful. These insights can guide decision-making and, most powerfully, identify candidates who align with the organisation.

The power of a strong employer brand

A good employer brand helps attract and engage candidates. According to Glassdoor, companies that invest in employer branding are three times more likely to make a quality hire. Employer brand building includes everything from ensuring a positive candidate experience to promoting the company culture on social media. Findings from LinkedIn show that companies with a great employer brand are seeing a 50% reduction in cost per hire as a good employer brand speeds up recruitment.

The power of a positive candidate experience

Candidate experience is important for employer branding and candidates when evaluating your job adverts and offers. The way you treat candidates during the hiring process mirrors the way you treat them as employees.

With Glassdoor reviews the norm, corporate reputation matters more than ever. The Talent Board, which runs the Candidate Experience Awards, surveyed job applicants about their experience. Of those with a negative experience, 27% would discourage colleagues from applying.


Recruitment doesn’t stop at hiring. Studies show that effective onboarding reduces the time new employees take to contribute to the business. Glassdoor Research found that organisations with strong onboarding improved new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

Our Tip: Remember that onboarding isn’t just for the first day, week, or month. Experts recommend that onboarding takes at least one year. A ‘congratulations on passing your probation’ note or a ‘welcome to the team’ gift can also be a nice touch for remote workers.

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