The hardest jobs to recruit


With lots of candidates seemingly applying for every job opportunity, you wouldn’t think there would be many jobs that are difficult to recruit. You might be surprised at why some positions are so difficult to fill, especially as some of them seem so common. Here are five of the hardest positions to recruit for at the moment.

Management / Executives

In austerity times, people are sticking with what they know and not taking risks on starting or switching careers, therefore finding top level executives worth their salt can be difficult.

It can be especially hard to recruit with small companies that have less HR power than their bigger counterparts, but it is also these types of companies that will struggle to pick up the slack if top level management leaves or retires.

If possible, companies should (sensitively) use their outgoing executives to help with the recruitment process for their replacement. It’s a cliche, but it’s still true that’s it not always what you know but who you know. A manager may know someone who is perfect for their own role, or at least know the type of places to look.

Technicians / Engineers

Finding specifically skilled people to work on individual machines is a niche area of the job hunting sector, which can also be difficult to hire for you if you’re based somewhere a little out of the way (as factories tend to be).

In order to combat this, companies often their own training programs. That way they get workers who are trained to specific needs and who don’t necessarily need any prior qualifications when they join up.

It’s also a good idea to maintain good links with local engineering students through colleges and universities. They may be offering work placement schemes and so on, it can be a good way to ensure that graduates have a place in mind once they’ve finished their training.

Secretaries / Personal assistants

Admin roles are often the most frequently listed on job and temping agency websites, but often companies are looking for somebody to be with them for the long haul, not someone who’s going to leave after three months.

Finding people who are committed to a career in admin can be difficult, it’s not suited to everyone and takes some unique skills. In job advertisements, it should be made clear that a permanent position is on offer, along with emphasis that there is opportunity for extra responsibilities/progression to tempt.

Other incentives to prevent turnover in this kind of environment include loyalty programmes which offers rewards such as extra holiday days and bonuses.


It goes without saying that it’s difficult to recruit people willing to work long and often unsociable hours, but that’s what drivers often have to put up with, especially long haul delivery drivers.

When companies are finding it difficult to make an individual job sound appealing, a good way around it is to highlight the overall benefits of working for the company, as well as emphasising a competitive salary.

Sales representatives

Finding those with a gift to sell can be tricky, and it’s hard to convey that via a CV, cover letter or even during an interview. Instead, trial days and even weeks may be offered to see if a candidate has what it takes.

These kind of experiences are beneficial for both the company and the potential employee as it’s a good way to see if both are a good fit for the role. These experience days and especially weeks, should always be paid though, at least the minimum wage.

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