The Best Way To Adapt Your Recruiting Strategy During A Market Downturn

Posted by Ryan Frazier

As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to impact the way we live and work, companies are learning the best ways to adapt their workflow to cope with the changes. And as the economy shifts closer to a downturn, it’s becoming equally important to adapt recruiting strategies to match the new talent acquisition landscape. While that may sound challenging, it can be a good opportunity to take a look at some of the things that are working well within your existing recruitment process and to restructure the ones that aren’t.

Here are some key things that you can do to adapt your recruiting strategy during a downturn.

Assess what’s working—and what can be improved
One of the benefits of challenging moments is that they can offer us perspective on the bigger picture and help us to identify opportunities for improvement. “We didn’t choose to be in this situation, but we can choose how we respond,” says Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters. One of the things he recommends is to use the next few weeks and months to do a deep dive into your existing recruiting process and to look for ways to increase efficiency. 

“Use this moment to do things that you would otherwise not have done. See this as an opportunity and be bold about it,” Ternynck recommends. He emphasizes that it’s important to consider both efficiency gains and cost savings, while also addressing some of the biggest challenges your organization is facing. A good way to do this is to work with your talent acquisition team to assess your current process and identify areas that can be improved in order of priority. Once you have a clear sense of what’s working effectively, you can set achievable goals for refining your process and even eliminate elements that you feel are holding you back. The key is to look at everything with fresh eyes and not to be afraid of overhauling things that may need a significant change.

Focus on a different set of metrics
If you’re like most talent acquisition teams, chances are you measure success by looking at things like the time needed to fill a role and the cost-per-hire. But those metrics may not be serving you in the current climate. Rather than relying on ways of calculating success that you may have used in the past, change the focus to metrics that indicate success in the current moment. This includes hiring velocity and net hiring scores, which can offer a much more accurate view of the efficiency and quality of your hires. 

A good way to do this is by taking a close look at the metrics you’re currently measuring and determining which ones actually add value to your organization. Then, sit down with your executive team and go through the list. Use their feedback to prioritize new areas of focus and create an updated list of KPIs.

Revamp your tech stack
Whether you’ve got a full HR tech stack in place or a few key solutions like an applicant tracking system or candidate engagement platform, this could be the right time to upgrade your resources. “Changing your ATS is like changing the engine of a car — it’s much easier when the car is parked,” says Ternynck. The same is true for all of your tech solutions and this is a great time to assess what will serve you best in the future.

Once you’ve decided which platforms you want to upgrade, connect with your vendors to see which solutions might be right for you. Since many HR tech platforms are currently adding new features to cope with the changing landscape, you may be able to add on features that can improve your recruiting in more ways than one.

While the current recruiting climate is certainly challenging, it doesn’t have to be discouraging. “There are dozens of areas of TA where you can step up and actually justify a good project that will lead to efficiency gains, keep your teams engaged and keep adding value to the business,” says Ternynck. By focusing on how you can adapt and improve your recruiting strategy to meet changing needs, you’ll be able to successfully revamp your strategy and rise above the challenges.

Want to learn more about recruiting during this challenging time? Learn how digital interviews can help you keep your recruiting on track and how to provide the best candidate experience during uncertain times.

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