Hiring During a Recession: 3 Strategies to Attract the Right Candidates

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Recruiting is challenging in today’s job market. Even after large-scale tech layoffs  and global recession predictions , the power dynamic favors talent. Except for a few industries, job seekers hold almost all the cards. This has left many recruiters scrambling to make a successful hire.

Hiring a candidate with the necessary skills or experience is often needed. It would be best if you had someone who fits the corporate culture and believes in the organization’s mission, vision, and values. That’s what makes a successful hire. Culture-fit candidates are more likely to feel like they belong, which increases their chances of sticking around. Ultimately, this can boost your retention levels  even when turnover rates are higher than before the pandemic .

What’s more, culture-fit candidates perform better than other hires. Workplace happiness leads to job satisfaction, and that satisfaction prompts people to go above and beyond. Plus, culture-fit candidates have a better understanding of your business. They know what you need to succeed, which means they can help you achieve your vision.

Attracting these candidates is a tall order; attracting them and convincing them to work for your organization will take some work. But even when navigating the impact of a recession, you need to hire the right people. If you don’t, your company may not have the talent it needs to overcome the competition.

How to Attract the Right Candidates and Sell Them on Your Company

Many traditional recruiting tactics still work even though the job market is tight and a recession looms on the horizon. However, some may work better than others. Whether you are recruiting sales professionals, customer service reps, or another role entirely, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1.  Strengthen Your Company’s Online Reputation

Reputation is everything these days. Even a few negative comments on a job review site can leave talent questioning whether to apply. Glassdoor research reveals that 86% of people weigh company reviews in their employment decisions.

While you can’t control what people say about your company, you can improve your online standing. Start by soliciting employee feedback, then use your learnings to address any issues head-on. You should also respond to reviews as long as they’re fair critiques of your organization. Publicly acknowledging feedback will show candidates that you are actively working to improve your company.

Additionally, encourage satisfied employees to submit their own reviews. Positive reviews won’t rid websites of the bad ones, but they can help change potential candidates’ perceptions.

2. Rework Your Job Postings

Often, job postings are nothing more than dull, cobbled-together lists of required skills. While talent can glean your expectations from such a post, they learn little about working for your organization. As a result, they miss the mark.

Instead of writing a “wish list” of attributes, try drafting a post that details the responsibilities and requirements of the position. This approach will help you paint a realistic picture of the work environment, role, company values, etc. Think of job postings as you would any other marketing material and put some effort into selling your company. Incorporate the qualities job seekers now look for in an employer , such as flexibility, work-life balance, and stability.

Don’t shy away from posting a salary range. An increasing number of companies are using this tactic to improve their chances of hiring during a recession. For example, if you are recruiting sales professionals, consider including details on the commission structure. Give candidates the details they need to make an informed decision. Otherwise, you’ll keep hiring the wrong candidates.

3. Personalize Recruitment Packages

When you hear “recruitment package,” you probably think about compensation and benefits. But if you are hiring during a recession, recruitment packages should contain a lot more if you want to get talent excited about a job offer. Remember that what candidates find valuable will differ from one person to the next. When sitting down with potential hires, you’ll need to pay close attention to their expectations, passions, and values. Once you know what they are looking for, you can create a package just for them.

As mentioned, flexibility has grown in importance . You could offer a flexible work schedule, hybrid work arrangement, or flex days in addition to PTO for personal use. Purpose has also become a big selling point for organizations, especially considering that 56% of employees  want to increase their contributions to society. Look for ways to provide employees with a greater sense of purpose.

Despite today’s hiring challenges, talent is available. Your ideal culture-fit candidate is out there. The only genuine hurdle is making sure your organization stands out from the crowd. There are a lot of companies competing for the same candidates. So, consider what makes your organization unique and start selling your company.


Maura Kautsky is the president of Sales Xceleration.

By Maura Kautsky