I have a great job available – so why can’t I find someone for it??

While it’s still very much an employer’s market, more and more Joanne and I are assisting employers who have already undertaken their own recruitment and yet haven’t been able to find someone suitable for their role. Lucky for us, in each of these instances we have successfully filled the position – often in a short space of time!

So what was it that made the difference? In one case the salary was too high. Yep! We advised our client to lower the salary they were offering [and yes, our fee was reduced in this instance, but do you think our advice solidified our relationship with them? You betcha!]. Reason being was that the applicants’ perception of the role was that it was a much more senior position than it really was, and so they couldn’t get past the interview stage without the candidate withdrawing.

Another one we recently had was a client who had advertised their vacancy twice and still weren’t getting the right type of applicants. The position had a lot going for it – great role, highly regarded employer, central location, so why weren’t they getting the right applicants? In this instance it had to do with the way the role was being pitched – the title didn’t reflect the nature of the role, the salary hadn’t been included in their ad [even though it was very attractive] and the ad itself was very specific in terms of the specialised nature of the division. I suspect applicants may have been put off if they hadn’t worked in this field previously.

So here are some of the things you might want to look at if you’re having trouble filling a role;

  • Are you advertising for an accountant in June/July? Chances are they’ll be busy with EOFY and won’t be trawling Seek! You might need to work your networks a bit harder and not rely on your standard approach.
  • Review your ad. Is it attractive to applicants? Does it accurately describe the role? Does it give applicants a sense of the workplace culture? Is the salary included? Are you asking them to address lots of selection criteria? Has the ad been placed in the right job category and location [you would be surprised!]. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal applicant – where will they be looking? Another thing with ads we often see is that they’re written using internal language and position titles. Sometimes it’s worth making your ad a little more generic so it’s more relatable to applicants.
  • Is the salary in line with the role requirements? I know it sounds a little crazy but sometimes offering a higher salary can work against you. Particularly if it gives the impression of the role being at a more senior level than it really is. This can lead to a placed candidate ‘falling out’, or simply a disconnect at interview between what you’re looking for, and how a candidate perceives the role.
  • Recruitment process. Is your process too long? Have you put a closing date on it that’s a month away? Do you require multiple interviews and have lots of ‘hoops’ to jump through? Have you ‘shortlisted’ too many candidates and are trying to manage too many people? Is there a long wait between interviews? All these things mean you risk losing your best candidate along the way.! It also doesn’t do your employer brand any good. So managing your recruitment process efficiently goes a long way!

If you can get these things right then you’re on track to filling your vacancy with your ideal person!


Written by Melanie Mansfield