Your biggest recruitment challenges…

In our I Love Recruitment survey earlier this year, we asked IRP members to share what keeps them hooked on working in recruitment, as well as what gives them the biggest headache. Can you relate with what participants told us?

With every great job comes some setbacks, and it’s inevitable that you won’t love your job 100% of the time. We asked you to share the biggest recruitment industry challenges, and this is what you told said.

The ups and downs
Recruitment is a fluctuating industry. Sometimes things will be great, with jobs, clients, and the perfect candidates all falling into your lap – then you’ll have times when nothing seems to fall into place. This was the top ranked challenge, with a 30% vote.


Sourcing candidates
Whether it’s competition from other recruiters, a tricky sector, or an exacting person specification, 23% voted sourcing good candidates as their biggest challenge. The rise in social media sourcing – used by 81% of participants – shows recruiters are looking in new places for the candidates to overcome this sticking point.

Managing client and candidate expectations
We’ve all had that one client who demands the earth and is never satisfied with the work or likewise a candidate who tries to get all they can – and more – out of a potential new employer. Just under a quarter of participants, 24%, voted this as their biggest professional challenge. Channeling all the zen you can muster, and potentially biting your tongue, is vital in helping you maintain good working relationships – and will probably save your sanity at the hardest of times.

How slow the recruitment process can be
Still working on the same job you took on a month ago? You’re not alone, as this was the third biggest challenge faced by our participants – with a vote of 6%. Even if you have the ideal role to hire for and a raft of great candidates, the whole recruitment process can drag out due to client consultations, scheduling interview dates, and negotiations.

Winning new client business
This was the toughest challenge for 5% of participants. Recruitment is a highly competitive industry, with successful pitches for new business resting on the ability to demonstrate a clear professional edge and prove to clients that you’re the very best match for their business and recruitment need. More than a case of who can shout the loudest, it’s your credentials, previous professional performance, candidate pool, and to persuasive presentation skills that count.

Hitting targets
When you’ve got a tough month, with business at an all-time low, not enough jobs and a shortage of good candidates for the jobs you do have, meeting targets can be a major headache. This scored highest with 2% of participants. Outside of ramping up your on-the-job creativity, having something to keep you motivated – whether it’s a personal treat, weekend trip, hard-core gym session or just the knowledge that things can’t always be this tough –  will help overcome those bad patches.

Not having enough jobs to work on
There are certain times when recruitment seems to grind to a halt – as 2% of those surveyed highlighted. Whether it’s because people are on holiday, the economy has hit a rough patch, or the sector seems to have dropped off the radar. Nothing makes the day drag more than having nothing to do, although down-time does present the perfect opportunity to complete CPD or online training.

* Other: 6% of participants

If you found this blog interesting, why not read our guide interviewing candidates and social recruiting.

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