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Five of the most difficult job categories to recruit on Zoek Job Site

 Five of the most difficult job categories to recruit

Just how long it takes to fill a role will depend to a large extent on how well the economy is performing. During a depression, people tend to stay in secure jobs, while during more buoyant times, people will actively go looking for a pay rise and career progression. Naturally, this may involve looking outside their current role for new opportunities elsewhere. But while the job market is cyclical, even at the best of times, every recruiter will run into a ‘hard-to-hire’ position from time to time. Historically, some jobs have just always been more difficult to recruit for than others when it comes to quality candidates.

Here are the top five categories where recruiters can expect to work hardest when it comes to candidate acquisition.


Finding candidates for very senior roles such as CEOs has, traditionally, been most problematic of all recruitment conundrums. These roles nearly always require a very unique skillset, experience and background. As a result, there can be a tremendous amount of competition for very few suitable candidates. In fact, many of these roles won’t be advertised at all. Instead, the company will actively go out and headhunt the best candidates.

New technology

From SMEs to multinationals, tech recruitment is one of the biggest challenges facing HR professionals and recruiters. Right now, new technologies are shaping every industry and if you don’t have the talent on board to leverage business value from that technology, you’re in trouble. Which is probably why investment into tech recruitment is increasing all the time.

The problem is with new and emerging technologies, there is very little training available, if any – apart from of course, the people who are responsible for creating the technology, which is why recruiting people with right skills can be nigh on impossible.


Half of agency recruiters say that that engineers are the most difficult skill set to hire. In fact, for mechanical and engineering project managers, 31% of vacancies are unfilled after 60 days. One of the main reasons for this is that HR decision-makers know that these have always been difficult roles to recruit for, so they’ll do whatever it takes to keep their engineers they have on board. Quite simply, firms are getting better at keeping the talent they have when it comes to engineering roles.

The energy sector

Interestingly, second place in that very same poll went to roles within the oil, gas and energy sector. Traditionally, this has always been viewed as a ‘dangerous’ sector in which to pursue a career, but current perceptions that the industry is ‘dirty’, unethical and involves a lot of travel, taking workers away from home and family for long periods of times hasn’t helped – especially among environmentally-conscious ‘millennials’.


The fintech industry is one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors and has boomed over the past decade, so it should come as no surprise that recruiting suitably experience and qualified personnel is becoming more difficult. According to Mariano Mamertino, EMEA Economist at Indeed, it’s not a problem that’s going to get better anytime soon:

Our data reveals that fintech firms are now engaged in a full-scale battle for talent. Despite offering attractive salaries, many fintech employers are struggling to recruit the people they need to grow.’

Adapt and recruit

Companies need to adapt their recruitment strategy for jobs that are difficult when it comes to finding candidates. When you advertise a job, this might mean looking further afield. Review remuneration packages too. Look at current remuneration packages for the job you’re recruiting for and ensure that the salary you’re offering meets (or exceeds) market rates. For an area where you know there’s a lack of good candidates, it might be an idea to get the organisation’s decision-makers around the table to formulate a package designed to beat what the competition is offering.

Look at other factors behind a lack of applications, for instance, if the company has had any bad press recently, or undergone restructuring? Finally, consider promoting, or retraining from within.

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