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How can I conquer recent obstacles to hiring during an economic slowdown?


When the economy shows signs of slowing down, it is but natural for companies to want to cut back on spending to prepare for the effects of low spending on the part of consumers. In the past 2 years, job cuts all across industries add to the challenge when economies struggle. 

Oftentimes, we then see the labor market cooling down as unemployment increases while hiring and recruitment activities decrease. However, in light of recent economic uncertainties, we can still agree that the right talents are still an asset to companies. Hiring still plays a huge part in companies’ ability to bounce back. 

What are obstacles to hiring when the economy is uncertain? 

1. Hiring teams have to consider career shifters from different industries. 

Some industries are more affected by economic instability than others, and when people from these affected industries become unemployed, they tend to transition to an industry that offers more career opportunities.

This is despite the lack of experience or skill related to the new industry. Hiring teams have to deal with these numerous applications and decide whether to accept them for entry-level positions.

2. Hiring is halted temporarily. 

Hiring departments have to deal with cuts in their budget, so they temporarily close applications to otherwise open positions. The number of jobs available decreases, while the number of job seekers increases. It creates a very competitive job market. It is also highly likely that companies give lower pay offers. 

Economic downturns also make workers scared of venturing to better job opportunities. Because they don’t want to risk losing their job, top talents might not be actively looking for better career options. This can make qualified candidates more scarce. 

3. Hiring may take longer. 

With so many job applications, hiring becomes more time-consuming and challenging. In order to narrow your choices, you might have to use more processes and become prone to overlooking qualified ones. 

Also passive candidates, who don’t want to let go of their current roles, become more difficult to obtain, and it would take time and more attractive offers and benefits to make these qualified people consider a job.

How to overcome obstacles to hiring when the economy is contracting

Remember that in an economic slowdown, there is a shift from a candidate’s market ( candidates have more power and choices) to an employer’s market (companies have more leverage over employees.) However, this shift brings its challenges. Here are some ways companies can prepare hiring and recruitment:

Make your hiring process more efficient. 

Although you may only need to interview a few people for the job, you still have to sift through hundreds of applications. How can your company streamline your screening process? Some companies put a series of additional layers to initial screening so that only qualified candidates can proceed to the next stage. 

Use a referral process. 

Hiring comes with costs and lowering expenses may be possible when you reward employees who are able to find applicants who eventually get hired. Referrals are more willing to go through the hiring process because they have been referred by someone they trust. Referral programs work because they are a less expensive way to find and recruit qualified people. 

Build your company brand. 

Though hiring may be stopped temporarily or budget may be downsized, being consistent with your company’s efforts to stay top of mind among future job candidates and connections will pay off. Maintain contact with your network, so that when hiring is opened, your good relationship and good reputation will make hiring faster and smoother. 

Partner with a hiring team. 

Some companies also opt to partner with a hiring firm that can help them reduce cost in hiring. They can use their network, expertise and experience to find you the talent your company needs. 

There are many things you can consider in order to prepare for an economic slowdown. Anticipating the obstacles will help you set up systems and ask for appropriate help when the going gets tough in terms of hiring and recruiting. Remember that though the economy is slow, your company still has the potential to grow!

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How can I conquer recent obstacles to hiring during an economic slowdown?
Brandon Resasco