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Jobs, recruitment and staffing in Quebec

Labor shortage: 8 tips to optimize your recruitment process

31 August 2021, par Équipe Thorens Chasseurs de têtes

The labor shortage is no longer just a forecast; it is now a reality that is present in many fields and industries. The population pyramid is gradually being reversed and according to the Conference Board, most of this crisis will be palpable by 2030. In addition, several contextual factors have exacerbated the problem in 2021.

As a business, this requires you to have a more efficient recruitment process. Indeed, since there is little to no elasticity in the availability of qualified labor, it is important to ensure that you do not miss out on the available employees.

So how to ensure that your recruiting efforts are adequate?

Here are some tips to help you optimize your recruitment process, whether you are using the services of an external recruitment firm or not.


Make an adequate job analysis

First of all, before you start recruiting, some preparation is required. As we told you in this article on : Choosing the Right Candidate, it is important to write an attractive but realistic job description.

To start your thinking, here are some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the profile you are looking for the right one? Do you have an adequate job description?
  • Is the profile of the candidate sought realistic?
  • Is your compensation strategy in line with the market?
  • Are you open to transferable skills acquired in similar industries?

It is important to know the market well and have realistic expectations. If your budget is tight for a position, don’t expect to find a senior candidate during a labor shortage. You may need to compromise on some skills or train a candidate with a little less experience.


Optimize your internal recruitment process

In a small business, there is often a lack of time to recruit. This is often a necessary evil or a process that is done in one’s spare time, precisely because there is a lack of staff to do everything.

It is possible to recruit without the help of external recruiters. Make sure, however, that there is an employee assigned to the recruiting task. This employee must be dedicated and made aware of this priority, and must have the necessary skills to carry out this process.

The direct supervisor should also be involved in the process of recruiting his employee.

By having proactive people on the file, you avoid long delays between each stage of recruitment.


Pay attention to long delays

Here are some important questions to ask yourself:

  • After receiving your applications, how long do you need before contacting the candidates?
  • What are the delays between each step once you have interesting candidates in the process?

In a labor crisis context, time is your worst enemy. The longer you wait, the greater the chances of losing your prized candidate.


Have the right recruitment tools

There are several web tools or other kind of tools to find and organize applications. And for every budget as well.

Job posting sites as well as social networks like LinkedIn are effective ways to recruit candidates. Read our article on : Recruiting with social medias.

In addition, it is important to preserve, classify and update the different applications that you found during your recruitment process. An applicant tracking system (commonly known as ATS) can help you with this, if you can afford it.

If you receive a large number of applications per year, it will be important to have a search engine that will allow you to find them based on specific criteria. See this comparison tool for different ATS.


Have the right selection tools

When it comes time to select a candidate, are you making the right decisions?

It is important to have multiple sources of data (CV, interviews, references, tests, etc.) when selecting a candidate. The decision must be based on relevant and job-specific criteria. Also, you must ensure that the process is fair and just for all applicants, and avoid relying on cognitive biases.

A relevant interview questionnaire will help you make an objective decision. In addition to reading sample questions in our article on Choosing the Right Candidate, you can download our free job interview grid here (In French).

Other tools can also help you in your selection, such as psychometric tests and professional references.


Choose the right external recruiting partners

If you think you need help recruiting for one of your positions, you may decide to turn to an external recruiting service.

Before choosing a firm, however, be sure to read this article to find out if you need a placement agency or headhunters?

In addition to assessing the nature of the service and the rates of a firm, remember to validate the expertise of the recruiters in your specific industry.

More details on our headhunting services.


Boosting applications

Refining your internal recruitment process is unfortunately not always enough to attract candidates.

Nowadays, you have to double your efforts to recruit and use some marketing techniques. Make sure you have an online presence, whether it’s with a website or social media.

If you can, create an engaging career page. Candidates will want to know more about your company before they apply, and if they can’t find the information, or if you have a bad reputation as an employer, they won’t apply. In 2021, the attraction and retention of talent is based, among other things, on the employer brand.

For more tips on attracting candidates, see our article on : The distinctive elements of your business to promote.


Have a succession plan process

A succession plan is important to plan the imminent departures, but also to prepare for unplanned departures. Getting a head start could allow you to have a more organized, but above all, a less stressful recruiting process.

To think about it, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you always in reaction mode?
  • Do you know precisely the average age of your workforce?
  • Do you have an inventory of your employees according to their past experiences, their academic training?
  • Do you have a performance management and evaluation system for your employees?

To read more on the subject, read the article by our president, Xavier Thorens, on the CRHA website: : Sharpening the recruitment process in a labor deficit context (In French).


In conclusion, it is important to make the diagnosis of all these aspects to get an inventory of the improvements to make to your recruitment process. Recruiting can be simple, but it is a process that requires a lot of care and thoroughness. And do not forget that when the recruitment is done well, it will contribute to the productivity and efficiency of your business.

Are you experiencing some organizational difficulties and would like to discuss them with us? You can contact us at