Why Are Companies Really Struggling to Entice, Engage and Appoint the Talent They Desperately Need?

It is no secret that companies are struggling to find the talent they need. Vacancies are at an all-time high and the high-calibre talent required to fill these positions is increasingly becoming more difficult to entice. So why are companies having such a difficult time enticing, engaging, and appointing the talent they so desperately need?

header curve

One of the reasons companies are struggling to find high-calibre talent is because candidates have never been presented with so many differing opportunities. The pandemic has increased the number of roles that can be done remotely which has added to a great outlook for candidates. With more and more businesses looking for people with in demand skills, experience and high potential, it's no surprise that the best employees are being targeted by multiple organisations. This makes recruitment difficult and requires recruitment processes to be very innovative, appealing and quick. It is not uncommon for top talent to get multiple offers from companies looking to attract them, making it increasingly hard for companies to retain these coveted employees.

In this article, we will be exploring why companies are struggling to entice, engage and appoint the talent they desperately need. We will also look at different ways companies can solve this problem. 


Outsized Expectations and Endless Alternatives

Many people often expect an increase in salary when they look for a new job. This means that companies aren't only competing with other organisations for the same talent, but they're also battling internal candidates who are looking to cash in on their increased value too. Since there is such stiff competition for top talent, it doesn't take much for highly skilled individuals to get multiple offers. This makes it difficult for companies to hold onto the talent they already have, let alone attract new employees. Wage inflation is rocketing, and candidates can easily secure an extra 20% plus on their basic salary just by moving jobs.

Another factor which makes recruitment so difficult is that people don't just want a job. They want a career with an organisation that aligns to their purpose and values. People are looking at their next step in life and are trying to find opportunities that will help them grow and develop their skills and experience. They are also looking for employers that take mental health and wellbeing seriously. This means it has never been more critical for companies to do something more than just offer a job. In the recruitment process, candidates want total visibility for what it is like to work in your business. They want you to bring the experience to life. After all, if you don’t I am sure your competitors will!!


Geographic Limitations

Geographical requirements are changing. Historically, talented professionals, particularly new graduates, would tend to travel to cities in search of high-paying jobs with well-known companies. Businesses located in less appealing areas were always limited in terms of the candidate pool they could access. This was the single largest hurdle to attracting top talent, but the pandemic has presented the serious option of remote working. Most candidates we speak to are looking for a hybrid working model. They don’t want to have to commute to an office every day, but they also don’t want to be staying at home full time. It is clear that the companies who have embraced remote or hybrid working and making it much easier for themselves to entice and secure really high calibre talent. On the other hand, there are plenty of companies refusing and instead are insisting on holding on to their pre-pandemic office-based roles. This approach really reduces the talent pool available to them.


Inconsistent or Disorganized Recruitment Processes

From confusing job descriptions to HR managers that are unable to answer basic work-related questions, a disorganised recruitment process will detract from the candidate experience and drive talented professionals away. I would actually recommend that you think of a recruitment process in the same way you would if you wanted to impress your customers by designing an amazing and differentiated customer experience. Too many companies still consider recruitment as a boring process with few stakeholders particularly passionate or interested in it. This comes across to candidates and turns them off.

To counter this, you must give candidates the experience that you would love to have if you were attending interviews at your company. The experience needs to be authentic, full of two-way communication and give candidates a real flavour of what it would be like to work for you. One-way interviews where companies just want to “grill” candidates and give them no opportunity to find out about you have long gone. At least they have if you want to attract top talent!

In addition, your candidate experience needs to be well organised, consistent and quick. The recruitment market is working at pace and you need to keep up with it. Adding days or weeks between interviews will only increase the chance of your sought candidates being lured another employer.


Skill Shortage

Companies compete not just for the best employees but also for the most qualified. In high-demand sectors such as technology, healthcare and construction, employers are struggling to find candidates with the particular skills, qualifications and experience required to help deliver their strategies..

Remember that just because it's difficult to find great talent, you shouldn't settle for someone who isn't qualified.

Instead of enduring a long-term vacancy, why not think outside the box and move away from a set of tick boxes that must be ticked. Look at other industries for candidates who could bring a different viewpoint. Consider what core behaviours and competencies you need and look to identify candidates who could be quickly developed. We see so many companies suffering long-term vacancies because they are waiting for the perfect candidate despite knowing in their heart of hearts that they don’t really exist.

If you can’t find the talent you need despite numerous efforts, it may be worth investing in a recruitment partner.

Professional recruiters will be able to advise you on the types of industries that candidates could come from. They should be able to provide you with data and market intelligence to help you think outside the box and respecify your role.


Employer branding is important during the recruiting process, especially when there is a shortage of labour. Here’s why.

Prospective employees are less interested in employer branding when unemployment is high, and job vacancies are scarce. They only want jobs.

However, when talented people have a variety of employers to choose from, employer branding becomes critical. It might be the differentiator that sets your company apart from its competitors.

Even though many companies don't pay much attention to it, the first level of employer branding is the simplest to control. This is the image you present to potential employees.

Your employer brand includes your hiring website, full digital footprint, application and interview process, and any employment-related marketing campaigns you're running.

These factors communicate what your company is like to applicants and potential candidates, and this may make a big impact on how many — and which — people apply.


The bottom line is that if companies want to entice and hire the talent they desperately need, they need to change their hiring strategy. Hiring professional headhunters is an effective way for employers to find the talent they need. This method will be more time-efficient, and it will ultimately save them money. Going forward, hiring a professional recruiter may just be the best strategy for your business!

For more information about headhunting and how it can help you find the ideal employee, feel free to check out our homepage. We're always happy to answer any questions people may have!


About the author
Doug Mackay
4 min read

Having started his career in Executive Search in 1998, Doug set up Collingwood in 2005 alongside his wife, Claire Mackay.

Read more >