Should You Hire Recruiters in a Recession? The Short Answer Is Yes

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Some LinkedIn research suggests that the 2023 recession  won’t stop job seekers from quitting and finding new jobs. 

While many companies might want to implement hiring freezes and wait to see what happens in the job market, there are still many candidates in the job market. As a result, companies that aren’t hiring in this recession might be missing out on talented candidates they would need to hire otherwise. 

Recruiters are some of the talent that you need to have on your side. Whether you want to hire recruiters internally or externally, there are flexible solutions that can help you successfully get through the recession. 

Keep reading to discover why you should consider hiring recruiters during the recession. 

Should You Be Recruiting During a Recession?

Your company should avoid layoffs and hiring freezes if you can afford it. If you completely stop hiring, it’ll be much more challenging for you to ramp your business up and start hiring. 

A recession can be challenging for businesses, but it’s the best time to hire talent if you can afford to. You can also hire the best recruiters when recruiters are being laid off from major companies like Tesla, Salesforce, and others. 

According to our recent Recruiter Index survey, recruiters rated the overall job market at a 3.6/5 for December 2022. This means that the job market is still relatively hot, even during a month when hiring normally slows down, especially during a recession.

The Harvard Business Review also studied companies that went through the last three recessions and became some of the most successful companies. 

Companies did have to reduce their budgets, but they did it strategically and had a long-term plan. Even though they were cutting costs, they still hired for important positions. The companies that HBR surveyed said hiring top talent from their competitors was one of the three most important responses to the recession. They also found that it helped retain their current employees. 

Business leaders need to remember that the recession won’t last forever. When it ends, your company needs to be strategically positioned to thrive in that new environment. The best companies are the ones that have a long-term strategy, even when it comes to recruiting. 

In the 2008 recession, Amazon was a company that kept hiring and growing its workforce. Their current success is because they had long-term growth and a flexible recruiting solution that allowed them to pivot. 

Netflix was also a company that focused on its long-term strategy and hired recruiters for their workforce. Then, when they had the right employees, they could shift to a streaming service, which many people were considering when trying to cut cable costs. 

These are just a few examples of companies that have succeeded in hiring during a recession. These companies had a clear vision, a strong brand, long-term growth plans, and the ability to adapt quickly to market changes.  They were strategic in hiring top talent who would help them in the future. 

How to Determine if You Should Hire Recruiters

These companies hired recruiters to find the best talent that would get them through the recession. But is it right for your company?

Determining whether or not to hire recruiters can come down to a few critical factors. First, keep an eye on the job market and your company, but you’ll also want to evaluate your business needs. 

When you hire recruiters, they’ll help you find candidates quickly and efficiently. When it costs $4,700 to hire an employee, having the right recruiter can help you minimize these costs, which is even more critical during a recession. 

Recruiters can be expensive, but some options are more affordable. For example, instead of hiring an internal recruiter or a recruiting agency, you can use’s OnDemand recruiters. These recruiters can still be an extension of your brand, but they don’t charge crippling headhunter fees. 

Using these recruiters is also a flexible option; you can scale it up or down depending on your hiring needs. These flexible options are essential in a recession when you want to avoid signing a long-term contract for recruiters you may not even use. 

However, hiring recruiters during a recession will depend on your company’s specific needs and circumstances. Every company is different, but if you need to hire and want an affordable solution, consider’s OnDemand Recruiting solutions

Benefits of Hiring During a Recession

There are benefits to following this strategy if you’re still unsure whether or not to hire recruiters who can find top talent during a recession. For example, you will get top talent. 

Don’t Miss Out on Top Talent

During recessions, many companies will lay off employees, even some who are top performers. This floods the job market with all kinds of great talent and boosts the number of people applying to each job description. 

Typically, many companies will have hiring freezes as well. However, if you usually compete with big companies for talent, then you can take this opportunity to hire some great employees. 

You’ll have more applicants, increasing your chances of hiring top talent. 

Get Ahead of Your Competitors

When you’re trying to carry your business through a challenging job market, sometimes you need to take advantage of that. For example, laid-off employees from another company could be your next great candidate. They can take the insights from their last company and apply them to your company to help them grow. 

Even if the most qualified candidates don’t get laid off, they may be nervous about their future at that company. This can turn passive job seekers into active candidates that you can recruit for your company

In a recession, the job market changes quickly, so you want to hire recruiters who can keep an eye on the job market and make quick decisions and hires. 

Rethink Your Strategy

It’s normal for recruiting to slow down during a recession. However, if you’re not actively recruiting, it’s the perfect time to rethink your recruiting strategy. 

For example, you might have an issue where you need to get more applicants for your job postings, making it difficult to screen all of them. You can revamp your job description or incorporate better screening questions. 

You can also take this time to evaluate your interview process. For example, do you have too many interviews causing you to lose top talent? 

Identify what key roles you need to hire for or backfill. Again, you’re more likely to stay within your budget when you narrow your hiring focus. 

Look At Other Recruiting Solutions

Ensuring an affordable and flexible recruiting solution is vital in recruiting during a recession. Of course, you need the flexibility to scale your recruiting solutions up and down, but you also need to be strategic and save costs where possible.

However,’s OnDemand solutions make it easy to scale your recruiting process and hire top talent looking for a new position during the recession. 

Our Recruiter Index found that the candidate sentiment was still high. So even though companies might implement hiring freezes, candidates are still searching for new job opportunities, more so than they were in the first half of 2022.

If you want to capitalize on this and hire top talent to get you through the recession, learn more about our contract recruiters.

By Alyssa Harmon