A few weeks ago we may have been breathing a cautious sigh of relief that the economic forecast appeared to be less gloomy than feared, with some growth in November staving off talk of an imminent recession.
However, more recent news now suggests that 2023 is going to be a real struggle for many businesses, with some likely to be forced into making redundancies.
Wise business owners will do all they can to retain experience and expertise in their workforces, rather than losing those skills forever.
Yet with the recruitable talent pool likely to grow in the near future, and more new personnel entering the workforce all the time, recessions do offer an opportunity to recruit good people.
Things for growing businesses to remember
Whether you’re looking to recruit from the employed or the unemployed, it’s worth remembering a few principles regarding taking on staff during a recession.
Firstly, it’s vital to prepare. Have plans in place for different economic scenarios and ideas on how to fulfil vacancies if necessary. Can you ask your staff to go above and beyond their usual level for a short period, while you weather the storm?
Secondly, think about the competition. Particularly if you’re looking to lure employed staff away from their current workplaces you’ll need to find something really enticing to get them to leave, especially during challenging times. And if you’re competing for the best talent in the marketplace of the unemployed then it’s worth getting creative with the package that you offer, especially if you can’t afford to pay a premium salary.
Of course it’s better to not have to recruit in the first place, so try and retain your staff if you can. Recruitment is not only time consuming and disruptive to the flow of the business, it’s also much more expensive than keeping your staff on board and upskilling them if necessary.
Remember also that people today have many different ways of finding and being attracted to jobs and opportunities. Think social media and video, which can be extremely effective ways to get eyes on your vacancies. Are you making the most of your employees and their networks, to spread the word about the jobs you have to offer?
A chance to select the right mindset
Recessions and redundancies are difficult times for the workforce, too. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And you’ll find that some staff and applicants will embrace the opportunity that comes with a crisis.
Keep an eye out for staff who have recently been made redundant and who have quickly sought out their next opportunity – they’re likely to be motivated, driven and eager to take on new challenges.
Within your workforce, some staff may choose to keep their heads down while others will actively look for a chance to further their career during this challenging time. As happened during Covid, your business may need to pivot and adapt to the times. New skills and new ways of thinking may be invaluable assets in the future of your company.
The HR Dept is a strong advocate of the value of people as an asset to your business. We believe that workforces are an often untapped source of potential. Many business owners tend to carry the burden on their own shoulders but getting feedback and support from staff can make difficult times much easier.