Candidate Sourcing

Top 5 Challenges in Attracting and Sourcing Qualified Candidates

May 04, 2022 - Cat DiStasio

Talent acquisition teams face so many challenges right now, it can be confusing and overwhelming to know where to start. Where should you invest your time, energy and budget? The specific answers will vary from one organization to the next but it’s crucial to understand the talent landscape to help inform your strategies.

We recently conducted a survey of talent acquisition professionals with help from the Talent Board and asked TA professionals about their practices and results related to candidate attraction. Here’s a look at the top 5 challenges that TA teams face right now, and some helpful resources to tackle each hurdle.

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Challenge #1: Candidate Ghosting

At the top of the list of today’s talent acquisition challenges is candidate ghosting. More than a third (37.43%) of respondents said candidate ghosting is their biggest challenge right now, and we’re hearing that ghosting—when candidates drop out of the recruiting process without a word—is more prevalent than ever.

The good news is that talent acquisition teams can take action to combat candidate ghosting by improving the candidate experience and driving candidate engagement, especially very early in the recruiting process. Speeding up your hiring process and offering lots of options for engagement can help you avoid candidate ghosting, if you approach each phase strategically. Simply adding tools to move faster won’t necessarily address issues with the quality of your candidate experience (or hiring decisions); you’ll need to learn how to slow down in order to speed up, and measure each stage of your recruiting process to identify gaps in candidate experience and improve candidate engagement.

Challenge #2-3: Candidate Diversity and Engaging Passive Candidates

These two challenges tied for second place with 34.13% of responses. While very different, these two issues do have something in common. For both, it’s not an “if you build it, they will come” type of situation. TA teams must be more proactive in their efforts to connect with people in these talent pools.

Improving diversity in recruiting starts with smart strategies for sourcing diverse talent. Attracting and improving engagement with diverse candidates also requires business leaders to work from within the organization, by setting and measuring diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals, promoting your commitment to DEI throughout your recruiting communication, and engaging in difficult conversations to work toward cultural change.

Engaging with passive talent matters more than ever right now, because the majority of workers could be considered passive candidates. Virtual recruiting events are a proven strategy for attracting passive talent, especially when events are focused on educating potential candidates about your organization’s culture and values. Virtual recruiting also helps employers tap into new talent pools, expanding your reach and leveraging your employer brand to attract the types of candidates you want to meet. A virtual or hybrid approach is particularly effective when it’s part of a broader talent sourcing strategy that includes creative, often overlooked sources and leverages a robust sourcing marketplace to help you connect with candidates you haven’t been able to reach.

Challenge #4: Application Volume Drop Off Rates

Another tough challenge this year is a drop off in application volume, with 33.53% of respondents citing this as their biggest obstacle. This reduction in application volume may be tied to candidate ghosting and candidate experience issues, so working on those problems first may help alleviate this challenge, too. Many job seekers are reluctant to complete an application if they aren’t excited about the opportunities you have to offer. That is, they’re not likely to fill out applications unless they actually want to work at your organization.

Think about ways to inspire that excitement, curiosity, and motivation. Offer more information up front—about the requirements of the position, about your organizational culture and values, and about what it’s actually like to be part of your team from one day to the next. Today’s job seekers also want more options for engagement, so adding a recruiting chatbot and hosting creative virtual events can help them get the answers they need to feel ready to apply. Paying more attention to candidate experience at the very top of the recruiting funnel improves outcomes throughout the process.

Challenge #5: Finding Worthwhile Sourcing Channels/Partners

Rounding out our list of top talent acquisition challenges, with 30.24% of respondents citing this as their top challenge, is the difficulty finding worthwhile sourcing channels and partners. One of the key reasons for this problem is that too many TA teams are stuck in a rut with sourcing—they’re overusing the same channels they’ve always used while expecting better results. It’s (long past) time for a major update. Today’s competitive talent acquisition teams need a dual strategy that leverages sourcing and virtual events together to drive even better, faster results.

You don’t have to give up on all your current sourcing channels—unless they’re not yielding good results. Add on talent sources you may have overlooked and track how candidates enter your pipeline so you can evaluate which sources to lean into and which to pull back from. Use a sourcing marketplace that makes it easy to promote your virtual events to new talent pools, access more diverse candidates, and scale up your sourcing efforts without adding more work for your team.

Leveraging Data to Tackle Talent Acquisition Challenges

The talent market is constantly shifting and changing but these key issues will continue to challenge talent acquisition teams in almost every industry for the foreseeable future. Teams that can evolve quickly and adapt to the needs and priorities of today’s job seekers will have an easier time attracting talent, which is the first step in conquering each of these challenges. Having the right tech tools in place to accomplish this mission is the difference between sailing the stormy seas with confidence and floundering on a sinking ship.

These early findings from our survey with the Talent Board are powerful—and there are many more insights and advice coming soon on how to attract and source more qualified candidates for all your open positions.

To read the full report, click here

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