Recruitment is a tough art to master, regardless of the economic climate. During times of economic growth and stability, upcoming companies require staff to fill organisational roles, and candidates are looking for better opportunities. During times of economic recession and instability, fewer companies are able to afford new placements, and the ones that do struggle to find suitable candidates because ideal employees aren’t relinquishing their roles. Here are seven solid tips to improve your recruitment process during times of economic recession…

1. Fine-tune Your Recruitment Must-Haves

During times of recession, the candidate pool grows due to layoffs, while the ‘perfect candidates’ hold onto their jobs for dear life. For this reason, you’ll have a bunch of people applying for jobs they might be able to do with the desperate hope of landing a regular pay check. To ensure that your recruitment process finds the best candidate available, consider fine-tuning what you expect from your candidate. If something you require as a ‘must-have’ isn’t too critical, consider placing it in the ‘desirable skills’ column instead.

2. Be Honest About the Job Description

It will be tempting to make a vacancy sound like the best job in the world, but doing so could damage your placement’s optimism for the new position – and might even result in them leaving before their probation period is up. It will cost more to repeat the recruitment process, so consider being up-front about what the job entails. That way, should a candidate apply, you can be sure that they know what they’re walking into – diminishing the chance of them feeling overwhelmed once in their new position.

3. Recruit Using a Psychometric Screening

Finding the right person for a specific role is more crucial during times of economic uncertainty, as many candidates will ‘fluff up’ their CVs and tell you what you want to hear in recruitment interviews just to land the job. By using psychometric screening methods, you can look for specific personality, motivational and intellectual traits. This will help you assess cultural fit, as well as the candidate’s ability to deal with pressure situations.

4. Base Your Recruitment Decision on Facts, Not Feelings

As mentioned above, candidates will do anything to procure a job and land a steady income during an economic recession. While you might feel like everyone deserves a job and a salary, your job as a recruiter is to find the best candidate. Objectivity is key during the recruitment process! Look at the cold, hard facts surrounding a candidate’s application. Judge them on their relevant qualifications and provable achievements, not on how they make you feel or if you have a gut feeling they’ll be perfect for the role.

5. Look Within Before Recruiting Externally

Here’s a quick recruitment fact: it’s cheaper to promote upwards and replace, than it is to replace a top-level position. So, consider promoting an existing staff member before looking externally for candidates. Not only will this save you capital during economic uncertainty, but you will be showing your staff compliment that you are interested in growing them professionally. This will harbour a positive company image internally, which reflects outwards to your various stakeholders.

6. Streamline Your Recruitment Screening Process

When it comes to recruiting during a recession, time is of the essence. You’ll want to streamline your recruitment process so as to find the best candidate for the job in the least amount of time. This also allows you to screen more candidates, so you can fill the position before the void begins to noticeably affect your organisational productivity. Consider shorter recruitment phases, with less time between rounds of interviews.

7. Keep Growing Your Recruitment Pool

Whether you’re in a period of economic recession, or economic growth, a large number of potential employees to recruit from will render the recruitment process an absolute breeze when a position requires filling. Utilise your website and social media channels to build your candidate pool by providing information regarding employment at your company. If people know what you can offer them as an employer, and you give them the opportunity to submit their CV, you can grow your candidate database considerably, and draw from these when looking to recruit.

Effective Recruitment, Regardless of Economic Status

If you’re a recruiter, you’ll want to have a look at our ten tips to improve your hiring process. Our recruitment specialists at Affirmative Portfolios are highly skilled at finding the best potential employees for any employment vacancies – regardless of the economic climate in South Africa. Get in touch with us here, and we’ll show you how recruitment is done properly!