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How to deal with a local talent shortage

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“I just don’t have enough candidates who fit the profile I need.” Sound familiar? It is a common enough problem that we at Allen Recruitment, as a recruitment company, also encounter frequently. As roles grow more complex and the number of requirements for specific skills increase, you may find that the talent market near you simply does not contain enough candidates to fulfil your specific business needs every time.


Among the common reasons why you might have difficulty in reaching your hiring goals by focusing only on your local talent market are:

  • An increased emphasis on specific skills, from less common languages to very specific technical experience, will make it difficult to conduct a thorough recruitment process.
  • The timeframe to onboard these rare and crucial skill combinations is often short, and the roles business critical, meaning that you don’t have time for extensive testing of new methods of talent attraction before the role must be filled.

With challenges come opportunity. We have tackled similar difficulties before, and we did so by:

  • Engaging our knowledge of the talent market not just in Dublin, but in the whole of Europe.
  • Focusing on filling the roles we knew we could fill quickly and efficiently.
  • Utilizing our incredible talent insights team and their access to the required technology to scour 40+ databases from all over Europe.
  • Approaching universities directly and through job boards, which provided us access to more junior profiles that fit better within the budgetary constraints for certain roles.
  • Taking advantage of our diverse and multinational team to connect with candidates in their local languages as much as possible to increase engagement.

To show you our approach in action, let’s talk about the time when Allen Recruitment was tasked by one of our clients to attract and onboard 30 capable Cloud Sales Representatives in Dublin. They were looking for people with a wide array of European language skills, which would be needed to properly serve local markets. The project began in November, with the aim of filling all the required positions before the start of the coming summer.

This created two primary difficulties that we had to overcome:

  1. Finding the right talent for these positions in or near Dublin proved difficult in particular cases, because there are few to no native speakers of specific languages available to be recruited in the Dublin area.
  2. Finding all the candidates and filling the roles in time was crucial to the client’s business plans, and delay was simply not an option.

Finding candidates with the right skills is already difficult, but finding the right candidates with all of the necessary language skills proved nearly impossible through conventional means. That meant looking beyond Dublin – and Ireland’s – borders to wider Europe to find the right talent wherever it may be hidden.

1. Where we started

Identifying which of the roles would be more difficult (or near impossible) to fill through traditional local recruitment was a key starting point. This allowed us to ensure that we could dedicate as much time as we needed to the difficult-to-fill roles while maintaining the highest quality of candidates and hires for the roles that could be filled locally in Dublin.

2. Talent intelligence is key

Even with the whole of Europe open to us, our time was limited. Our talent intelligence team conducted a detailed analysis of our client’s criteria and established the potential talent pool for each role in the area. They searched more than 40 databases, including our own. This allowed us to identify fantastic candidates and shortlist them efficiently, which meant that recruiters could focus on talking to candidates who were a good potential fit instead of having to sift through endless CVs and throwing them at the wall to see what stuck.

3. Knowing where to look

In addition to the efforts of the Talent Intelligence team, we connected with local universities in several places where just the right kind of language and cloud sales skills could be found. Building relationships with these universities allowed us to scout talented candidates before they even hit the job market.

4. Effective communication

Since languages were a key part of the candidate profile, we made sure to approach candidates in their local (and required) language whenever we could. This is an approach that was made possible by the diversity of our recruiting teams, and it bore fruit because it allowed us to increase the engagement our recruiters got at every step in the process.

5. Capitalising on success

Finally, we implemented an effective referral scheme which allowed us to further capitalise on our successes. This is because new hires were often in contact with people of a similar skills and language profile, and could provide effective referrals that we might never otherwise have reached. This tactic meant that every success had a chance to make our next hire a little bit easier to reach.


Our approach allowed us to not only find the required talent throughout the European Union, but also bring them on board within the required timeframe, which allowed the client to kick off their Cloud Sales initiatives over the summer without a hitch.

Additionally, thanks to the mutual trust between our client and ourselves, we were able to remain involved in the project, and the attrition rate for these types of roles was significantly below average.

Being able to utilize international recruitment fully is key to tackling the challenges that most companies faced with today. And nothing is stopping you from taking a similar approach to help you fill your roles that have been open for ages.



About Allen Recruitment

Allen Recruitment Consulting is an international recruitment consultancy business with head offices in the centre of Dublin, Ireland. We are a full-service recruitment company for permanent, temporary, contingent and contract roles. We offer full recruitment outsourcing services, executive search and headhunting services, and much more. With offices all over Europe – IrelandPolandthe UKSpainSweden, France, Belgium and the Netherlands – Allen Recruitment can help expand your company abroad.


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