How to make your recruiting and hiring recession proof

Recent events have shown clear weaknesses in “business as usual” when it comes to recruiting. We live in a fast-moving world subject to unprecedented disruption. In this environment, old-fashioned in-house teams with high, fixed overhead are at a significant disadvantage.

Although the current global situation will improve, there are signs that recruiting is changing forever. Even when face-to-face office work becomes easier and safer, businesses will still need to contend with the challenge of filling key roles and fielding a world class team.

Businesses Must Shift Their Strategy to Deliver on the Demands of Recession Hiring

Greater uncertainty in the economy leads to less job mobility. Even senior executives can feel tempted to “batten down the hatches” and remain in their current place of work, making it more difficult to tap competitive advantages by differentiating on talent acquisition.

Re-engineering the recruitment function is the key to overcoming these issues. Agile, adaptive, distributed recruiting continues to outmaneuver competitors who rely on hidebound “traditional” methods. That’s especially true when a company’s own alumni network is tapped successfully.

Here’s how to create a modern, effective recruiting process that’s recession-proof:

1. Focus on Low Overhead and Flexibility

A fully in-house model no longer adapts quickly enough to today’s hiring realities. Capture the efficiencies of a distributed workforce. Maintain only a light workforce of key players within your organization, focusing on areas like talent development, compensation and benefits.

2. Identify a Team of Known, Proven Recruiters

Identify a small, agile force of experienced recruiters. Like any other vendor who works with your business, they need to show a proven dedication to understanding your enterprise and its needs. Ideally, you can activate these professionals within a day of recognizing a hiring need.  That said, the era of traditional executive retained and contingency recruiters is history.  With modern applications and tools, it’s now possible to get these terrific recruiters without the agency, yielding a considerable savings for your company.

3. Build a Mechanism to Engage External Recruiters Quickly

Over the last decade, a great deal of recruiting work has moved onto platforms like LinkedIn. It is a good idea to build a corporate presence on this and other platforms that enable collaboration with your recruiting team. Now there are platforms like RecruiterShare specifically designed for this purpose.  Clarity, speed, and precision are essential factors.

4. Stay in Touch With Past Employees

Employee sentiment remains important even after the work relationship ends. It is a good idea to capture feedback from departing employees and understand how they feel their needs were not met. This level of openness facilities continuing dialogue to foster brand advocates and easier recruiting later on.

5. Open a Past Employee Communication Channel

Your past employees are a key constituency within  your company. Develop a communication plan for them just as you would with current customers and leads. That starts by identifying what information should be made available to them and how frequently you will be in touch.  One high impact tactic is to have the CEO write a personal message to this group.

6. Promote and Pay for Referrals from Current and Past Employees

It’s the nature of professional networking that your next great hire is likely no more than three steps from someone in your company’s field of view. Incentivizing referrals in a concrete way can galvanize relationships that might otherwise fail to develop.

7. Nurture a Company Alumni Group

Corporate alumni are a rich source of brand advocates and potential referrals. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are emerging as as easy and powerful ways to create an alumni-specific group and maintain regular communication. Because the majority of your employees will already be users, remaining in touch becomes a much simpler matter.

These seven pillars represent an effective way to re-conceptualize recruiting strategy and move forward with key hiring goals. In 2020 and beyond, they will become ever more important to a cohesive and complete human capital strategy. Enterprises who take these lessons on board now will be best positioned for success as the economy recovers in the coming years.