How to fill a tough vacancy

At ETS Technical Selection, we recognise that some roles are notoriously hard to fill – in fact it can feel like you are looking for a needle in a haystack! Recruiting for highly technical positions could require a fresh approach and an updated strategy. Obviously using a recruitment consultancy with specialist experience of recruiting these candidates will help, but here are some further tips on ways to fill your difficult vacancies. (If you prefer the video version, click here.)

1 Revise your Job Description
We always advise clients to write the job description and person specification around the skills needed as opposed to the experience required. For tough vacancies, this means that the number of needles in that haystack will increase.

2 Be smart about skills you are looking for
It’s useful to really hone which skills are essential and which skills can be trained. After all, some skills training may only be a matter of a few days on a course – and would be a useful part of onboarding your new member of staff.

3 Stop looking for perfection
Let’s be brutally honest: perfection does not exist (but if it did it would be an over qualified person performing the role perfectly and who would likely not be challenged enough to stay long term). Look for the best fit for your company – and have realistic expectations.

4 See good candidates immediately
It’s a candidate market out there and the good ones are scooped up really promptly. So when you interview a candidate, do so in a timely manner. Also make a prompt decision to either offer or reject them; candidates do share stories about companies…

5 Don’t expect to see a group of suitable qualified candidates
Don’t wait until you have a pile of suitable CVs on your desk before taking the time to interview. You will potentially never see a group of suitably qualified candidates for your hard to fill role. The planets don’t align that often!

6 Consider revising your offering
You may need to think about revising your offering to attract more candidates – such as flexing the hours, location, pay, experience levels and even the job responsibilities.

7 Contingency plan
This role is hard to fill and will be again in the future so start training someone within the company so that the next time you have this vacancy you also have a ready-made succession plan.

8 Call us if you are still stuck
Here at ETS, we can’t work miracles, but we have come close on a few occasions…..