Recruiting just ain't what it used to be. That's the news from Monster's 2018 State of Recruiting survey. To get a little more specific, 67 percent of the 400-plus respondents say their job is more difficult than it was five years ago, and 62 say it's tougher to find quality candidates for their companies than it was five years ago.

What's pummeling recruiters to the ropes.

Respondents pointed to two big (and related) culprits. Fifty-nine percent claimed there's a shortage in the skilled labor they're looking for because of rapid economic growth and an increased number of job openings. That's basically turning recruiters into WWF champions fighting for a huge belt of people who can be pickier about the jobs they accept. And 52 percent say competition from other recruiters has become a thorn in their side.

To win the match, most recruiters (83 percent) are taking a multi-solution approach--that is, combining tactics like direct outreach, traditional job ads and social advertising--to find good hires. They're still passing along 10 percent fewer candidates to hiring managers than they want, even so. And while omni-channel solutions help, Steve O'Brien, vice president of talent fusion for Monster, says the sheer breadth of competency recruiters have to have to get good results is a problem, too. They must, he says, take a renaissance (wo)man approach and act like a personal counselor, data analyst, marketer, and salesperson, all in one.

O'Brien says recruiters often take another hit in their inability to keep up with trends due to issues like lack of fast access to data. And hiring managers can hold recruiters back, too.

"The single biggest 'add' [to the recruiter's situation] is the challenge of getting hiring managers on board with data-based decision making and persuading them of their role in the recruiting process. [...] If the recruiter is right about the market, but unable to persuade the hiring manager with data, they're in a pinch. [...And] candidates must be sold, as well as selected, at each stage, and the recruiter is the person responsible for educating the hiring manager on this imperative. If the hiring manager is 'old school' or just not comfortable with selling, it can be quite hard for the recruiter to enlist them to the team of people persuading prospective talent to join the company."

How to help recruiters win the fight.

Monster's survey press release makes three big recommendations for leaders who want to make life easier for their recruiters and get better hires.

1.     Bring marketing to the core of recruitment. While 67 percent of respondents say they need to understand marketing to be successful, just 36 percent of recruiters surveyed say they're using employer branding strategies.

2.     Create balance between digital and humanity. Perhaps because of tech overload and disconnected systems, 64 percent of recruiters say they need to be digital experts, but 64 percent also say they don't have the right digital tools to make their job easier. And 51 percent say tech is getting in the way of really connecting with people. Matching the candidate profile to solutions that can reach that particular audience might help.

3.     Optimize your process with data and analytics. Half of recruiters are anxious about using time efficiently, and two out of three feel they need to be analytics experts. Using data wisely can take some pressure off and free recruiters to work more efficiently, strategically, and authentically.

O'Brien adds that it's important to maximize your share of scarce quality talent versus your competitors' share, fill roles in optimized timelines and avoid an inflated average cost-per-hire. He points out two additional recommendations on how to make an omni-channel recruitment strategy smoother.

4.     Deploy channels systematically, and don't turn on too many new ones at once. "Dirty and confusing data is a problem and decreases the resolution of your insights. You might like the results you're getting, but have no idea what's driving them. [...] Pick foundational channels, develop your organization's voice (and employee value proposition), measure your results and begin to identify the roles in your company that confidently can be filled by advertising."

5.     Understand you're marketing a specific product (jobs). "The right channels and mix of investment will be heavily influenced by the market you're in, whether you're a B2B or B2C brand, whether you're a scrappy aspirant or a seasoned leader, etc. Channel strategies in a box sound too good to be true because they are. Are there patterns, and can common components be identified? Absolutely, but don't cheat on the hard work of analysis and optimization. The hard work pays off in all the right categories: cost, speed, and quality!"

The bottom line, though, is that recruiters need you to remove the superfluous complexities they're dealing with.

"Entrepreneurs will do well to consider how their innovations drive simplification for recruiters," says O'Brien. "[...] Solve real problems in the context of the recruiter's operational environment."

Taking complexity out of the many tasks recruiters have to do is, as O'Brien claims, both "refreshing and sticky". There's a lot to consider as you try to streamline, but if you do it well, your recruiters can go full-blown Rocky and snatch more of the workers who are exactly what you want. And if they're able to do that, company stability and profits likely won't be too far behind.

Published on: Sep 19, 2018