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Hiring is a fact of life for any business. Sometimes the process is smooth and painless, but some roles can seem impossible to fill. You might attribute it to bad luck or think that the candidates just don’t exist. But this is rarely the truth. In fact, there are a handful of common reasons why companies might struggle to fill a vacancy, and the good news is that all of them are in your power to fix.

In this blog, we’ll cover 7 of the most common reasons explaining why you can’t fill a vacant role, and what you can do to fix them.


You’re not advertising in the right places

The job market is constantly changing, as are the most popular job sites among candidates. Our own recent research has shown that Indeed and LinkedIn Jobs are frequently the first port of call for candidates, but this varies depending on the sector, job level, and function. You should stay up to date with popular job sites among your target talent pool, including sector-specific sites.

Not sure where to advertise your vacancies? Carrot Executive can review your current strategy and recommend how to adjust it.


Your job advert isn’t appealing enough

In hiring, it isn’t simply location, location, location – wherever you post your advert, it needs to catch the attention of candidates and convince them to apply. Exactly how to do this varies depending on your ideal candidate, but in general, any job advert should include details on day-to-day job responsibilities, suitable keywords, and reasons a candidate should want to join your company. Remember though, it’s not a job description. It needs to be enticing and promotional.

If you’re not sure what your talent wants to see in a job advert, or you want to check that your adverts are doing what they should, speak to Carrot Executive about talent attraction reviews and insights projects.


You’re looking for a unicorn

Unicorns have all the skills and experience you require and more, they have a great attitude, and often have a surprisingly affordable price tag. While unicorns may appear once in a blue moon, setting your heart on finding one is usually just setting yourself up for failure. By being too strict or exacting in your requirements you may dismiss amazing candidates that fall just short in 1 or 2 areas. If you are struggling to find a candidate that meets every requirement, try adjusting what you’re looking for or lowering your expectations slightly. Don’t hire someone who isn’t right, but maybe consider 1 year of leadership experience, instead of a strict 2 years, for example. Alternatively, look for potential, and provide support and guidance to help the candidate grow into the role.

Not sure if your ideal candidate is mythical or not? Carrot Executive can conduct talent mapping exercises and talent pool reviews that show you what talent is available in your sector and market. We can also advise on how to adjust expectations to avoid fruitless unicorn-hunting.


Your hiring process takes too long

If you really, really want a candidate, chances are one of your competitors does too. By taking a long time to review CVs, reply to applications, and progress candidates from one stage to the next, you increase the chances that your favourite candidate will receive or even accept another offer before you get the chance to offer them yourself. Additionally, by putting candidates through multiple interviews or assessments, they may start to question how much you really like them. Make sure that each interview stage and assessment is necessary and try to simplify and compress the process.  

If candidates are repeatedly dropping out of your interview process before the end, or your candidates always seem to have another offer before you get them to the final stages, you might want to review your interview process. Contact Carrot Executive to find out more about how we can help with this.


Your EVP isn’t strong enough

Employee Value Proposition, or EVP, is an essential part of both talent attraction and talent retention. When it comes to hiring, your EVP is part of what makes candidates want to apply to your company and why they choose to accept your offer over others. EVP includes everything, from what benefits and perks you offer, to the impact that your company makes on the world. If your EVP is lacking, even with the best adverts and interview processes possible, you may lose out on candidates who accept an offer for another company for who they are more excited about working for. Your EVP should showcase what it is like to work for your company, and what you can offer your employees in terms of compensation, culture, and development.

Carrot Executive provide bespoke talent attraction reviews and EVP reviews that investigate what is important to your target talent pool, how effective your current EVP is, and how you can improve it.


Your brand needs better visibility

As well as external job sites, many candidates will go directly to the websites of companies they would like to work for. Part of this equation is a strong EVP, but it’s also important that your company is known to candidates. Be intentional in how you want to portray your brand, then work to increase your visibility in the market by creating and promoting content online and participating in industry events, etc.

Want to take a pulse on how well known your brand is compared to your competitors? Carrot Executive’s Talent Insights projects can survey real candidates to find out which companies they have heard of and their perceptions of those companies.


You’re not considering all of your options

You might have a hiring routine you are comfortable with, but sometimes it pays to explore new avenues. You might consider working with a recruitment agency partner to benefit from their network and expertise. Executive search is a good option for senior or difficult hires. Or you can invest in data and insights to improve your overall talent attraction strategy. Particularly if the role is business-critical, new, or in an unfamiliar sector, opening up your strategy and exploring what options you could use is always a good idea.

Speak to Carrot Executive today to explore how we can support your hiring strategy.


So, if you are struggling to fill a vacant role, take a look at your current strategy and see if any of these seven common reasons could be the culprit.

Still not sure how your talent attraction strategy is performing? Carrot Executive can advise you on the best way forward. Get in touch today to talk about how our projects can assess and improve your talent strategy, and help you attract the best candidates to your business.


Carrot Executive

Carrot Executive work in partnership with a large number of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences companies and consultancies, supporting with a range of bespoke insights projects to support clients in their strategic decision making in relation to talent attraction and retention, market penetration and competitor benchmarking.

The development of Employee Value Propositions is part of what we do to help clients to differentiate themselves from their competitors in the talent market.

For more information, please contact Martin Anderson via, call +44 (0)1625 541 032 or use the 'schedule a call' link below:

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