IceHrm Looking for an HR software for Your Company?
Masha Masha is a content developer at IceHrm. You can contact her at masha[at]

Efficient Recruitment in Competitive Markets: Key Strategies

  Reading Time:

HR managers take note: the “talent wars” are getting tougher. The talent pool is growing, but companies are becoming more aggressive in their hiring efforts. If your recruitment process and policies are not up to date, only the wheat will be separated from the chaff.

While economic uncertainty has led to a decline in temporary and permanent hiring, this decline is nowhere near as large as mid-2020 and is not enough to offset the peaks of 2021. More importantly, the worst of the inflation crisis is over for now and companies can look forward to diversifying and expanding their workforces again.

Now is a good time to review your company's hiring system and see if there are opportunities for optimization. Spoiler alert: There is always room for improvement because the world doesn't stay constant. Below are some methods you can use to maintain a competent workforce in a highly competitive business environment.

Identify skill gaps

Any effort to improve the performance of a workplace, let alone introduce new products and services, requires the right people. Many business leaders believe that building capabilities is more important than ever given the uncertainties that lie ahead. Despite this consensus, just as many have not developed a comprehensive plan for building capabilities, whether through hiring or upskilling.

In New Zealand, for example, there is a dire shortage of medical professionals, forcing people to drive 100km to see a doctor. In fact, according to a recent report, there is only one pediatrician in the West Coast region, home to about 33,000 people. Not surprisingly, the country relies on foreign talent to fill local doctor positions.

Identifying capability gaps is essential, especially as companies integrate more technologies into their operations. To this end, HR departments can conduct a skills gap analysis, which consists of the following steps:

  • Obtain feedback through a meeting with the team leaders
  • Determine the skills that need to be developed as a priority
  • Assess current competencies through surveys and performance reviews
  • Analysis and implementation of data through new hires or internal training

Having a clear idea of what the workforce is missing will help you know what type of employees are best suited to complement it. The next step is to ensure the hiring process meets the needs. As will be explained in the next sections, the skills shortage is just the tip of the iceberg we are standing on.

Be realistic with job descriptions

Job descriptions should be specific and concise. However, on social media and job posting websites, hiring companies all too often make the mistake of (but not only):

  • Making the list of responsibilities too long
  • Placing too high demands on a particular position
  • They state requirements that are irrelevant to the job or the hiring process.

Perhaps nowhere is this trend more pronounced than in the IT industry, where HR managers often require years of experience for junior or entry-level positions. An in-depth analysis using natural language and regular expressions (Regex) revealed that some job openings for such positions require between 12 and 14 years of relevant experience. In contrast, most senior level positions require no more than five years.

Many job descriptions are also notorious for packing the responsibilities of an entire department into one position, as if calling for a one-man army. While one can argue that a full-stack developer should be proficient in multiple programming languages, it is unrealistic to expect a potential candidate to be proficient in all of them. There may be an I in “IT,” but not in “Team” or “Department.”

Here are some ways to make your job descriptions more sensible.

  • Reduce tedious requirements to the most important ones.
  • Avoid clichés and get to the heart of the matter.
  • Describe the workplace culture and technical background.

Such descriptions are beneficial for both the applicant and the hiring manager. The former become more aware of what they are getting into and more motivated to do so. On the other hand, the HR manager can close the skills gap more quickly.

Address unconscious bias

Bias is inevitable in any hiring process, regardless of the industry or market it is intended for. A hiring manager can assure applicants that he or she will not discriminate against them based on their race, age or gender, but experts say the more dangerous form of bias occurs unconsciously.

This is an unconscious bias in which the HR manager acts contrary to his or her belief that such actions would be socially unacceptable. According to Iris Bohnet, a behavioral economist at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, examples of this are widespread in modern society, starting with the association of certain jobs with certain genders (e.g. women as kindergarten teachers).

One way companies can mitigate unconscious bias in hiring is through blind hiring. During this process, applicants' personal information is removed from their profiles so that the HR manager can only see their professional experience, skills and certificates. Although this method is promising, it could also backfire if it:

  • Only diversifies the pool of applicants and not the pool of employees actually hired
  • Does not take into account unequal access to resources and opportunities
  • Is not used in the screening phase in conjunction with other methods to reduce prejudice

Another approach is to use artificial intelligence (AI), arguing that it removes the human factor from the hiring process. However, experts emphasize that AI can still show bias because humans can program it to do so.

Both methods are not yet widely used, so careful word choice when creating job advertisements is still the most practical method. Inclusive language uses gender-neutral terms and avoids those that may appear biased (e.g. “young,” “English-speaking”).


The last few years have been hard for companies and institutions, and especially hard for their staff. At the same time, available talent remains limited, prompting them to take a more aggressive approach to recruiting. However, streamlining their processes goes a long way toward finding the right person for the right job.

In a competitive job market, HR plays a vital role. Streamlining processes ensures the right person fits the right job. Adapt with IceHrm.

What Is a Benefits Administrator— And Should You Hire One?

Attractive benefits are a powerful tool for drawing in new job candidates. In fact, 60% of employees put perks at the top of their list when deciding whether to stay with their current employers....

IceHrm   Create your IceHrm, installation today.