We may not know when this pandemic will end or when a vaccine will be available, but we do know some things. We know we are in a recession now. We know many people have lost their jobs and want a new one. As Talent Acquisition professionals we know there are things that we can be doing to put our company in a better position as our economy starts to exit the recession. Here are 5 reasons why continuing talent acquisition during a recession is important.
You actually have time for this. Take advantage of it. Assess your current staff, your current organizational structure and where training can fulfill some needs and where hiring will be necessary, if not now, soon. Implementing hiring freezes during recessions have been shown to increase risk for loss of income, cause existing employees to burnout and, potentially, reduce quality of service or product. Continuing talent acquisition during a recession even in light of limited hiring needs is the right strategy.
2. Build a Talent Pool
When a good candidate approaches your firm indicating you are a preferred employer, use that attraction. That candidate may not fulfill a need right now, but enthusiasm for your company should not be ignored. Assess whether that candidate could be trained to meet a current need, or recommend they do their own education and come back when completed. Target positions that are ALWAYS hard to fill. Find candidates you may not be able to hire now, but nurture your relationship with them over time for future needs.
3. Refine Your Recruiting Processes
Replace that antiquated applicant tracking system. Prioritize candidate experience. Respond promptly to all resumes but more comprehensively to quality candidates, even if you don’t have a current opening. Make sure you have a process to move candidates efficiently through an interview process with prompt feedback. Listen closely to what target candidate’s want I n their new position, and make sure you are meeting that need. There is a feeling that recessions favor employers and you are in the driver’s seat. Don’t fall into this trap. If the candidate is someone you want and need, don’t drag your feet just because you can. Make them feel wanted with a quick, comprehensive and attractive offer.
4. Promote Your Company Brand
The double whammy of a recession and a pandemic mean candidates first and foremost want to make sure your firm will be in business next year. Did your company handle the downturn in a way that is attractive to potential talent? Highlight the good things your firm did and honestly address the mistakes or room for improvement that was or is still needed. Candidate’s know no firm is perfect and they’ll appreciate the candor. Brand your company as one offering job security and financial stability. Highlight your company culture with videos and make sure your career site is clear, complete and easy to use. Social media sites and google ad words are very inexpensive ways to get your brand out there.
5. Work With Professionals
Talent Acquisition staff is often the first department downsized in a recession as severe as the one we are going through. If you find yourself without the staff needed to do the work, reach out to contingent recruiters. Their expertise is free until the hire is made. Use their expertise to build your target hires and once the recession is in the rear-view mirror you will able to hire and pay your recruiter immediately.