Recruiting and Hiring in an Economic Downturn

5 Tips on How to Be Successful in Staffing in an Economic Downturn

The current economic situation provides a great opportunity for employers to redefine their recruiting methods. With the vast pool of job applicants, it is easier for companies to make excellent new hires. But in these tight economic conditions, how does one ensure their current recruiting methods are also cost-effective?

Take the time to look for steps in your staffing process that could be made more time and cost-effective. Employers should utilize this economic season to redefine their existing recruitment process and make sure their methods are efficient and produce positive long-term results. Making the time for this review now will help you save time and money in the long-run.

1. Cut excess time and money from your recruitment process.

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How you use people’s time is the main factor that will help make your recruitment process more efficient. No one wants to feel that their in a meeting they don’t need to be in. It’s frustrating and it pulls them away from more profitable activities like calling clients or delivery products.

If you’re hiring for a marketing specialist, it’s probably not cost-effective or necessary to have applicants interview with someone from the accounting team if they’re never going to interact with that group. Only invite those employees who will be working day-to-day with the marketing specialist into the interview process.

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2.  Refine your interview process.

What changes to the steps in the staffing process could make it more efficient? Perhaps instead of calling every potential employee for an in-person interview, you could first do a phone screening to narrow your applicant pool, and save time on the longer in-person interviews.

Also, make sure that you have an effective method for screening resumes and know what you are looking for. By referencing a job description with clearly articulated requirements you can save yourself a lot of time with the screening process. In addition, a well –defined job description will be useful for accurate market pricing, performance management and even reducing liabilities to the company.

3. Be patient and wait for the best.

Take your time when it comes to hiring new employees. Why? With the large availability of great workers, you can be that picky. This is a huge benefit to employers because they have a better chance of finding a coveted candidate now than they might have in a year or two.

Another plus to being patient in your recruitment process is that it will potentially save you money in the future. Smart hiring decisions will help build a more productive workforce with better retention; which in turn helps build good company morale and saves the company money long-term.

4. Stay true to your company culture.

Besides finding a candidate that has the skills, knowledge and abilities to perform the job duties, you should also look for someone who is a good fit with the values of your organization. In addition to being proficient in the tasks of the job this employee must portray other positive attributes, like leadership and positive working relationships.

5. Train your hiring managers in behavioral interviewing techniques.

An effective strategy for finding top talent is to develop an interview process around behavioral interviewing techniques. Behavioral interviewing is a technique of asking the employee questions that focus on their previous experience.

By focusing on what the employee has done in the past, and not what they would do in theory, you can assess whether they have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the essential functions of the job. As an example, you might ask the potential marketing specialist how many press releases they have written and which ones presented the greatest challenge to them and why.

Streamlining Your Recruitment Process Makes Financial Sense

Remember that smart hiring decisions bring positive financial results to a company. This applies to all organizations. Bad hiring decisions lead to increased costs down the road, and result in more headaches than the employee is worth. Making smart hiring decisions and taking time with the process is your best option for long-term sustainability.

Remember, the talent that you recruit today will get your organization through this economic downturn, and help it to thrive in the future.


Stacey Carroll
Director of Customer Service and Education at

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