What is the Hardest Job to Recruit For? - American Society of Employers - Sheila Hoover

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What is the Hardest Job to Recruit For?


The answer to this question can vary from time to time, era to era, etc.  There are always jobs that are “hard to fill” and professions or skill sets that aren’t as popular as others. 

One of my hardest jobs to recruit was a Siebel Programmer about 10 years ago. I had just started with a new company, and this was the first assignment I was given. Never mind that I didn’t know what Siebel was – I still did it, I found a person across the country within 60 days, and they accepted the offer.  I know you know the feeling of accomplishment when you fill a position and make a manager and new employee happy.

But, what is the hardest job to recruit for in 2021/2022?  Would you agree that it is a recruiter!?  The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) did some research and found that in today’s busy labor market, there aren’t enough recruiters to go around.  According to ZipRecruiter, “The average number of monthly U.S. job postings for recruiters fell at the start of the pandemic but has more than doubled since February 2020 to nearly 148,000 in September.”

The WSJ continues stating recruiters and search firms say it is harder than ever to hire for their own ranks, even for a job that can pay less-experienced recruiters in the low six figures to fill high-demand finance and technology roles.  “There are not remotely enough recruiters to fill the demand that’s out there,” says John Arbolino, managing director at Boothroyd & Co., which recruits recruiters in the finance industry.  “Everyone and their mother out there in corporate America wants a recruiter.”

On a positive note, the demand for recruiters is opening up a possible new profession for job seekers.  Keith Wolf, managing director of Houston-based recruiting firm Murray Resources, says “One reason it is so hard to find such hires is that many aren’t aware recruiting is a viable career option.” 

Many of the basic skills needed to be a recruiter can be found across industries.  Subject matter experts who also have strong communication skills and a persistent personality, often find themselves transitioning into a recruiting position.  Wolf commented, “One thing that any recruiter will tell you is no one went to school to be a recruiter.”   You may earn your degree in Human Resources, which will touch on recruiting; however, it does not delve into the details.  In addition, most who earn an HR degree prefer a generalist career path. 

“The American workforce is rapidly changing.  In August, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs, part of what many are calling “the Great Resignation.”  Employers are finding themselves almost desperate to hire recruiters, whether in-house or utilizing outside recruiting firms.  However, with many businesses still recovering from the pandemic closures, paying the 20%-30% fee to a firm on new hires’ first-year salaries are too expensive when they need to hire multiple people.

To answer the question again, a recruiter is the hardest job to recruit for in 2021.  So how can companies overcome this challenge?  Be strategic, recognize the value, and offer a great candidate experience! 

Additional ASE Resources
ASE Staffing Services - When you need to hire, whether it’s for a temporary opening or a full-time addition to your team, ASE’s staffing service can help.  ASE members pay only a 10% placement fee for direct hires.  For more information, please contact Sheila Hoover.

Source:  Wall Street Journal


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