Recruitment Blog

The top 5 staffing issues businesses run into when hiring and how to solve them

Sarah Linney
Content Marketing Manager at JobAdder
staffing issues

Regardless of the type of business you run, you’ll probably experience staffing issues at some point. Every business does, and the effects of being short-staffed can be challenging to manage.

You might be having difficulties identifying the cause for your staffing problems, as several sources could be causing your staffing shortage woes. 

It’s important to address staffing issues in a timely manner and identify the source so you can solve it quickly and effectively.

Below, we’ll explore five of the most common staffing issues businesses run into and how hiring managers and recruiters can solve them. 

The goal here is to provide you with all the information you need to prepare for staffing challenges in the future or efficiently deal with your current understaffing problems, so let’s get on with it!

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5 common staffing problems and their solutions

There are several common staffing problems that could be impacting your hiring practices and capabilities, including high employee turnover rate, improper staffing levels, candidate screening issues, sudden vacancies and expanding company offerings. 

These issues can cause several roles to open at once, which can be difficult for a hiring manager to fill promptly. We’ll go over these problems and potential solutions to staffing issues in more detail below.

High employee turnover rates

The biggest issue companies have with staffing is a high turnover rate. Companies can experience problems with employee retention for several reasons. 

A high turnover rate is usually a result of the quality of new hires. For this reason, it’s crucial to review your interview process, job requirements and interview questions.

Furthermore, it’s even harder for hiring teams to screen resumes and find quality candidates during staffing shortages. 

This problem can turn into a neverending cycle of staffing issues that can take a long time to escape.

The solution to high employee turnover rates

The best solution to this problem is to hire high-quality employees from the very start. We know it can be tempting to hire someone quickly, but this will just exacerbate the issue. 

Examine your hiring process and ensure it’s crystal clear about what candidates can expect from your company, unmet or unclear expectations can often lead people to turnover quickly. 

You can also shorten the hiring process by automating some tasks, like screening resumes, posting job descriptions, and scheduling interviews. You can also outsource your hiring to a staffing agency or use referrals to get better candidates

These steps should make things easier for you in the long run and help to solve your high employee turnover rate.

Improper staffing levels

Other things that can result in staffing issues are understaffing and overstaffing. You might think that these things cause very different issues, but, in reality, they cause similar problems. 

All businesses should aim to have enough part-time and full-time employees to manage their workload properly. You want to avoid burnout by overworking, and ideally, all your employees get enough hours.

If you’re overstaffed, you might need to make layoffs to meet business demand. However, if you’re understaffed, you might put your employees under too much stress to work efficiently on their daily tasks. 

Additionally, understaffing might cause many employees to leave their roles once they find a new job because they’re overworked and experiencing burnout.

The solution to improper staffing levels

One of the best ways to get your staffing levels to a good point is to hire temporary workers. They can fill the gaps when your full-time employees are on vacation or when you’re in a busy season. 

Additionally, you should try to proactively hire candidates rather than acting reactively. Anticipate future staffing needs so that you’re prepared and avoid staffing shortages.

Candidate screening issues

Other things that can lead to staffing issues are candidate screening problems. The candidate screening process is essential because it ensures that you get quality candidates in the door. 

Candidate screening can take a lot of time and requires that you screen resumes, schedule interviews and conduct interviews. So, when you have roles that need to be filled quickly, it’s easy to rush through this process.

While you might be tempted to rush the process to improve your work environment and address understaffing, it’s not a permanent solution. You’ll get quick hires, but they won’t be the quality you need. 

Instead, take your time screening your candidates so that you don’t need to hire someone else after hiring a bad candidate. Take your time the first time, and you’ll save time in the long run.

The solution to candidate screening issues

The easiest way to screen candidates is to use recruitment software to do it for you. 

Recruiting software will automate the tedious aspects of the hiring process so that you can get high-quality candidates through the door and into the onboarding process. Having high-quality hires means a more efficient hiring process, which is crucial.

Sudden vacancies

When someone leaves your business suddenly, it can lead to several problems. First, it’s challenging to deal with the sudden loss of an employee, especially if they did their job well. 

As a result, you can struggle to fill the gap they left behind. Sudden vacancies can lead to stress for your current employees, as they need to pick up the slack and take on extra work. 

Unfortunately, this staffing issue is challenging to deal with because you can’t expect every employee to stay with your business forever. Additionally, most employees are unlikely to give their employer a heads-up that they plan to leave beyond their required notice period. 

However, you can do a few things to make the transition easier for your staff.

The solution to sudden vacancies

Sudden vacancies are hard to anticipate and work into your hiring plan. However, you can make the transition easier by ensuring that your employees receive training in multiple roles. 

By doing this, you can spread out the work that is lost by that employee, spreading it across several people until someone new is brought in. This practice should alleviate stress and foster a better work environment.

Expanding company offerings

A strategy many companies employ to keep up with the current market is to expand their offerings. Doing so is usually good for the business’ bottom line in the short term. 

However, expanding what the company offers also puts extra stress on your hiring team to fill roles quickly, making it challenging to fill all of the roles you’re looking to fill.

Additionally, you’ll also want to ensure that the employees you’re hiring are high quality and will work well with your company culture and work environment, which can be a struggle when you’re filling roles you’ve never needed before in new skill sets and areas. 

The solution to expanding company offerings

The solution to this staffing issue is to take your time finding quality candidates and roll out your new company offerings accordingly, making sure you have the skills and talent you need to support these new endeavours.

You may want to consider hiring internal candidates for some of the new roles, so they can transition slowly from their current department into a new one.

Frequently asked questions

If you’re a business owner or hiring manager, you understand that finding the perfect candidate for a new position can be very challenging. You also know that taking too long to hire someone can negatively affect your bottom line. 

We hope you found solutions to the five problems above, but we’ll answer a few other questions here!

How can I avoid staffing challenges during busy seasons for my business?

The best thing you can do is get ahead of the problem early. Don’t wait until the busy time of year to address the issue. Instead, prepare early when you’ve got more time on your hands.

Anticipate your needs based on your experience in previous years and start hiring early. The sooner you prepare for the busy season, the more time you’ll have to train your new hires. 

It’s crucial to keep in mind that if you do this, you need to tell your candidates that they won’t start until a specific date. Remember, transparency is essential.

How can I optimise my onboarding process for new employees?

The onboarding process is essential for new employees so that they hit the ground running. However, there’s no denying that it’s expensive and time-consuming. 

As a result, you should attempt to make this process as efficient as possible. Maintain contact with all new hires and make sure you keep a close eye on their training to ensure they’re picking everything up.

You can learn a lot about an employee during the onboarding process. By seeing how fast they pick things up, you can see how effective they’ll be as a worker. If someone is struggling, give them the help they need to succeed. 

What technology can I use to make my hiring process more efficient?

Sometimes you don’t need to hire someone to improve your hiring process, you just need to invest in the right technology. In recent years, recruitment software has had a huge impact on the job market. 

Automate and streamline your hiring process so that it’s easier to find high-quality candidates and avoid the staffing issues we discussed above.

Additionally, you have to leverage social media to scour the job market for new candidates, like utilising JobAdder’s exclusive LinkedIn Recruiter System Connect integration

Effectively streamline your hiring process with JobAdder

When you start to experience staffing issues, it can be overwhelming. Not only do you need to find new candidates to hire, but you need to run your business while it doesn’t have the skills it needs. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make your life easier. 

Notably, you need to identify any issues within your hiring and onboarding process and address them quickly.

There are numerous tools available to you that can help you fill roles quicker than ever before. Chat to our friendly team about some of the tools mentioned above and book a demo now.

Not sure what’s involved in switching your ATS? Download our step-by-step guide.

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