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Candidate Search for Entry-Level Roles a Challenge for Recruiters

Clare Hopping

Candidate Oliver Cox

Today, employers are struggling to find entry-level candidates. Why is this, and how can employers fine-tune their candidate search to solve the problem?

Recently, employers across a wide range of industries have come across the same problem with entry-level candidate recruitment. While there is an abundance of qualified candidates with university degrees and technology skills, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reports that, “there is a ‘serious mismatch’ between the skills held by entry-level candidates and those demanded by employers.”

This gap is a worrisome sign for employers looking to expand rapidly and to attract qualified employees.

The particular problem of entry-level recruitment is interesting because, due to the rise in the number of young people with university degrees, it suggests a problem separate from education. According to the CIPD, “[a]round one in seven employers (16%) were unable to fill all their entry-level vacancies in the last three years, despite a greater number of young people gaining qualifications since the recession…”

As the economy continues on its long road to recovery, these issues can no longer be explained away with recession economics. For employers in the UK looking to attract the most qualified entry-level candidates, this seems to be a problem that begins and ends with the recruitment process.

Fixing the Candidate Search Process

Benn Hutt, a chief executive with Talent Party, told Total Jobs that “one of the biggest issues businesses face when it comes to recruiting is the time it takes to find the right people.”

While a number of recruiting platforms can help HR managers search for entry-level candidates, companies need to devote themselves to finding the most cutting-edge solutions to recruitment problems.

As Hutt states, “It’s a real problem, and employers are making the recruitment process more complex and lengthy than it needs to be because they are not making the most of useful and relevant online recruitment practices.”

Despite the existence of a number of online recruitment tools such as LaunchPad Recruits, which offers video interviews that “let you see candidates’ personality and presentation, not just a list of qualifications,” some companies are falling behind when it comes to entry-level candidate search.

As Hutt emphasises, “Recruitment technology… is helping to dramatically reduce time to hire whilst also improving the quality of the outcome.”

When dealing with this growing pool of applicants with varying degrees of qualification, hiring parties must keep pace with technology throughout the recruitment process, particularly those technologies that can broaden the reach of your search and develop personal connections with potential employees.

Recruitment software can also prove useful in easing communications between employers and candidates. Pay Scale advises companies to “send along regular announcements, event updates, new job opportunities, [and] product launches.” These communications, along with personalised touches like video interviews, can create a more effective dialogue between businesses and qualified candidates.

This sort of communication actually reaches beyond both traditional recruitment practices, like analysing CVs, and more contemporary strategies, like exploring candidates’ social media profiles.

As the recruitment process grows increasingly complex, adopting flexible and innovative methods and techniques is paramount to solving the nationwide issue of filling entry-level roles. Such efforts could even bring about a speedier economic recovery across all domestic industries.

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.