In metropolitan areas like Washington DC, it's become remarkably difficult to hire highly skilled employees and senior staff members. Trying to hire on your own has become more expensive than paying someone a fee to help you recruit.
The news headlines might blare about future economic slowdowns or potential future recessions, but right now we have full employment (are you seeing any stories about layoffs from well-managed firms? No.) Quite the opposite, some organizations are hiring like mad.
So with low unemployment and fewer candidates actively looking for work, more employers are vying for the attention of fewer available and interested candidates. Consequently a few things happen in your recruiting process. Your job advertising will yield lots of candidates who are not remotely qualified (this is true in any economy) but far fewer candidates who are qualified. Next, when you try to schedule those few good people for interviews, you'll quickly discover that some of the best candidates will withdraw before the first interview because they already accepted a job offer from another employer. Or perhaps candidates accept a first interview with you but then decline a second interview.
To add insult to injury, the job advertising market itself is increasingly complex and fragmented because of all the competition between Google for Jobs, Indeed, Linkedin, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder and others. When you have a poor response to your job advertising, it's difficult to know whether you used the wrong job title, wrote an unappealing job description, posted your job in the wrong place, or maybe your job is just not as attractive to candidates compared to their other career options. All you see is who responded to your ad. You can never see who you didn't reach.