The Recruitment Contingency Plan

Autumn Statement

Just like a business, recruitment goes through cycles – ups and downs, seasonal shifts, increases and cutbacks. For instance, during an economic downturn, clients may want to spend less money, which could impact the number of staff you need. This is often seen in call centre recruitment, where slow periods often lead to reduced outsourcing.

It is important for companies to be adaptable, especially when it comes to hiring. And choosing the right recruitment agency should be at the top of any business’s priorities. Recruitment agencies should not only be knowledgeable, but affordable too, because when the going gets tough, no one wants to overspend. That’s why flat rate recruitment works so well. Paying a fixed fee for recruitment has not only become an industry alternative, but an industry standard.

Despite narrowly avoiding a triple dip recession, it’s important for businesses to prepare for disruptive fluctuations. Good recruiters will be able to advise you on these matters – but here are a few helpful tips to ensure that you don’t fall into common recruitment traps.

Don’t put a freeze on all hiring. Ceasing hiring is a typical decision companies make when facing hard times – but why should all areas of a business suffer? If your business thrives on sales, then it doesn’t make sense to cut recruitment in that department, especially if there is a wealth of recently-redundant and talented salespeople in the market.

Review your targets. A downturn will create a new business environment, so it’s essential to refocus recruitment strategy too. Consider your cost per hire, time to hire and retention rates – doing so will help maintain positive results and save money, despite hardships in other areas of the business.

Consider company priorities. Recruiting for high-impact roles will help get the most from your budget. If you use more than one method of recruitment, see which delivers the best results – perhaps it’s time to drop the least effective. Also, bear in mind, downturns are not a time to test new methods – not unless the risk and cost is very low.

Prepare for a lot of interest. Downturns generally mean an abundance of people seeking work. You could receive triple the number of applications for a vacancy. At first, this may sound attractive – a wealth of candidates to choose from – but that’s only if you have time to review them all. Again, choosing the right recruitment agency will not only take the burden off managing applications, but good recruiters will advertise jobs that only attract the most suitable candidates.

Share resources. If your company is large and hires employees on a local level, it may be beneficial to look at sharing knowledge and resources between departments – perhaps one department is thriving whilst another struggles. See what methods of recruitment are being used and learn from each other. You may even find that an internal shift is more effective than recruiting someone new.

Streamline recruitment. Using different methods for recruitment – creative agencies, freelancers, staffing firms – may be unnecessary. One recruiter may be able to provide all your needs; the experience and flexibility of some recruitment agencies is a testament to this. If you can find a fixed rate recruiter to do this, the savings will be even better.

Encouragingly, the economy is showing signs of recovery, which bodes well for all businesses. However, it is important to have a contingency plan in place for unexpected lulls, so if times get hard, the impact on your business is minimal. No business can afford to skimp on recruitment, and the first step toward strategic recruitment is to work with a smart recruitment agency.