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Recruiting During Downtimes

Recruiting During Downtimes

Great recruiting strategies are not static; they flex and change with economic conditions and competitors’ actions. For those of you in industries currently being impacted by the economic downturn, there are some things you can do to help improve your firm’s financial condition. If you act fast, you can also help avoid becoming a layoff statistic by developing a strong business case for recruiting during downtimes.

Prepare Your Employment Function

It's common knowledge that recruiting functions expand and shrink with the economy; however, if you want to avoid any unnecessary shrinkage, you need to take steps to prepare the recruiting function for the upcoming budget knife. Some things you can do include:

  • Begin to Forecast Future Economic and Business Growth: Talk to sales managers and study industry trends in order to forecast when the economic downturn for your firm might end. If the economic downturn is estimated to be short-lived, prepare the business case for keeping your recruiting staff intact so you’ll be ready for the coming upturn.
  • Show the Upcoming Need for New Hiring: Demonstrate to managers the importance of redeploying your current workforce into high-margin areas. Turn the recruitment department into the redeployment department. Identify internal candidates that can be moved from low return areas to higher return areas. Demonstrate that hiring should begin prior to any large upswing in business because of the lag time necessary to bring new hires up to speed. Also show managers that quality hires can be obtained during slack recruiting times by poaching the very best employees from firms weakened by the economic downturn.
  • Build a Strong Business Case for Recruitin: Identify the ROI of great recruiting and show how having a strong recruiting function is essential if the firm is to recover from the economic doldrums. Present your case to HR and senior managers in the divisions most likely to grow first.
  • Pair Back Your Recruiting: Use metrics to identify which sources produced the best candidates and reduce or drop the remaining programs that offer little value.