working in grassroots since 1776

How Your Recruiting Changes when the Recession Ends

During difficult economic times, its best to exercise caution in everything you do as a business owner or manager. The methodical way in which you make decisions during a recession will change during better times as the recession comes to a close, but your choices will always involve more thought than they did before. It’s a natural consequence of having to weather a storm – a hesitancy that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but could nonetheless stunt your growth. Certain aspects of the way you run your business need to change right away; one of them is your recruiting strategy.

Among the many benefits that small and medium sized businesses can take from a recession is the hard-learned lesson of waste management. We’re not talking about taking the trash out here, but rather the ability of management to cut down on waste. That could be excessive paperwork, extra personnel, or wasted advertising. In no other area is the latter more prevalent than in the recruiting process. Ads that go into daily or weekly newspapers bring in more unqualified applicants than any other form of advertising. Why are you still spending money on those mediums?

Let’s backtrack a bit to the beginning of the recession. As the economic situation in the United States got worse, you as the business owner started to cut back on personnel and spending. The ads went first because you didn’t need any new employees, so you never really tracked their impact. That old applicant tracking system, the one that never really worked the way you needed it to – that got stuffed in a drawer too. It hasn’t been needed for the past thirty-six months, so why think about it? That’s all changed now. You need to evaluate both of these elements of your recruiting strategy.

Target your advertising. Use job boards and referral services that are industry specific. If you’re a recruiter, join networks that are made up of industry professionals in the job niche you’re recruiting for. Invest in some new web based recruiting software, preferably web based recruiting software, and keep track of who is applying for what job. You’ll get more applicants than you have openings, so you can’t hire everyone, but you could put the most promising candidates aside for your next expansion. If the economic recovery keeps up at a steady pace, that expansion should come soon.

How does your recruiting change when the recession ends? Your management decisions have already changed, so the philosophy should automatically extend to your human resource department. If not, perhaps you need new management down there. New applicant tracking software will tell you if there are any qualified candidates coming through your door or emailing resumes in. Careful delegation and accountability are two other aspects of your company that have changed in the past three years. If they haven’t – you’re out of business right now, reading this and wondering why you didn’t do some of the things we’re recommending here. That’s okay. Try Again. There’s no reason to make the same mistakes twice.


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