It is believed by many of the Leading Recruitment Industry Talent Acquisition Managers that now is the time to find the best talent, rather than trigger a recruitment freeze by streamlining hiring costs
Uncertain times provoke a traditional response from modern business leaders. Sales reduce, revenue falls, so ‘cost centers’ must take the initial hit. Recruitment goes into freeze mode, while the HR community goes into consultation with the business leaders to reduce the workforce (hence appeasing investors and stock market jitters). “We did not hit our sales figures but we streamlined costs,” proclaim CEOs. Streamlining often involves the loss of good recruiters, a perceived ‘temporary’ cost on the business.
But does this strategy resonate now? Yes, maybe expansion and adding new headcount does not make sense. But hiring the best talent must still be top of the agenda. The ‘best’ will help grow and maximise those opportunities that mediocre talent cannot achieve. Does a recruitment freeze make sense if recruiters can attract better talent?
The ‘best talent’ need not only be recruited — they need to be retained. Top talent knows their value. They will not be fobbed off by the arguments of tough times, hence little or no salary review or bonus will mostly be met with a CV out on the market the next day. The best talent is happier to take risks in a recessionary job market, knowing they will always find work. It’s the weaker performers, who fear ‘last in, first out’, and hence stay put, weakening the organisational structure.
As we feel today’s chill winds of recession, down the line the warmer climate of growth and expansion will come again. Those who invest time planting seeds will truly reap the rewards with a fruitful harvest down the line
If expansion is not possible, then recruitment should be at the forefront of replacement hiring. This is where some would argue that the strength of a modern business lies in leaders ‘managing out’ the bottom 10% of performers, hence allowing recruiters to attract ‘better talent’ in their place. The perpetual self-improving workforce.
INVEST AND BUILD
Great recruitment leaders will see this downturn as an opportunity to get ahead of the curve: to identify structural weaknesses in their business and start to map out competitors in detail, then develop relationships with top talent — hence building those ‘predictable talent pipelines’ we all desire.
It is also an optimal time to invest resources into building corporate ‘manufactured communities’, plus gaining an understanding of and mapping ‘natural communities’, and then seeking ways to improve candidate experience and employment brand perception in the marketplace.
Recruitment leaders must also think of ways to generate revenue can be generated from their division. Yes, recruiting costs will fall further in this recession. There will be fewer hires, more ‘direct sourcing’. In-house teams will be internally pilloried if they use agencies and ‘roulette job boards’ and incur fees; hence maybe now is the time to develop premium content for corporate communities? Maybe creation of a profit centre, where staff are less likely to be axed, is closer to reality than previously considered?
Economic activity has tended to be cyclical in modern times. As we feel today’s chill winds of recession, down the line the warmer climate of growth and expansion will come again. Those who invest time planting seeds today, carefully nurturing their growth, will truly reap the rewards with a fruitful harvest down the line.
Those cutting back and doing nothing today will be criminally neglecting future profitability and growth of their business.
Recruitment has never been so vital… does your business realise it? Does your recruitment leader…?