Recruiting talent is an ongoing challenge for any business, but getting the right people on the bus is key to growth.

One company – Shopify, which helps people create their own online store – took recruitment to the extreme when it created a humorous ad calling on candidates to “draw the owl” and posted it on YouTube.

It certainly beats the stock standard advertisements seen on Seek.com.au and eFinancialCareers, which in CoreData’s experience tend to result in resume spam from candidates pimping their wares to one and all without really assessing if their experience is relevant the job, and pesky calls from recruiters who want to get in on the action.

With companies forced to go to great lengths to recruit the right people for their business, why is it so hard to find staff?

The unemployment rate in Australia is fairly low (5.4% in December 2012) but is expected to track up this year putting pressure on the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to cut rates further.

However, finding people who are qualified and have the background and experience to do the job is not usually the issue. In fact, in many cases candidates are considered overqualified for the role – a risk given the potential for this to lead to boredom and poor job satisfaction.

The key challenge is matching the person to the culture of the organisation, which is no mean feat especially for a small business.

Once you’ve established that this person is a good cultural fit, and aligns with company values, it becomes a case of whether your business can offer them the right package, benefits and flexibility they’re seeking. At this point, it’s not so much you interviewing them as they interviewing you.

After running the marathon that is recruitment, there’s also the challenge of a mobile workforce and the difficulty businesses face in retaining employees in an age where job hopping is prevalent – particularly among the younger generations.

So despite all the hard work, employers can find themselves back at square one. Let’s hope Shopify’s efforts to differentiate itself in the recruitment space pay off.

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