It goes without saying that hard-to-fill jobs are recruiters’ nightmare. According to a recent Talent Shortage Survey, almost half of the employers surveyed in Asia faced hiring difficulties particularly for hard-to-fill jobs such as IT personnel, sales representatives and engineers. The survey revealed that lack of experience and a mismatch in the salary expectations between employers and potential candidates are among the top reasons recruiters find it hard to fill these roles.

Moreover, the war for talent is only getting tougher when it was further revealed that these three industries are also one of the most sought-after specialisations in several countries in the region, according to the combined records by and JobsDB. With stats like these, it is no wonder that more and more companies are getting creative in exploring new ways and different talent acquisition strategies to fill those difficult positions.

So what are some of the effective talent acquisition strategies for hard-to-fill jobs that you can adopt to?

1. Revise the job description

A job description should contain keywords that are widely searched by potential candidates and most relevant to the job position. You can also add in attractive keywords such as company benefits and perks to make your job ad stand out from others. It should always be kept brief, precise and easily searchable. Also, if the job description is very niche, chances are, the talent pool will also be limited. Consider customising the job description to cover the desired skills but with the option of getting trained in other areas to expand the talent pool.

2. Employee referral programs

Employees are readily available sources that are often underutilised. Your employees would be able to identify the best industry leaders within their networking circle therefore employee referrals would usually be of higher quality. Talent acquisition deals through employee referral programmes are also quick to seal as talents would often be eager to join companies if they know someone on-board. Incentives and rewards can help motivate employee referrals but what’s more important is that, it allows existing employees to develop a strong cultural basis by contributing and helping to build the organisation’s talent base.

3. Engage in niche communities

The Internet makes it easier for professionals with the same interest to come together and stay connected. These online communities also served as databases for companies to search for a specific skillset. By being a part of a community means you get to monitor what are the current trends or topics that are relevant and matter to your targeted pool of talent. Remember not to spam the communities but share only relevant content or provide helpful answers whenever there is an enquiry. The idea is to create trust, have respect and build credibility to your brand.

4. Target college & universities

Do not be picky. If you look closely, many of these hard-to-fill jobs can actually suit recent graduates. Alternatively, you can create internship programmes that can bring in suitable graduates for as many positions as possible. You can also work with recruitment firms as your starting point to leverage on their campus databases, targeting and hiring the best graduates through campus advertising. There are also other options that can attract graduates such as participating in career fairs, workshops, seminars and e-career events.

In short, hard-to-fill jobs require more acquisition strategies than any typical job. Companies should craft their own unique strategy that would work best for them and their specific industries. Combine some of the above modern approaches with your existing traditional recruiting techniques, such as job boards advertising, and you can definitely increase the chances of closing the talent gap in those hard-to-fill roles.

Source: Talent acquisition strategies for hard-to-fill jobs in jobsDB Hong Kong