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Recruiting Challenges: Using Data to Optimize Your Hiring Efforts

Identifying common recruitment issues and how data helps you tackle them.

November 12, 2020 by Haley Yamane

Filling a job posting with the right talent is a stressful task for anyone. Whether you’re an account manager at a large staffing firm, a brand new recruiter, or somewhere in between— the state of the economy has a direct impact on your company’s hiring strategy.

When supply and demand for entry-level workers at an all-time high, recruiters and managers are faced with unique challenges. At Emsi, we hear those recruiting challenges loud and clear. Let’s analyze three of the most common hiring obstacles and how data can help you work through them.  

Recruiting Challenges Download Button


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. Not simplifying their job requirements to attract the widest pool of talent 

  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. Emsi wants to help both audiences feel confident in identifying these challenges so that they can bring data-informed solutions straight to the decision-makers.

1. Companies are unsure about 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 the req can’t be filled at that rate. Market intel tells you right away if the price is competitive by comparing your posting with your competitors’. This information ultimately shows you how much of the available workforce would be interested in the wage your client is offering based on how competitive it is.

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

We can 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 these people last year likely isn’t going to cut it in the future. 

Warehouse Worker Job Posting Comparison 2019 to 2020

We also see that the median advertised salary for these workers has skyrocketed. The demand for lower-skilled workers increased during a time of (really) high demand, resulting in wage inflation

Advertised salaries for warehouse workers 2019 to 2020

Using this type of information, we can determine that even though the supply of workers may be high, employers should absolutely increase their advertised wages in order to remain competitive. 

2. The job’s specific requirements are resulting in a limited talent pool.

Employers often have the “perfect” person in mind when writing a job description. In an attempt to attract that ideal candidate, they list out all the skills and traits they want to find. Makes sense, right? (Big mistake!) This “strategy” actually hinders your hiring efforts by decreasing the size of your talent pool with each required skill added to the posting.

Let’s look at this using the same example. When we look at people with “warehousing” skills alone, we can find over 200K profiles nationwide. When we add just one additional skill requirement, “forklift truck,” the talent pool decreases by roughly 190K profiles! 

comparing warehouse profiles 2019 to 2020

When putting together job postings for entry-level positions, employers should strip the job requirements down to the most essential, required skills. Each time that list of skills is simplified, the pool of potential applicants grows. (Psst! Our job parsing tool makes this easy and efficient!) 


This is a simple way to improve your recruiting strategy for high-demand talent. The candidates that come to light from this simple adjustment may not have originally 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 experience. In this case (when competition 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. 

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 job title, but how many of them allow you to search by specific skills? (Cough cough, we do!)

Expert data expedites 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 be looking).  

Warhousers Profile Map

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 what they’re doing and gain insights into how they are advertising, who they are advertising to, what the details of their postings include, etc. 

Companies competing for warehouse workers


Even when the supply of talent is high, you should evaluate your recruitment strategy regularly (monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually). What worked last year may not cut it today. Using objective data equips you to tackle recruiting challenges and optimize your strategy at the same time.

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

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