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How To Find Talent For Hard-To-Fill Positions

What to do about those hard to fill positions

A hard-to-fill position is unfortunately not hard to come by. In fact, research states that 47% of employers have hard-to-fill vacancies with the most common sectors including, education, transport and storage and the voluntary sector. Hard-to-fill positions are usually a consequence of a skills shortage, specific and niche job roles, market shifts and industry challenges. All of which leaves you stuck in trying to find the right candidate(s) for each role.

The negative impact of hard-to-fill positions

  • – Time spent looking for the right candidate
  • – Financial impact
  • – Risk of hiring the wrong candidate
  • – Business impact because you’re unable to hire for the jobs that need doing
  • – Harm to the current workforce who have to take onboard additional tasks outside of their own workload

So what can we do about it?

Traditional candidate sourcing techniques require lots of manual work to find the perfect candidate. Often it means sourcing for new candidates outside of your talent pool or digging deep into the talent database to unearth those who match the job criteria. Both methods can generate many new applications but can be time-consuming and costly.

More needs to be done to help beat those requisitions that are hard to fill. That’s why many companies choose to incorporate automation into their recruitment strategy.

How to find candidates for hard-to-fill positions

Sourcing automation can delve deep inside the candidate database and look for any job-matching talent. It works by instantly screening past applicants and automatically referring them to new job roles.

This means you won’t have to advertise the job role and instead of sourcing for new talent, you can make use of what you already have. Helping you save time by taking out the bulk of the work associated with candidate sourcing for those hard-to-fill positions.

Reconsider silver and bronze medalist candidates

Keeping an unsuccessful candidate on file for future job opportunities means that you’ll reconsider them for any appropriate new roles. However, this does not always work. If you’re experiencing a heavy workload or you don’t have the resources to search inside files for qualifying talent you can run the risk of losing out to talent already at your fingertips.

We like to call these candidates silver and even bronze medalist candidates because instead of searching for the gold medalist outside of your talent pool you can reengage with silver medalist candidates already existing inside your data far more quickly.

How to get more candidates for those hard to fill reqs

Existing talent for hard-to-fill roles

Candidates have a proven desire to work at your organisation (hence their initial application) and reaching out to them again with a new job opportunity that suits their skill set and experience will boost candidate experience and encourage them to reply.

Not only will automation benefit the candidate but also recruiters who will see an instant. Utilising automation means you can get a head start on hiring at the very start of the recruiting process. Once a new job requisition is live, sourcing technology will review the vacancy and candidate profiles in order to search for any matching applicants (a process that can be completed in seconds rather than hours!). Any corresponding applicants are then presented to you as the recruiter, where you can review them and choose to advance.

The timesaving potential is HUGE. Take away the burden of manual sourcing and make strategic recruiting decisions and spend more time personally interacting with candidates. Automation also helps guarantee that no candidate is ever forgotten or left behind which is especially important if they’ve been promised that they’ll be held on file.

The screening of past applicants is also more efficient when implementing automation into recruiting practices. Allowing you to consider every historical resume / CV within the database and closely review only matching applicants who match the job criteria. Enabling a fair and bias-free start to the hiring journey.


Automation plays an important ‘helping hand’ for those hard-to-fill roles. There may be times however when it’s not always beneficial to an organisation to implement automated technology into their hiring strategy. Startups and organisations with a generally low number of new vacancies won’t experience the true value of automated technology. Whereas companies hiring on a high volume scale and will already have an HR and recruiting system in place to manage job applications are more likely to reap automation benefits.

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