1. Even in times of an economic slowdown, many organizations still suffer from severe skills and leadership shortages. Our research shows that 36% of organizations have severe shortages in line managers; 17% cite major shortages in technical roles, and industries like healthcare, government, and professional services still have shortages in many line positions. While the pool of job candidates is much greater now, organizations must still focus on identifying and selecting the best candidates and this must be accomplished with less
Bottom line: Recruiting teams must continue to seek out top candidates, despite reduction in budgets.
2. Job seekers become more desperate, making the recruiter’s job more difficult. In today’s economic climate, job-seekers will aggressively seek out positions — meaning that you will receive more applicants and a much higher job acceptance rate than normal. Managers must carefully decide if today’s passionate candidate really believes your organization is the perfect fit or if he or she is just desperate to find a position. And in some cases the pool of highly qualified candidates may have shrunk: in tough economic times top candidates may want to avoid a risky relocation, making it hard to attract a highly qualified candidate from another geography.
Bottom line: Recruiters must slow down and screen candidates more carefully than ever.
3. Downsizing initiatives may cause an increase in turnover and reduction in engagement. Many studies show (and common sense bears this out) that organizations which go through severe or sudden downsizing then get a “double whammy” — an increase in voluntary turnover and a reduction in engagement. I distinctly remember going through sudden layoffs at two of the companies I worked for. In both cases the good people immediately started looking around for jobs, knowing full well that they could be the next ones to go. And those who may not have as many opportunities start to lay low and hide, hoping to avoid the next round of cuts. The employees who survive a layoff often feel like “survivors” – and often feel less committed to the company and its turnaround efforts. This is why so many companies go through multiple rounds of layoffs: the first cut seems deep, but problems get worse if the process is not handled carefully.
Bottom line: Any downsizing effort requires a