6 Best Practices For Streamlined Hiring During Recession 

Key Takeaways

  • Creative talent screening is essential when it comes to hiring during recession.
  • Outsourcing your hiring needs to an external agency can come in handy.
  • Hiring during recession is often more beneficial for companies as more talented candidates are in the market.
  • Outsourced hiring and talent acquisition are some ways companies can win the war for talent during this time.

Hiring in the present day job market is anything but easy.

The Great Resignation, during which more than 47 million Americans left their employment willingly, caused the economy to exhibit “stagflation” symptoms. Rising inflation and other crucial metrics present a nuanced image of the US economy, sufficient to fuel recession worries and influence the labor market.

Moreover, the world economy is still recovering from the aftereffects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and when coupled with the Great Resignation, it makes a recipe for disaster.

The recession, known as the Great Recession in 2007, resulted in a 4% decline in global economic growth and 10% unemployment at its height. Surprisingly, the unemployment rate during the pandemic was higher than the Great Recession by nearly 14%

In these dire circumstances, companies that want to stay ahead of the game may need to take an alternative approach to hiring!

Tried-and-Tested Strategies for Better Hiring During Recession

Some well-known companies were able to use recessions as an opportunity to increase hiring.

Hewlett-Packard hired the greatest talent in the late 1940s, while many other firms were starting to suffer by taking advantage of the engineers departing the soon-to-close US military labs. Microsoft used a similar approach in the 1970s when the company began hiring during one of the worst 16-month economic downturns. 

According to experts at Harvard Business Review, companies that were able to modify their hiring procedures during challenging economic times shared a common trait. A “progressive focus” was used by 9% of the 4,700 enterprises analyzed to emerge from the last three recessions. These businesses did make cuts, but only in certain areas. The below figure how the well-known recessions have affected the hiring trends.

hiring during recession

Source: Business Insider

Talent acquisition teams at these companies prioritized long-term strategic objectives while hiring new employees. These companies accomplished both instead of thinking in terms of “either/or” – hiring or downsizing. As well as utilizing elite personnel eager to leave their existing professions in search of security, they could keep hold of individuals in important roles. 

Here are some tried and tested strategies to have enhanced hiring during recession:

1. Conduct a Skills Gap Analysis

A skills gap study can help you find a skill set that your workforce requires but may still need.

Skills gap studies can help you prioritize hiring, identify areas for training and development, or decide how much money to spend on new partnerships or technologies.

A skills gap assessment digs deeper into the talent in your organization and considers the talents your business will require in the future. With this knowledge, your hiring staff may actively seek out passive applicants, write more precise job descriptions, and hire new workers who will aid in the achievement of your long-term objectives. 

2. Invest in Talent Acquisition Early On

In a downturn, effective talent acquisition may be a tremendous asset. Investing in talent has many advantages, including increased productivity, cost savings, and improved event readiness.

Unlike traditional recruiting, talent acquisition includes in-depth investigation and analysis. It entails finding, selecting, attracting, onboarding, and retaining highly competent people. Firms that invest in talent acquisition will attract more talented and experienced candidates in the long run.

3. Check-in with Passive Candidates Often

During a recession, many workers think about switching positions to earn a greater wage or have more job security.

Harvard Business Review experts advise getting each member of your leadership team to list three to five people they would most want to work with. Next, decide who should be contacted by ranking this shortlist according to its desirability to your organization. The ideal applicant may be standing by and waiting to be contacted. Be bold and approach potential candidates aggressively.

4. Consider Outsourcing Your Hiring Needs

As mentioned earlier, a recession can be one of the most difficult times for any company. Hence, many firms find it challenging to maintain a full-fledged talent department. A recruitment agency can be an excellent option in these circumstances. Outsourced recruiting can help a company save massive costs while ensuring efficiency for better results. 

Moreover, hiring an external recruitment agency gives you access to years of experience and expertise better than a small HR department. These agencies have experience handling various project types and sizes and can be beneficial for businesses looking to streamline their recruitment during recession.

5. Get Creative with Talent Screening

It’s not the same as it was even a few years ago because of how the ongoing pandemic has altered contemporary employment practices. The emphasis has shifted from evaluating talent based solely on a CV to seeing each candidate as a distinct individual.

You’ll probably be in higher demand than usual for a job opening during a recession. This might quickly exhaust your recruits. Add resources that enable you to hire many people in advance to be ready for this.

Adopting this mindset also drives firms to explore talent in places they otherwise would not have, which can boost morale and encourage diversity. Companies should utilize modern technology to develop a more advanced process for hiring during recession. 

6. Re-evaluate Your Hiring Strategy at Frequent Intervals

Since firms might only be able to hire the finest of the best during a recession, talent acquisition strategies should be expanded. Changing the process could provide companies with more hiring possibilities, whether this entails looking for other employment options, such as contract or part-time work, or making job descriptions more compelling.

Be open to adjusting to the requirements and wants of younger generations. For the labor force to grow and remain viable, it is crucial to adapt to changing social norms and monetary conditions. Companies must pay attention to what millennials demand from their workplaces and make the necessary changes.

Consider strategies to increase employee resiliency while developing your recruiting strategy during a downturn. This will help direct your hiring procedure and guarantee you’re utilizing the qualified individuals who could now be looking for other jobs.

To learn more about hiring during a recession, contact our healthcare IT recruiters at BenchPoint. We specialize in recruitment and other HR-related activities, with years of proven experience.