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This question varies with specific markets of search

For me, an "exotic" (difficult to find) search would be an artist with certain types of graphics/program experience.

Why? Because the group of people who are true professionals in this niche are self employed and earn high $$'s as freelance/contract.

There is no easiest in my market!

I have had the opportunity to recruit some of the toughest engineers, TS/SCI cleared individuals with full polyscopes, marketing, finance, sales, and operations and I have to say one of my hardest roles I ever had to fill (all kidding aside) is an Executive Assistant for a CEO.  I went through one of the most labor intensive searches I have ever gone through to find this individual.  It was like playing a matchmaker.  It was like finding a wife for this person.  Not only do they have to have to have the skills, but they have to be trusted.  Bank Accounts, E-mail rights, kids soccer schedule- you name it.  My father had his assistant for 35 years.  Would anyone agree?


A TS/SCI Cleared individual is pretty darn difficult though.  

How about a patent attorney with a background in Electrical Engineering that must have stellar educational credentials, great law school grades and come from a matching firm as my client and all of this with the job description of ...if they are a patent attorney they should know what a patent attorney does..!!!

It's funny but Admin/Execs have always seemed to take a little longer. I think it's because it is usually more about "personality" fit then the actual skills the candidates possess. A former co-worker was filling an Exec Asst for the head of HR. He had her interview about 20 people then wanted the "yeahs" to do an assessment (that wasn't HR approved) and even if he liked them, he would disqualify the candidate. I even had to step in as the HR Business Partner because it was out of control.

 

Typically, I try to fill Admin roles within 2-4 wks.

For me I tend to think sales folks are easiest to find. 

I do a lot of tight market engineering recruiting where it has long been a candidates market.  Often I am asked to help find the sales person who sells those products.  These are typically engineers that have gone into sales.

 

Why is sales so much easier?  Their names are out there, they are easy to find.  It is easy to generate a lot of names whereas with engineering roles those people are less out there, have less of a online presence so you have to work a lot harder to get their names. 

@ Elise- Since I am a former sales person, I love recruiting sales folks.  It may not be easiest for all, but I really enjoy it. 

 

@ Teresa- that sounds hard!

 

@ Tiffany- Oh yea- I had a similar situation and every time I found a good candidate, they took a personality test and would immediatley disqualify.  I couldn't believe it.  2 weeks tops is how long it really should take.  In the end- it was a temp-hire scenario after all of that.

I find temp to hire is best with Admin/Exec Assts as well.

Will Thomson said:

@ Elise- Since I am a former sales person, I love recruiting sales folks.  It may not be easiest for all, but I really enjoy it. 

 

@ Teresa- that sounds hard!

 

@ Tiffany- Oh yea- I had a similar situation and every time I found a good candidate, they took a personality test and would immediatley disqualify.  I couldn't believe it.  2 weeks tops is how long it really should take.  In the end- it was a temp-hire scenario after all of that.

Emerging medical technology expertise I would consider the hardest.

Any discipline where demand outstrips supply is hard.

In my 32 years recruiting I've recruited in Accounting/Finance, Information Technology, Benefits Consultants, Medical Device Engineers, Software Sales, and Defense Engineering with that TS/SCI Clearance Full Poly background.

Of all, I go with Defense Engineering being the hardest due to the nature of their being high Clearance level Defense Engineering prospects are quite close mouthed with a small percentage willing to give you leads.  You're almost literally on your own with no help.  Plus, many aren't on LinkedIn or social media having families, the most stable job histories, working too long/hard hours to goof around on the Internet.

Easiest, Sales by far.

It's funny, when I responded, I thought more about the hardest "discipline" to place and not soo much the hardest to "source."That's what I love about this forum. Different perspectives. 

Tiffany, IMO every discipline is tough to place people.  Sales people change jobs most frequently, Defense Engineers less frequently.  Some fields like I/T if you're technologically staying the same when new technology hits, you're actually falling behind and need to get more into the cutting edge lest you become an old IBM Mainframe COBOL Programmer--obsolete.

 

In the present market there's no question in my mind due to Obama's defense cutting and looming Sequestration the absolute hardest place to make a sale is in Defense--nowhere else is even close.

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