Top recruiting challenges companies face – and how to overcome them

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In today's competitive job market, attracting talent is no easy feat. Companies face a host of trials, and here are the top challenges, according to a survey of over 2,800 senior managers conducted by staffing firm Robert Half.

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1. Generating interest from qualified candidates

Getting the right candidates excited about the jobs that companies have available is easier said than done, according to 35% of hiring managers in the Half survey. If that's been your experience, don't just focus on each individual job on the table, but also the career growth your company offers. If candidates are led to believe that opportunities abound at your company, they may be more excited to work for you.

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2. Asking the right interview questions

For 20% of managers, according to the survey, nailing the interview process is tricky. A good bet, therefore, is to have candidates meet with a series of people, each of whom can ask different questions and bring a unique perspective. At the same time, it pays to focus on questions that tell you what makes your applicants tick, and what their personalities are like. You'll generally get a good sense of whether candidates are qualified by reading their resumes, so rather than focus on the technical stuff only, aim to get a sense of their soft skills as well.

3. Developing compensation packages and negotiating salaries

A good 19% of managers surveyed said that landing on the right compensation and negotiating salaries are taxing parts of the recruiting process. You should research salary data thoroughly so that you know what the competition is offering. At the same time, understand the value that workplace benefits bring, and aim to offer less-common perks that job candidates are apt to find appealing. The latter will really help set your business apart in a competitive hiring atmosphere.

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4. Reviewing applications

The act of going through job applications is cumbersome for 13% of managers. If that's the case for you, streamline the process. When creating job applications, ask pointed questions that will help you determine whether candidates are a good fit from the get-go, and provide clear instructions so that applicants don’t inadvertently waste your time. This will make reviewing those applications easier on you.

5. Creating job descriptions

An estimated 12% of the managers surveyed said that crafting job descriptions is one of the most trying aspects of bringing in talent. If you struggle in this area, start by identifying the qualities or skills that are an absolute must for candidates, and make it clear that lacking in those areas is a deal-breaker. Next, paint a picture of what it's like to not only take on each role you're looking to fill, but also to work for your company in general. Better yet, enlist the help of other employees -- ideally, ones with similar jobs -- to help draft those job descriptions, since they might have a better sense of what the roles entail than you do.

Hiring new talent is tough in general, but when the job market is booming, it's all the more difficult. Addressing the above challenges will hopefully make the process a lot smoother.

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