Recruiting Challenges: Use Data to Optimize Hiring Efforts

Published on Nov 12, 2020

Updated on Jul 13, 2023

Written by Haley Yamane Melhart

recruiting challenges

Filling a job posting with the right talent is a stressful task for anyone. Recruiting challenges arise when there’s a disconnect between employers and job-seekers, which is often. Employers can use data to mitigate those challenges by learning how to optimize their job postings and talent search. So whether you’re an account manager at a large staffing firm or a brand new recruiter, data can give your strategy a boost. After all, the talent shortage and the state of the economy affects everyone.

Let’s analyze three of the most common recruiting challenges and how data can help you work through them.

Three common recruiting challenges companies face are:

  1. Not knowing whether or not to increase wages in a job posting (and by how much)

  2. Asking for too many job requirements—reducing the pool of candidates

  3. Not knowing where to start (or change) their search for specific talent

Recruiters and hiring managers can experience these issues together or separately, at any point during the hiring process. Our goal is to help each party feel confident in identifying these challenges so that they can bring data-informed solutions straight to the decision-makers.

Challenge #1: Companies aren’t sure whether or not to increase their wage offerings

From the beginning, the price has to be right.

At a staffing firm for example, no manager wants to accept a req, then go back to the client and explain that it  can’t be filled at that rate. Market intel tells you right away if the price is attractive by comparing your posting with your competitors. This information ultimately shows you how much of the available workforce would be interested in the wage you’re working with.

Let’s look at the 2020 labor market and use Warehouse Workers as an example. A great way to compare the demand for these employees and the compensation they’re being offered is by looking year-to-year.

By doing so, we see that the number of unique postings for Warehouse Workers nationwide jumped from 211,936 in 2019 to 306,448 in 2020. This tells us that the competition for these workers is steep, so your strategy for recruiting them last year probably won’t cut it in the future.


We also see that the median advertised salary for this group has skyrocketed! The demand for lower-skilled positions increased during a time of really high demand, causing wage inflation.

Using this information, we can determine that even when the supply of workers is high, employers should absolutely keep a pulse on the wage trends happening around them, and get ahead of the trend when possible, in order to remain competitive.

Challenge #2: The job’s specific requirements are resulting in a limited talent pool

Employers often write their job descriptions based on what the “perfect” candidate should be able to do. To attract that ideal person, they make a laundry list of skills and requirements they’re looking for. But this creates recruiting challenges in itself! With each requirement you add, you’re decreasing the pool of available and qualified candidates.

In our example, the number of profiles people with Warehousing skills alone is over 200K nationwide. When we add just one additional skill requirement, Forklift Truck, the talent pool decreases by roughly 190K profiles!

When putting together job postings for entry-level positions, employers should strip the job requirements down to only the most essential skills. Each time that list of skills is simplified, the pool of potential applicants grows! Spoiler: We have some tools that make that simple.


The candidates that come to light from this simple adjustment may not have initially been on your radar, but their transferable skills might prove that they can do the primary functions of the job, and learn the rest from training. In this case (when competition for talent is high), employers must be willing to train new employees and upskill current ones. After all, internal recruiting is the most inexpensive way to fill high-demand roles.

Challenge #3: Companies are unsure where to search for the right talent

The length of time it takes to fill a job posting matters. There are lots of tools out there that help you find talent according to a job title, but how many of them allow you to search by specific skills? (Cough cough, ours does!)

Expert data speeds up the search process by showing you exactly where the talent you’re looking for is located. When you know which markets to hone in on from the get-go, data becomes your weapon, saving you hours or even days worth of searching.

This visualization suggests that there is a hotbed of Warehouse Workers along the west coast. Recruiters can look at data like this and determine whether they want to compete for those workers or focus on a less dense area like southern Idaho (where their competition might not have an edge).

Data can also help you understand which other companies in the market employ people with the skills you’re looking for. When you know your competition, you can start paying attention to how they’re recruiting and what they’re offering to gain insights like who they’re advertising to, what the details of their postings include, etc.

Recruiting challenges can be overcome with data

Even when the supply of talent is high, you should evaluate your recruiting strategy regularly (monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually). Since our economy is always changing, what worked last year may not cut it tomorrow. Objective data prepares you for the recruiting challenges that lie ahead and optimizes your strategy at the same time.

Want to learn more about how Lightcast can help you through your recruiting challenges? Fill out the form below!