3 Reasons Why You're Struggling to Fill Open Positions

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You’ve crafted the perfect job description and blasted it on various job boards. You’ve conducted some interviews, but no candidates knocked it out of the park or you’ve had numerous candidates turn down your job offer. Now you’re scratching your head trying to figure out why you’re having such a hard time filling your open position.

Here are 3 reasons why you’re struggling to fill open positions that maybe you haven’t considered.

Unrealistic Expectations

The Dilemma:

You have champagne taste with a beer budget. You want BigLaw caliber candidates without paying BigLaw salaries, so you’re frustrated that you aren’t getting the type of candidates walking through the door that you think you should.

A close cousin of this is your salary, equity or benefits package is below market rate. If your top candidates are making it through the interview phase, but then turning down your job offer, that’s a tell-tale sign that your compensation package is subpar. Top performers want to be paid like top performers. They may like your office culture and could even see themselves working for your firm, but money talks.

The Solution:

Determine whether your compensation package makes sense for your city. Hiring in Milwaukee is a lot different than hiring in Chicago or New York. You can gauge where you should fall by talking with recruiters who know the area and with your fellow colleagues.

Find out which firms you are competing with for candidates and determine what they are offering and how you can match or exceed what they’re offering. If you’re unable to compete on salary, think of other perks that would appeal to your target candidate, such as working remotely.

Ineffective Source Methods

The Dilemma:

Your only method of sourcing is the post and pray method. You post your job description to numerous job boards and then pray the right candidate sees it and applies.

Even worse, you are posting your jobs in the classified section of the newspaper. That’s a guaranteed way for the millennials you actually want to apply to never see your posting.

The problem with only using job boards and classified ads is that only people who are looking for a job will see it. People who are happy and fulfilled at their current position aren’t perusing the job boards and won’t ever see your posting. But to get a well-rounded pool of quality candidates, you need to interview people who are looking AND people who are happy at their current jobs.

The Solution:

Use a variety of different search methods to source candidates. In addition to the job boards, ask your current employees and colleagues in your network to send potential candidates your way. Also, utilize a recruiter to tap into the market of candidates who aren’t looking. They can reach out on your behalf and pitch your opportunity to entice candidates to consider making a job change that they hadn’t thought of before.

You Don’t Stand Out

The Dilemma:

Your firm doesn’t have a recognizable name and doesn’t have any real pull or notoriety in the legal community. Without a built-in reputation, it’s harder to differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other law firms that do what you do and attract the best candidates.

The Solution:

Find ways to promote your employer brand. If nobody knows who you are, spend some time dedicated to public relations. Give some thought as to what makes your firm special and unique and would make someone want to work there. Is your firm tight-knit and feel like family? Are your attorneys rockstars that are always getting a favorable result for a client? Highlight that by maintaining an active and engaging social media presence and promoting what makes your firm the ideal place to work. Be as creative as necessary to stand out.