How to Hire Hard to Fill Jobs

How to Hire Hard to Fill Jobs

From home health and medical positions to truck drivers to hospitality positions, hard-to-fill jobs can be found across a wide range of industries. There are a variety of causes for these perennially hard-to-fill jobs, such as the size of talent pools, locations, macroeconomic factors, and other environmental factors that may be out of your control. One thing that is within your control is how you identify talent for these types of positions. You and your team likely already have the expertise to define a successful employee. If not, take this quick survey to help you along

How to Identify Success in a Hard-to-Fill Job with a Pre-Hire Assessment

So, once you know what “good” looks like, i.e., the qualities of a successful employee in this type of hard-to-fill job, how do you assess those qualities in candidates to avoid candidate embellishment or hiring bias? That’s where a customized, quality pre-hire assessment comes in. The pre-hire assessment can be valuable in identifying the right fit for a hard-to-fill role. Using a pre-hire assessment, you can gather objective candidate data to help you make more informed hiring decisions.

When designing a pre-hire assessment, it’s important to focus on the specific skills, traits, and behaviors necessary to succeed in the role. This may involve working with subject matter experts to identify the most important competencies or using data from past successful employees to inform the assessment.

Reducing Bias with a Pre-Hire Assessment

It’s also important to ensure that the assessment is fair and unbiased. You can ensure fairness by using validated assessment tools, minimizing the impact of irrelevant factors such as demographic information, and providing accommodations for candidates with disabilities.

Once you have designed a pre-hire assessment, it’s important to use it consistently across all candidates applying for the hard-to-fill position. This can help you compare candidates on a level playing field and make hiring decisions based on objective data rather than cognitive bias. This is important for any type of position, but especially hard-to-fill jobs. These types of jobs require a very specific set of skills and traits so it is important to focus on objective measures during the hiring process. Filling a hard-to-fill position is only worthwhile if that person stays in the role for the long-term because they are truly a good fit. Turnover is costly – you can calculate the cost of your organization’s turnover for hard-to-fill jobs with People Strategies turnover calculator

Using Data to Iterate

Another benefit you achieve through consistent administration of pre-hire assessments is consistent data you can use to continue to refine your hiring process with these hard-to-fill positions. For example, having this information allows you to calculate the direct ROI from hiring people who score high on an assessment compared to those who score low. What if there is no difference between those people? This can happen because the nature of the work has changed or the initial assessment didn’t match the role well. Then, you can iterate and choose a different scale or set of scales that will predict success, which is not something you would be able to do if you didn’t have the data to see the systematic error in your hiring process. 

Overall, a customized, quality pre-hire assessment can be a valuable tool in identifying the right candidates for hard-to-fill jobs. By focusing on the specific skills and traits necessary for success in the role and ensuring that the assessment is fair and unbiased, you can make more informed hiring decisions and improve your chances of filling those challenging positions with people who will stay and provide long-term value for your organization.