Difficulty finding candidates

(From Carol Brooksbank)

Is anyone else experiencing a lack of candidates for entry level positions? My company is small ( less than 100) and I need to hire 4 new employees this month and 2 next month due to growth. I hate to admit, but I am out of ideas.

We currently use Indeed for our postings, have not had any success on other job boards. The candidates that are responding are either too qualified, or appear to be resume posting  merely to show they have applied for a position We've done job fairs, newspaper ( yes believe it or not) and worked with the Unemployment office with no success.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 

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  • We have experienced similar results with Indeed.com in that people apply and then do not return calls or emails when we reach out to schedule interviews. I'm not sure what industry you are in, but we been focusing on getting our job openings to local college career centers for current students and especially alumni who may be job seeking. We also include community colleges. We go even further and try to establish relationships with professors and program chairs, etc. who may be able to send targeted emails out to specifically highlight our positions.

    If your company has a Facebook page or other social media (LinkedIn), that can be a way to spread the word about employment opportunities, and give instructions on how to apply, how to get more information (via your website or ATS), etc. 

    Like 1
  • We have had quite a bit of success with temp-to-hire through temp agencies for entry level positions. Some work out, some don't. If they are not working out you can end the relationship with no strings attached, if they are working out you can hire them on after a certain amount of hours worked. We have some great employees that originally came to us through a temp service. Also of note it that, some temp agencies are very skill focused, should you be looking for a certain skill set. 

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  • I work in manufacturing and have found success with the temp - to - hire route.  You need to be cautious and understand the conversion fees that may or may not be charged to you when you convert.  I have also found candidates by building relationships with local technical school placement offices.  

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  • Employee referral bonus?  And, it's in the technology space too!

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  • Hi Carol ,

    Thanks for having Steve post your question. It sounds like you have two issues:

    1) A lack of enough candidates in general...outside of Indeed anyway

    2) Candidates that aren't the right fit from Indeed in particular

    Do you have any idea of what kind of visitor traffic your job descriptions are getting on your corporate website? On Indeed?

    If you're receiving a lot of "views" but aren't seeing enough or the right kind of conversions, then it may indicate that you could take a look at the content of your job description body text and titles as one approach. Maybe candidates are searching for jobs in your category with a different set of keywords than what you are using in your titles.

    Or, since its entry-level, perhaps your descriptions need to focus on that by emphasizing shifts available, pay, overtime eligibility, etc. Another thought is that many of the candidates who are looking for entry-level jobs, in particular, will be doing so from their smartphones. If you're doing sponsored jobs on Indeed, then perhaps you are already taking advantage of the "Indeed Apply" functionality...as that would explain why you don't have a problem getting lots of apps from that site.

    If the job descriptions on your corporate website or ATS are not mobile friendly, then you may be missing out on getting more applications from sources outside of Indeed if applicants are having a harder time applying from a mobile device.

    I recently wrote a blog on this topic that might be helpful:

    http://www.exacthire.com/blog/recruiting/5-steps-better-job-description-click-through-rates/

    Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss further. Thanks!

    -Jessica Stephenson

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  • Thank you all for the responses. Appreciate the article Jessica. I've revamped the job description and job title on the posting to reflect the job, not necessarily the "in-house" title.
    We started an employee referral program, still waiting to see results on that.
    We did partner with a staffing firm for temp to hire for a few of our positions. Hope to see some movement there.
    If nothing else, its a testament to the economy that we are having a hard time filling positions. Guess that's not such a bad thing.
    Again, thanks everyone!
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  • Thanks for the recap,  Carol . Best of luck and please keep us updated on how things go with these new adjustments. Have a nice weekend!

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  • Hi Carol,

    I am not sure what industry you are in, but could you expand your applicant pool by hiring ex-felons or individuals with disabilities? Both populations have higher unemployment rates and organizatiosn that specialize in try to place them.

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  • Building on what Cyril said, what other untapped markets might there be in your area? Part-time stay at home moms? Retired farmers? Refugees? Universities? You may be able to do some creative hiring and gain diversity in your workforce at the same time. 

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  • Carol, 

    One avenue that I had success with was partnering with local colleges, primarily community colleges, and visited their campus to get the word out about the opportunities. I contacted the careers office and asked if we could have a table(similar to job fairs) in their student lounge area and materials that spoke to the opportunities and also had a laptop, so prospective candidates could apply on the spot and go through the first round of interviews at the same time. As a result, we were able to hire some quality team members and build a relationship that aided when future openings came around. 

    To follow up on what others have mentioned concerning individuals with disabilities, we partnered with local job coaches and offered to do interviews with their clients whether they were qualified or not as a development outreach. In return, we ended up finding a qualified team member who has turned out to be one of the top performing and one of the most loyal team members to date. 

    Best of luck, 

    Monica Morgan

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  • There just isn't one solution anymore.   Sometimes boards work, some times temp services work and sometimes nothing works and get in my car & go raid retail for entry level folks.  IT is never ending.  My problem is getting it through to management that HR isn't a one person job anymore.  

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  • Jeff, I'm very fortunate in that I have an boss that "gets it. " We are using a temp agency, and have used every resource known to man. I offered to wear a sandwich board and walk around. Thankfully that idea was shot down. Ha! Our biggest hurdle now is finding candidates that can pass the pre-employment testing.
    I guess it's job security. I made 3 hires this week so I'm feeling pretty darn happy about that!
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