Hiring in times of economic slowdown

One of the challenges an HR professional faces is recruiting in times of economic slowdown. The recent American and European slowdown threw a new perspective on hiring during tough times. It is easy to hire when the industry is booming and there are jobs and candidates everywhere, but the challenge is to recruit in bad times, so to speak.

HR professionals have to realize that the same tactics used when the industry is full of jobs don’t work during difficult times. Obviously, candidates look for different things in a situation of difficult than they would in times of ease. HR has to feel the pulse of the market and understand what the candidate prefers and what matters more in terms of benefits.

Security is foremost

First off, the primary concern for a candidate taking up a job during an economic slowdown is not how much the pay is, but how long the job is going to last. If any of us were in the candidate’s shoes, how would we think? Is it not natural to think that a pay, even if it is lower, that is spread over a few months or years is better than a fatter one that comes with no security?

Security –watch this word here. During difficult times, the primary concern is security, as opposed to whether the cab or company lunch is going to be provided. Even stock options could be a low priority, relatively. Undoubtedly, for a person dependent on the job for a living, the more important concern during tough times is what the job means during these times –whether the company is going to keep him or throw him out in the next few months.

Make the candidate feel important

Other things do matter, but no factor is as important as security in these difficult times. HR has to gauge the importance this job has for the candidate. Once security is assured, HR can rest equally assured that the candidate is going to be a good employee. HR has to convincingly state the importance of the position for which the candidate is being hired. It may not be able to give any assurances in writing during these times, but it can drive home the importance of the candidate’s position during these times.




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