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5 Challenges to Changing Your Recruitment Strategy and How to Solve Them

by Michele McGovern, editor at HR Morning  

Change is uncomfortable for most people and almost always interferes with processes before it improves them.  

But changes in strategy garner serious results such as significant savings in search costs, reduced time-to-hire, increased hiring from underrepresented groups, and generating candidate pools with 90%+ match rate on required skills.  

With positive results like that, it’s tempting to dive into changing a recruitment strategy. But first, recognize the common challenges that occur so you can anticipate issues and determine how to overcome them.  

1. Resistance  

Most people prefer to stay in their comfort zones, but reinventing a recruiting strategy means learning new technology, changing habits, following new processes and responding differently to all the changes. That’s scary, and people will push back.  

Fix 1: Be transparent 

Everyone needs to understand the reason for change – not just the high-level benefits it’s supposed to deliver.  

Fix 2: Acknowledge the struggle 

Let them know the potential challenges that may arise and how they’ll be helped through those.  

Fix 3: Find champions for the cause at all levels  

Enlist different stakeholders from executives to front-line recruiters. Have them enthusiastically communicate why the change is happening, how it’ll happen and what to expect next.

2. Limited Support  

Executive leadership tends to focus more on dollars spent in the short term than dollars saved or process improvements in the long term. So they may not initially jump on board when talent acquisition leaders ask to revamp the recruiting process.  

Fix 1: Know and flex the numbers 

Use benchmark data and personal experience to show exact figures on time and money saved or productivity and revenue increased.

Fix 2: Show failures 

To gain more support, share stories of failed hires, lost productivity and their ripple effects.

3. Communication  

Many changes fail because communication failed first. Recruiters might not communicate the project value to leadership whose support is critical. Employees may not hear all they need to embrace and implement changes. This leads to more resistance and less cooperation.

Fix 1: Get feedback early and often 

Ask everyone who’s affected by the recruitment strategy changes how they feel, what they expect and what they’d do differently.

Fix 2: Use all your tools  

Communicate before and during changes via your internal apps, email and face-to-face meetings. Everyone will absorb and accept information differently.  

Fix 3: Be consistent 

Ideally, all information should come from the same source at the same cadence, using the same tone.

5. Time  

In some cases, recruiters expect changes to happen too quickly, not giving their people, processes and technology sufficient time to evolve. In other cases, leaders and employees take a passive approach to change and don’t fully embrace the possibilities.  

Fix 1: Add 20% 

Many experts agree that full change adoption takes at least 20% longer than expected.

Fix 2: Set hard deadlines  

This is especially important when encountering user resistance. If people aren’t expected to fully adopt recruiting strategy changes, they’ll linger as long as possible.

Ready to make a change? Check out 5 ways to modernize your recruitment strategy.  

Michele McGovern is an editor, writer, and content creator at HR Morning. She covers business news, workplace issues, and a variety of management topics, and a variety of management topics.   

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