How to fill hard to fill vacancies

How to fill hard to fill vacancies

If you have opened this post you probably want to know the secret of how to fill hard to fill vacancies. In this post I will explain based on having done it, been paid to do it and having taught hundreds of people how to do it.

What is a hard to fill vacancy?

To explain let’s qualify what a hard to fill vacancy is. A hard to fill vacancy is one where you are having persistent problems or have had historic issues finding people who can either do the job, want the job or will accept the job.

With this in mind, I will explain the solution to each scenario and what to and what not to do. Both the latter are important.

Hard to fill vacancies that are going unfilled for a long time

To solve this problem you have to be realistic about the two key barriers to filling vacancies. The first barrier is the minimum skill requirements and the second is the salary and package on offer. Sometimes the skill requirements are simply not available on the market it would seem. And on other occasions whilst the skills are available, the budget to hire for these roles is not high enough to attract would be suiters.

How to solve skill gaps

The solution on solving skill gaps is to come at it from a pragmatic angle by asking yourself and your team a few questions. Can you train or does your company have the facility to train on certain required skillsets within a realistic time frame to make it practical for a hire without those skills to be brought up to speed quickly enough? On most occasions the answer is yes, but it will feel inconvenient. However, needs must. And by the time you wait around trying to find the right person you could have trained 5 people. So bite the bullet and be pragmatic. This way you minimize the skill requirements you actually need which could solve the hiring problem.

How to solve salary and package barriers

To solve this you need to understand the market for what you need, what you want and take into account a few other factors. The other factors in question are the location of the role, the benefits, the drawbacks, the market demand for this role and what competitor companies are doing. Again, this involves being pragmatic.

The bottom line is this; does your salary and package offering appeal to the target candidate persona you are looking for? However, do not lie to yourself on this. If you believe it is good enough and yet nobody is coming back to you with interest for weeks and months on end then guess what, you’re kidding yourself.

You will have a budget. And you need to understand what you can get for that budget. And this is ultimately what successful hiring comes down to. What you need skills wise needs to match up with what your salary and package offering can get. Bring these in line and you solve hiring problems.


Be pragmatic enough to use internal experience, internal and/or external training and be prepared to make compromises to bring your minimum skill requirements low enough and your salary and package offering high enough to create a middle ground large enough to have a pool of potential candidates fill it. Do that and you can solve hiring problems. If you don’t good luck to you but you’re either going to be waiting a long time or hindering progress.





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