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Businesses are Struggling to Hire Recruiters. How Can You Rectify The Issue?

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Full disclosure, ok? We’ve been trying to hire recruiters recently. And it’s been difficult. Forward planning is huge for us and a few weeks ago, we realised that things were heating up fast and we were going to need more people in our Delivery team.

hire recruiters

So we’ve been on the hunt for recruiters. And frankly, it’s been a slog.

Normally, we have a pipeline of great candidates ready to go, or we know exactly where to get them. But this time, it was a case of no one was moving, or they’d just moved, or they were getting out of recruitment completely, burned out by the shortages in their own business.

Thankfully, we’ve just hired 9 fantastic people. But it wasn’t as easy as it normally is. We learnt a lot about our own recruitment process while doing it and overhauled some of our internal processes so we’re planning even further ahead than normal.

We’re not the only ones struggling to hire recruiters

The head of in-house recruiting at a large finance firm lamented to one of our team recently:

“We’ve got lots of open positions. But we don’t have enough recruiters to fill them. We’ve got the salary, the benefits, the flexibility. But we can’t hire anyone to hire people for us. It’s becoming a nightmare.”

In fact, over 40% of the roles we filled last quarter were done so because the hiring team didn’t have enough in-house recruitment people to fill their roles. And right now (July 2021), there are 12,000+ “Talent Acquisition” jobs advertised in the UK alone. Not ideal…

hire recruiters

What’s Going on??

Well it’s not just difficult to hire recruiters, lots of roles are unfilled

Across the world, companies are finding themselves unable to hire recruiters. In a recent survey, reported in the Daily Business, 38% of UK firms are looking to hire in the near future. But 70% of the companies surveyed said they were facing difficulties hiring.

Across the Science, Tech, Engineering, and Manufacturing industries, there are well-publicised staff shortages. The World Economic Forum recently revealed that manufacturing will need to focus on workers to fill the skills gap, where The Manufacturing Institute 2021 research showed 89% of manufacturing industry executives agree there is a talent shortage in the US manufacturing sector.

Tech has also had a skills-shortage for many years, and recently the BBC reported that the UK was ‘heading towards a digital skills shortage disaster.’

So Skilled Recruiters Are More In-Demand Than Ever 

With skills shortages across many key industries, businesses are trying to hire more in-house recruiters to get the job done. But so are their competitors and peers. So recruiters are in high demand. 

hire recruiters

That means they’re looking to command higher salaries and better benefits so businesses are now having to up their employer branding, provide higher salaries, and consider the benefits they’re providing.

And many are no longer in the profession When the first lockdown hit in March 2020, companies went into survival mode. There was no way of telling what the future would hold and they either slowed hiring down to the minimum or implemented a recruitment freeze. 

Thousands of recruiters were out of a job. And many left the industry and took up other positions in the meantime, leaving a gap.

But How Long Will This Boom Last?

The problem many businesses are having is that they don’t know how long their hiring boom will last. If there’s one thing that Covid-19 has taught us, it’s that our personal and professional worlds can change day-by-day. 

That means no one knows how long they’ll be hiring manically for, and no one knows if more candidates will appear on the market again soon. It’s making planning ahead really complicated for talent teams.

hire recruiters

Many are choosing to outsource rather than to hire recruiters 

With all the above taken into consideration, many of our clients are coming to us with more roles than ever before. Instead of trying to hire recruiters for their internal team, they’re asking us to pick up the slack, at least until the future is clearer.

And they’re engaging us in two ways, each with its own benefits. 

One-off placements


  1. Companies can be flexible with the roles they use outside recruiters for, taking on the ones they can do themselves, and outsourcing the more difficult ones
  2. They don’t need to hire staff to deal with short-term hiring surges 
  3. Which means they don’t need to deal with staff training or redundancies
  4. They know experts are working on their most difficult roles
  5. They get the benefits of in-depth market research

Embedded recruitment


  1. One (or multiple people) can join their team immediately to help them on a short or long-term basis
  2. They get a full-time member of the team who can hit the ground running 
  3. There’s no need to hire people and train them up 
  4. They get the benefit of a full team of recruitment experts behind their embedded recruiter(s) 
  5. They’re able to budget easily for how much their future recruitment will cost 
  6. The team member is able to help out with day-to-day recruitment and talent admin as well as searching for and hiring candidates CE
  7. The new member of the team is immediately accountable

Listen to our CEO, Gavin Speirs discuss the recruiter shortage on our latest episode of The Recruitment Intelligence Podcast:

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