What does a recession mean for recruitment?

Written by Mairead Simons

According to economists a worldwide recession is pretty much inevitable – it is more a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ at this stage. 

Widespread hiring freezes are a primary indicator that a recession is on its way. Businesses monitor costs vs output closely, and when revenues start to dip, cost savings become a primary concern, usually leading to a freeze on any hiring. Unfortunately, this in turn can lead to redundancies which is an even larger issue for recruitment – leading to a surplus of available candidates and hiring managers who aren’t in a position to be taking on new staff.

A good tip for companies is to plan ahead, to avoid the above predicament. There are a few ways you can plan for an impending recession; I will outline these below.

Assessing your hiring needs:

Look at both short and long-term needs and assess in comparison to your business forecast to work out if your recruitment needs might have to change when a recession hits. Filling only crucial roles will help make the least impact on your budget however you can’t sacrifice essential hires so you may have to be creative – promoting internal team members, and working with temp staff or freelancers can all create cost savings while solving your staffing problems.

Understanding how the job market will change and adapting to this:

We have all become used to the current candidate-driven market, however, this will not be the case when a recession hits. Lack of job security will be a big factor in candidates deciding not to move from the stability of their current role into a new uncertain position, so it will be harder to recruit for new roles if you are in a position to hire new staff.

Invest in training for your existing staff – this will make them more successful, can help avoid layoffs and make candidates feel secure in their positions meaning they are less likely to jump ship. While it is important to keep costs down, it is vital to balance them with plans to increase employee satisfaction.

To conclude:

You will need to create a strategy that will help you to see this recession through. Staffing demands will need to be taken into consideration alongside balancing budgets so it’s important to have measures in place for when you need to recruit. Making a plan in regards to which roles are essential, and which roles would be nice to fill if budgets allow is a great starting place.

For all your recruitment needs please contact hello@pertemps.co.uk.

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