Top 6 Recruitment Challenges

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As a recruiter, you’re expected to place skilled candidates into roles that match their experience, skill, and background. As a recruiter, you’re also expected to attend meetings and maintain relationships with the company or client you’re hiring for. In addition to that, you’ll need to spend time calling candidates, following up with potential candidates, checking references, collecting documents, and much more. With soo many activities on plate, there are many recruitment challenges one might face.

All this was before the pandemic upturned the way we live and do business. As a result, the way businesses hire has also undergone a dramatic transformation. 2021 brings a whole range of new challenges that recruiters need to be prepared for in order to remain ahead of the curve. In this article, we discuss the six recruitment challenges likely to be faced.

Top 6 Recruitment Challenges 

1. Remote Recruitment

Covid-19 forced most non-essential workers to switch to working from home. Recruiting teams had to quickly adapt, refine processes, and create new ones to make interviewing and hiring work virtually. This will certainly continue into 2021, and possibly beyond, as over 70% of professionals agree that virtual recruiting is becoming the new standard.

With that said, companies who threw together short-term solutions should be working on cleaning up those solutions and optimizing them. Technology must be perfect, and virtual processes must be refined. Then, comes the challenge of humanizing a virtual process, as well as for deciding what should be virtual and what must be in-person.
Remote Recruitment - 6 Recruitment Challenges To Face in 2021 - Oorwin

There are plenty of pros to virtual recruiting. Productivity and connection are made easier by existing tools, like video chat platforms for interviews and applicant tracking systems for online assessments. Communication with your team is simplified via programs like Microsoft Teams and Slack. In fact, technologies like the ones mentioned above are shown to reduce time-to-hire by 50%.

2. Candidate Experience

Creating a positive candidate experience is not a new recruitment challenge, but it is made even more difficult now that it must be done virtually. While tech can help with productivity and time-to-hire, it can also lack a human touch. Impersonal recruiting is a quick way to lose candidate interest, as well as their trust.

For candidates, clarity is the key. Recruiters must be sure to provide timely and accurate outreach, provide complete information so that they feel prepared for assessments and interviews. Know the common technical difficulties, so you can offer solutions. Above all else, be personable and understanding – taking the leap to move jobs during times like these is not easy. Your empathy can make all the difference to a candidate.

3. Skills Gap

Another one of the recruitment challenges we’re seeing is an increase in the skills gap. The growing issue of fast-paced technological advancement and slow traditional education has only been worsened by the pandemic. As the cost of education continues to rise, access to learning these skills becomes more limited.

According to Forbes, “The number of jobs for the top 25% of earners is now higher than it was before the pandemic, while for the bottom quarter — especially in low-wage service sector work — jobs are down by more than 20%.” That means there are more jobs for highly skilled positions than there are candidates who possess those skills – meanwhile, meanwhile, folks lacking those skills are out of work and looking for employment.

As a recruiter, you’ll be sifting through candidates who don’t have the necessary skills for the job. You’ll work twice as hard to attract talent that is skilled. One of the desirable skills that aren’t tech-related is adaptable leadership, with many employees feeling as though they are not equipped to deal with the current rate of change the last year has brought. Finding a leader who is both technically skilled and adaptable is like hitting gold.

4. Recruitment Skills

Just as adaptability is one of the most sought-after skills in candidates, this shift is seen in recruiting trends as well. The volatile market has already affected recruitment teams and will continue to do so.

If you’re currently a recruiter, you’ve probably seen the scope of your job shift and change to fit these unprecedented times – and unfortunately, that isn’t going to end anytime soon. To stay profitable and relevant, businesses must be more agile than ever, and that spills over into every department.

As recruiting teams continue to bridge the gaps within their organizations, they’re expected to add more tools to their repertoire. Diversity and inclusion, personal development, talent pipelining, decision-making, and HR strategy were some of the fastest-growing skills in 2020 for recruiters.

Being able to flex between these skills, while still performing previous job expectations and adapting to a virtual hiring process is all part of being an agile, adaptable recruiter. Moving forward in this article, let us understand the next recruiters’ challenge i.e. Diversity and Inclusion.

5. Diversity and Inclusion

With the racial injustice protests of 2020, demand for equity and inclusion in the workplace is louder than ever. Previously, steps have been made in the right direction in the recruitment industry, but progress has been slow. However, companies are finally accepting that this is an issue they must address.

In fact, 77% of talent professionals agree that diversity will be very important to the culture of recruiting. 47% say that hiring managers are currently not held accountable for interviewing a diverse pool of candidates. As a recruiter, you have the opportunity to set an example and be a catalyst for change.

This change does require buy-in from all stakeholders – no social movement has happened with just one person. In order to drive change, companies will need to plan ahead, make a commitment, and educate recruiters and hiring managers. Discrimination can happen at every stage of recruitment – from application review, phone screening, and job descriptions, to the actual interviews.
Diversity Inclusion - 6 Recruitment Challenges To Face in 2021 - Oorwin

By educating recruitment teams, committing to an ongoing review of processes, and actively working to add inclusivity at every level, recruiters can overcome this challenge. Rethink existing hiring processes – diverse interview panels will help recruiters hold each other accountable. Data-based reporting can help keep recruiters on track to their diversity goals.

This pushes into the brand image as well. Companies that posted about diversity in June saw a 24% increase in candidate engagement. People are selectively seeking out companies that are outspoken about empathy, inclusion, and diversity. Next one of the recruitment challenges is the volatile market.

6. Volatile Market

In the recruitment space, there’s always discussion about whether it’s an employer’s market or a candidate’s market. While most assume that the current recession means that it’s an employer’s market, leaning back on this mindset will cause recruiters to miss out on key talent that will bring in and boost revenue.

This recession looks different than those of the past. Many jobs have gone unfilled due to workers avoiding high-risk roles that could potentially put them in contact with Covid-19, according to the Harvard Business Review. In addition to that, jobs are also bouncing back much faster than we typically see in these scenarios. There’s also been a shift of families moving away from the areas with the biggest hiring needs.

Most notably, unemployment rates are peaking, yet job openings continue to remain at unmatched highs. Despite the economic crash, candidates are carefully shopping for jobs – not just taking the first job that comes their way. This is a recruiting trend that we will continue to see, so recruiters must do everything in their power to attract the right talent and retain them, which is no easy feat.


The challenges faced by recruiters have created ripple effects from year to year. As a recruiter, you are likely used to facing recruitment challenges, but now your role is changing more rapidly than ever before. Diversity and inclusion will continue to be the main focus, and you should expect changes from your company to address the issue within the hiring process; you will see companies work on refining the process to ensure it is finetuned for recruiters and candidates alike. With this, we come to an end to this article on the recruitment challenges. Want to find out how Oorwin helps recruiters tackle these challenges head-on? Take a product tour today.

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