Having gained decades of experience in this realm, I've come to understand that the hiring process is always cyclical. After a period of downturn or stagnation it often spikes exponentially - catching many organisations off-guard and unable to cope with such sudden demand for personnel.
Talent acquisition teams should make the best use of this downtime by levelling-up their skills and optimising their processes. By doing so, they will be better equipped to succeed when hiring inevitably resumes. The following six strategies should be considered to ensure teams are well-equipped to hire when the job market rebounds.
Tidy up your tech stack
Companies can audit and grade each tool in their recruiting tech stack such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), Sourcing Platforms, Interview Schedulers, Video Interviewing Platforms, etc. An audit of the tech stack should be done along with a gap analysis to determine what’s worth consolidating or replacing. This exercise can help save costs and reduce redundancies in the system by consolidating number of systems while elevating performance efficiency.
Intensify efforts towards creating a diverse workspace.
Improving diversity hiring efforts is an important but difficult task. However, now it's the perfect time to take a deep dive into how potential candidates from non-traditional backgrounds are identified during interviews and throughout their entire journey in your company’s hiring funnel.
Start by evaluating which questions you use in interviews and if any of them could be inadvertently keeping out qualified candidates from non-traditional backgrounds. Then dive into the data behind your entire recruiting funnel - this can identify points where different underrepresented groups may disproportionately drop out or are disqualified by certain managers.
Through this analysis, you can pinpoint areas where unconscious biases may be blocking qualified talent from joining or advancing at your organisation – allowing you to create more equitable processes that better evaluate job seekers on success criteria alone. With thoughtful assessment comes an actionable plan with solutions like interviewer training to address unconscious bias or more inclusive job descriptions, that will result in building a truly representative team!
Upskill your team
Foster improved hiring practices and stronger candidates by having your talent acquisition team and managers complete interviewer training. They'll benefit from workshops on topics such as diversity & inclusion, interview professionalism, best practices - to name a few! For those seeking additional knowledge, there are plenty of online courses or certifications through SHRM or LinkedIn Learning worth exploring.
Take time to cultivate relationships with your hiring managers
Optimising hiring manager satisfaction is the key to ensuring you are well-prepared when it's time to ramp up recruitment efforts. Spend some extra effort on understanding managers' expectations going forward, in addition to getting feedback about past performance; this will enable greater success later down the line.
By giving hiring managers the opportunity to express their ideas on how they want the team to evolve and gathering feedback regarding recruitment performance, you can significantly decrease time-to-hire (3x) and uplift quality of hire by a factor of two. Now's your chance to dive deep into which roles should be prioritised when recruiting picks up again - so that you're ready for new openings whenever they arrive!
Maintain communication with recent hires
Even after being hired, it is essential to maintain a strong connection with employees. Research shows that 86% of those who enter new roles make their decision about staying at the company within just the first six months! During downtime, recruiters should take this opportunity to check-in with recent hires and gain insight into how their days are going and any surprises they may have encountered in regards to their role or organisation. This type of information can help create better interactions when speaking with future candidates as well as aid in raising retention rates amongst current newcomers so they feel supported - both professionally and personally - by knowing someone cares for them along every step of their career journey.
Craft a great employer brand
During slowdowns, it's particularly important to strengthen your talent brand and create a compelling narrative for the company. Think outside of the box when it comes to creating content - blog posts, videos or even optimising candidate experience via Glassdoor reviews can help put you ahead of competition in uncertain times. This is an opportunity for recruiting teams to demonstrate their full value and ensure they are first off the starting blocks as soon as hiring picks up again! Keep morale high by actively engaging with team members so that everyone remains productive during this period – whilst also being proactive so you can rebound once markets improve.