The global economy is cyclical, marked by periods of prosperity and downturns. According to Harvard Business Review, after the “Great Resignation,” where more than 47 million Americans left their jobs, the economy started showing some problems. Inflation has increased and worker shortages are apparent everywhere. This has made many people worried that a recession might be coming, which could affect the job market. Presently, the world is contending with these crises. The impact of economic recessions is profound and far-reaching, affecting industries, organizations, and the workforce.
When the economy contracts, talent acquisition often comes to a standstill. In some workplaces, when the company’s priorities shift towards keeping their existing employees happy and motivated, they may end up letting go of some staff members through layoffs. Were you aware that Walmart, the largest employer in the United States, has witnessed a substantial reduction of 73% in its hiring numbers compared to the previous year. Furthermore, in 2022, it has come to light that over 650 startups and technology firms have regrettably terminated the employment of more than 110,000 individuals.
Smart entrepreneurs understand that retaining current employees saves them money compared to recruiting new ones. When the economy takes a hit, it’s easy for employers to consider halting their hiring efforts altogether. Numerous CEOs have already begun readying their workforce to operate with reduced resources. On the flip side, those who stick to looking for people with the right skills can access a broader pool of talent, uncovering potential candidates who might have gone unnoticed otherwise.
As businesses grapple with the challenges posed by a recession, it becomes imperative to reimagine and recalibrate their hiring and onboarding strategies. Outsourcing and staff augmentation can help businesses weather the storm. These approaches can give businesses the adaptability and assets required to navigate challenging periods successfully.
Finding and Nurturing Talent in Challenging Economic Landscapes: 5 Strategies
In economic uncertainty, businesses must explore creative strategies to find and onboard talent effectively. Here are five strategies to consider:
- Embrace the Talent Resurgence
During a recession, many highly skilled individuals may find themselves temporarily out of work or exploring new career paths. Consider tapping into this talent pool by actively recruiting those looking to reenter the workforce after a hiatus. These individuals often bring valuable experience, skills, and a strong work ethic. Create targeted reentry programs or partnerships with organizations specializing in retraining and reskilling and offer flexible arrangements to accommodate their needs.
- Expand Your Talent Horizons
Expand your search beyond your usual geographic boundaries to access a wider talent pool. Remote work has become more prevalent, making hiring candidates from different locations, or even internationally, more feasible. Leverage digital platforms and remote hiring tools to conduct interviews, skills assessments, and evaluations. This broader talent market can provide cost-effective solutions and diversify your team’s perspectives and skillsets.
- Redefine Your Hiring Blueprint
In a recession, it’s crucial to reassess your hiring criteria and be open to candidates with transferable skills or those who may only meet some of the requirements on your job postings. Consider placing a higher emphasis on soft skills, adaptability, and growth potential. Training and upskilling can bridge the gap between a candidate’s current skillset and your organization’s needs. This method can help create a workforce that’s not only more varied but also better equipped to handle challenges and changes.
- Foster Mentorship Engagement
In order to support new hires and accelerate their integration into your organization, consider implementing mentorship programs. Seasoned employees can share knowledge, insights, and company culture, making it easier for newcomers to navigate their roles. Mentoring fosters a sense of belonging and helps reduce employee turnover, which is especially important during uncertain economic times. Encourage cross-generational mentoring to enhance knowledge transfer and bridge gaps within your workforce.
- Implement a Referral Rewards Program
Leverage your existing employees as a source of talent by introducing referral incentive programs. Offer rewards or bonuses to employees who refer candidates successfully hired and remain with the company for a specified period. This approach encourages your current workforce to help identify suitable candidates and creates a positive employee engagement and loyalty feedback loop.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed how companies hire and welcome new employees, streamlining these processes to make them faster and better. AI-driven tools analyze vast amounts of applicant data, helping HR professionals identify the best candidates quickly. An IT consulting company with over 1,200 employees sought the expertise of Infopro Learning to modernize its onboarding process. This transformation introduced Leyla, Infopro Learning’s AI chatbot, making it simpler for new hires to access personalized learning resources around the clock. The outcomes were notable: a yearly cost reduction of $96,000 in onboarding expenses, with 80% of new employees using Leyla at least once a month. Employee satisfaction soared to an impressive 4.8 out of 5, while overall employee turnover dropped by 4%.
Navigating Staffing Challenges with Staff Augmentation
Before determining whether outsourced staffing aligns with your business needs, it’s crucial to understand that staff augmentation offers a flexible staffing solution. This can be particularly useful when you require temporary, contract-based employees to support your company’s staffing requirements, whether you need them on a short-term, long-term, or on a cyclical basis. Listed below are the benefits of staff augmentation:
- Cost-Efficiency: Staff augmentation saves costs by eliminating recruitment expenses, training, and employee benefits. It enables access to specialized skills without the overhead of traditional hiring.
- Enhanced Agility: In a fast-paced business world, staff augmentation provides the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions swiftly. Businesses have the pliancy to adjust their team size as needed, allowing them to grab new opportunities or tackle unexpected obstacles quickly.
- Flexibility in Staffing: Staff augmentation offers tailored solutions to meet specific project or operational needs. Whether short-term contracts or long-term partnerships, this strategy allows businesses to customize their workforce according to their unique requirements.
- Seamless Integration: Outsourced staff can integrate seamlessly with in-house teams through communication tools and collaboration platforms, ensuring a cohesive work environment while tapping into external expertise.
Staff Augmentation Considerations
Staff augmentation resources become integral to your in-house team, fostering collaboration, innovation, and teamwork. This arrangement means you have direct control over these resources, which enhances visibility and is good for your organization. However, it does require some effort from your internal management to get these resources up to speed and ensure they’re on the same page regarding your preferred processes and systems.
Unlike hiring an external project team, staff augmentation doesn’t come with built-in quality checks. So, it’s up to your internal team to ensure these resources fit seamlessly into your operation and maintain your high-quality standards. This hands-on approach ensures that your team works effectively and aligns with your established processes, contributing positively to your projects and goals.
Getting through tough economic times, like a recession, demands flexibility, thinking outside the box, and a readiness to question the usual way of doing things. By remodeling your hiring and onboarding strategy during a recession, you can reduce costs and position your organization for long-term success. By adopting the right strategies, your business can survive a recession, thrive, and become even stronger and more competitive. Staff augmentation will help businesses tap into a pool of talented professionals, ensuring projects are executed promptly and with the highest cost efficiency.