Has your company had a position open for a while that it just can’t seem to fill? Have recruiters even taken their shot at it, spinning and selling it in the best light possible and it still hasn’t attracted a solid candidate?

It may be time to reevaluate that role and your company’s expectations, and take a good hard look at why it’s not selling. ESG reviews some reasons why good candidates are few and far between when it comes to filling certain positions.

Is the Position Exciting/Interesting?

As much as your internal hiring team or even a job recruiter has put great efforts into making the role as attractive as possible, there may be a fundamental reason that the candidates aren’t taking the bait.

Examine the position through the eyes of a candidate instead of a company. Does the job description sound interesting at all or does it genuinely sound unappealing? Is this the type of position that is a stepping stone to greater things, or does it just consist of tasks that just need to get done? Make sure the description is accurate and honest, yet as appealing as possible. You may even have to reconsider the context of the position – from a full or part-time status to a temporary role to attract the right candidate.

Compensation Package Could Be Below Industry Standard

Given that a position has already been challenging to fill, another aspect to assess is whether the compensation is enough to attract the right candidate. Check your competitors to see what they offer for a comparable position. Your industry-specific recruiter would also know what the current salaries are for various positions in the field. If your company is offering much less than your competitors, then you are definitely undercutting your chances of finding the right candidate.

Compensation doesn’t always have to come in financial form. Increased workplace flexibility or other benefits can be just as much incentive for a candidate, especially with Millennials who tend to enjoy more personal control of their schedules. Why Employees Need Workplace Flexibility is another great blog discussing non-traditional compensations.

The Expectations are too High for the Position

If your company is realizing that all the efforts to market a particular position isn’t attracting the type of candidate desired, plus the position itself is not very prime choice, your company may have to reassess its expectations.

Compare the absolute requisite skills necessary to complete the job/tasks with the types of candidates you’ve been seeking or you’ve asked your recruiter to provide. You may be asking for overqualified candidates who are interested in a more challenging position that better fits their career path.

Consider the candidates who have applied for the job. Were the skill sets on their resumes/CVs acceptable for the position? Would they have been trainable to get the job done? Your company may need to suppress possible personal biases about who is right for the position, and reevaluate what they really need to look for in a candidate. Just because the candidate doesn’t have a similar educational background or employment history as other employees in your company doesn’t mean they can’t get the tasks done for this position.

The Interview Process and Company Presentation are Questionable

Your company and hiring team aren’t the only discretionary folks at the table. Though it’s common to assume that the hiring company has the ball in their court for most of the game, you may be realizing it’s not always the case. What else could be turning candidates away from the position?

Clients and candidates alike pick up on cues from even the subtleties of your interactions. If the interviewer is rather disorganized, wears their (negative) emotions on their sleeves, is unobservant of the time, or is just generally not considerate of other people, your potential candidates may perceive these as red flags.

Be sure that your interviewer and representatives are sending the right message and presentation about your company. Check with our previous blog, Impress Your Candidates With These Simple Considerations for more hints about the message your company needs to send to win over great candidates.

How Is Your Company’s Reputation?

Take a good hard look in your (company) mirror. What do you see? What do others see? More importantly, what do others say?

Google or Yelp reviews are one way to find out, but if your company doesn’t have a lot of reviews, a trusting industry-specific recruiter can give you a perspective check on what impression your company brand gives its consumers. Diligent candidates will do their research, and if they discover through the grapevine that employee morale and retention rates are low, there are ongoing issues or conflicts, or even that the physical space or working conditions are questionable, then this may send a potential applicant in the other direction even before they apply. For many people, especially in the Millennial generation, a good salary and great benefits are not enough to hold someone’s interest; a company’s reputation must be in good standing as well.

If you find your company on or toward the unsatisfactory end of the spectrum, you should strongly consider efforts to get your reputation back on track. Though it may have been easy to avoid for a while, there’s a cumulative effect of negativity in the workplace that can ultimately undermine the company’s productivity and bottom line. Consulting with an industry-specific recruiter can help identify core problems and design short-term solutions and long-term plans to help resolve these issues and build back a positive reputation.

For any questions or inquiries, please reach out to ESG via our contact page.