The hardest part of recruitment is finding the best candidates - we don't want good, we want amazing - and clients need to feel like that's what we produce. When we all know there are tons of qualified candidates out there but they aren't knocking down our door, it's a daunting process.

What's going on? Why don't people want this job? There can be a few reasons. Let's take a look at the possibilities:

  1. Your job description needs some work. You write these every day, but how much attention do you actually pay to them? Honestly, if they've become routine and you pump them out, they're probably not as good as you think. This is your first contact and you need to design it so that it only reaches people who are actually qualified for the job - but it needs to reach them, too. A bad description may mean your inbox fills with queries who are in no way qualified but those who are apply elsewhere. You're just wasting time if you aren't putting energy into your job descriptions.

  2. You're looking in all the wrong places. This is tricky these days. Jobseekers no longer flip through classifieds; they turn to the internet and social media. Did you know that 92% of businesses now use social media for recruitment? But this is difficult because that means everyone can see it - you'll have to wade through the un-candidates to get to the strong ones you're going to want to meet. There are ways around this - look for websites of people looking for exactly the kinds of offers you provide. You should rely on word of mouth too - in an age of disconnect that is more important than you realize. We know more people but we don't know them as well. Reach out to your networks; as they reach into theirs, you'll touch on someone.

  3. You're too demanding. Employers want ROI, we get it. But you can't hire for four jobs on a half of a salary for just one person. For that matter, even a substantial salary needs realistic workload. If you ask for too much you will only pull in the same people you want to avoid from numbers 1 and 2 - the people who can't find anything and will just take anything. In this same vein, be mindful of the “10 years experience required, job ideal for recent graduate” trap. You have to be realistic, and you also have to be fair.

  4. You don't offer enough. Your candidates have bills to pay. They can't work for nothing. Be fair to the candidate - if you aren't trying to woo them from the gate and instead let them know immediately they'll be undervalued, they won't ever enter your company. Most employees report that their salary doesn't match the work performed. Quality work product demands that your employees feel valued.

  5. A bad brand. This one is the hardest to fix and you need to do it ASAP. You got here probably because of numbers one through four. If you expect top candidates to move from your job description to your application process, you must treat employees and clients well and cultivate your brand. To find out if this is the problem (you probably already know!) find out what your current employees like and dislike about the company, and understand what kind of culture you want versus what they report having, then decide if you’re happy with where you stand.

If you want top clients the bottom line is simple: treat them well.