Attracting and engaging the best talent remains a top priority for many organisations. Having the right people in a team can transform how you and others operate. However, finding that talent is becoming more and more of a challenge. Today’s world is increasingly volatile with rising costs, escalating inflation, geopolitical tensions and increasingly advanced AI technology. These and other factors are all affecting the labour marketing, and this landscape is not unique to any one country. Whilst there may be cultural nuances, many countries are affected by similar challenges [1].

For long-term survival and success, organisations need people that can develop and adapt to both current and future organisational challenges. In this article, we explore the key recruitment challenges and some approaches for addressing them.

Current Recruitment Challenges

  1. There is a growing skills gap. 33% of skills listed in 2019 job openings will be irrelevant in 2024 [2]. This means that candidates being recruited today may not be able to deliver what is needed in future unless we start to think differently about the skills required to keep up with the pace of change. People who can be adaptable, learn new skills and take on new challenges and roles will be vital.
  2. What people want from work is changing. 65% of employees are re-evaluating their work/life priorities [3]. The pandemic drove huge changes in mindset, technology and organisational culture that enabled people to work flexibly and remotely. Many people now prefer a hybrid model that offers both office- and home-based working [4]. As we continue to learn how to best manage this hybrid world, the people who are best placed to thrive are those keen to continually learn and improve and who can be tolerant of uncertainty as their organisations and teams adapt.
  3. Quiet returners are here. Many people aged over 50 in the UK who left or lost their job during the pandemic want to return to work, mainly due to financial pressures [5]. The story is similar in the US [6]. These ‘quiet returners’ represent a talent pool that may be untapped due to age discrimination and traditional recruitment methods that can be prone to bias. It’s time to reconsider what we look for in candidates, as well as how and where we source them from.
  4. Talent shortages continue. 77% of employers globally say they are having difficulties filling roles [7], and two in five UK employers have vacancies that are proving hard to fill [8]. To address this talent shortage, recruiters need to look beyond qualifications, past experience and performance and seek out candidates with a learning mindset and high future potential.

 3 approaches for overcoming current recruitment challenges.

  1. Revolutionise how you assess candidates. CVs or applications often focus on past experience over future potential. Move towards asking questions that uncover other capabilities and learning agility. Learning agility is defined as the ability to transform experiences, both good and bad, into knowledge [9]. Such individuals are more likely to seek and learn from feedback to improve their performance whilst also operating with greater flexibility in their day to day [10]. Employees focused on learning will not only perform better in current roles but are also more likely to succeed in future roles too.
  2. Revisit your approach for finding hidden talent. Use different approaches to encourage a more diverse range of applications and widen your talent pool. Do you advertise your jobs in the same place or attend the same university fairs? Do some high potential candidates remain invisible because of gender, race or age biases? Do you have processes to objectively identify and select your best high potential internally as well as externally, or do they favour certain profiles or personalities? Ensure your approach is attracting and identifying the best talent available.
  3. Recruit growth mindset candidates for future success. People with growth mindset are more likely to seek feedback, embrace challenges, and apply learnings in order to continually improve and develop. They are not only more likely to achieve high levels of performance, they are also more adaptable and able to respond to change and future challenges. Including growth mindset in your assessment process, using the Mindset Advantage psychometric for example, will help you find those who can achieve future success, going beyond simply relying on past performance.

To address today’s recruitment challenges, organisations must be able to tap into all available talent pools – internal and external – and objectively assess the true potential and future performance of candidates. Those that do will be best placed to find and secure the people that will help address current and future skills gaps as well as drive the future success of their organisations.

They also need to ensure that the organisational culture will help people continue to thrive by encouraging curiosity, collaboration, learning and personal growth in order to drive continuous improvement, innovation and strong outcomes for the long term.


[1] CIPD. (2023) HR talent trends: What’s next for our senior leaders? Singapore: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

[2] Mitchell, J.W. (2023). Hiring challenges in 2023: Are you prepared. Forbes.

[3] Gartner (2022). Top 5 Priorities for HR Leaders in 2023.

[4] Bostone, A (2023). Five recruitment challenges facing the UK market in 2023. LinkedIn.

[5] ONS (2022). Returning to the workplace – the motivations and barriers for people aged 50 years and over, Great Britain.

[6] Mitchell, J.W. (2023). Hiring challenges in 2023: Are you prepared. Forbes.

[7] 2023 Global Talent Shortage (2023). Manpower Group.

[8] CIPD (2023). Labour Market Outlook Report. CIPD.

[9] Milani, R., Argentero, P., and Setti, I. (2021) Learning agility and talent management: A systematic review and future prospects. Consulting Psychology, Journal practice and research.

[10] Meuse (2019). A meta-analysis of the relationship between learning agility and leaders success. Journal of organisational psychology. Vol 19 (1).​