Team of recruiters

Recruiting In A Recession: Our Top Tips

by Chris Booth, Jul 27, 2022

  • Industry
  • News

Following our recent article on securing the right talent in a candidate-led market, we’re seeing a change in our global economy and as a result, the recruitment landscape.

At the beginning of July, the Euro dropped to the same exchange rate as the dollar, emphasising the decreasing confidence in the UK economy. This newsworthy moment has prompted predictions of a recession on the horizon; predictions that have flipped the recruitment market on its head.

While this may sound concerning, don’t panic.

Although the recruitment landscape looks different from before, it’s not necessarily bad for start-ups. BUT, it is important that you keep up to date with how the market develops so you can prepare accordingly - and we’re here to help.

The Recruitment Landscape

Over the next few months, we expect to see the recruitment landscape shift from a candidate-led market (in which there were more jobs available than candidates) to an employer-led market (where we’re seeing more candidates than vacancies).

Both of these markets have their pros and cons, but since we’re shifting from one to the other so quickly you must be prepared to adapt your hiring strategies to accommodate this flux.

For start-ups hiring in this predicted recession, the pressure to hire the right person FAST will reduce. While there’s still competition and you’ve still got to act efficiently, there’s less pressure and less haste. You’ll find you need to move away from fighting your competitors for the top candidate, and you may instead find yourself flooded with applications.

In these situations, you’ll need to adapt your recruitment funnel and employ enhanced sorting techniques to continue hiring the top 10% of talent for every role without wasting time.

All this to say, the market is ever-changing so you’ll need to adapt your hiring strategy on a role-by-role basis, thinking creatively about how to attack each hire to ensure you’re finding the best talent efficiently.

Your Next Steps to Recruiting In A Recession

Ok, so, the economy and recruitment landscape are changing - now what?

Now it’s time to adapt your recruitment strategy so you’re prepared for what’s to come. Here’s our top three tips to get you started:

1) Build A Robust Recruitment Plan

Start by reviewing your organisational chart and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where are the gaps?

  • Which roles are you trying to fill?

  • Which vacancies are most important for revenue generation?

  • Which roles can you survive without for a while?

  • Are there any roles you can combine for the time being?

Have a think about these questions and make sure to map your revenue generation against your outgoing employment costs. This is vital in times like these where you need to be focused on lean operational costs to ensure you’re profitable early and continue to grow where others will fall.

And remember: this period is all about profitability over revenue. So take a step back, think critically, and determine where you NEED support vs where you would LIKE support in the future.

We can help you review and restructure your org chart, just like we did with Holland & Barrett to save you money and time by hiring for fewer roles while ensuring all necessary functions are fulfilled and you’re remaining profitable.

2) Focus on Efficiency & Candidate Qualification

Once you’ve reviewed and refined your org chart, it’s time to get hiring.

While there’s less pressure for speedy hiring processes, your strategy should still be centred around efficiency and qualifying high.

No matter the recruitment market, no candidate likes a long, drawn-out hiring process where they’re made to complete at-home tasks and wait weeks for answers and interview slots. So, the motto still stands: Qualify High, Hire Fast, Fire Faster.

Since you have a lot of candidates applying for each role, you need to develop a screening strategy that allows you to qualify high so you continue to identify the top 10% of talent within your applicant pool. Then, follow this simple strategy:

Step 1: Screen & shortlist applicant CVs

Step 2: Screening and technical qualification call to determine skill fit

Step 3: 2-hour call with manager and C-suite member for cultural fit

Step 4: Offer, acceptance, contract negotiation

We’re on hand to help you screen CVs and determine technical fit efficiently, by taking the time to get to know your requirements inside-out, conducting initial screening calls, and providing tailored cover letters for you to easily scan and qualify candidates ahead of Step 2 interviews.


3) Don't Panic

One of the most important things to remember when times get tough like this is don’t panic.

It’s easy to start doom scrolling through news outlets and thinking this recession will take over - but we challenge you to view this as an opportunity.

Depending on the severity of the recession, tech-giants may be reducing their teams and making redundancies. This is a great opportunity for you to step in and sweep up the market share of top talent, accessing experienced individuals who have already been qualified by top companies.

By working with the right growth partners (us!), you could be hooking in seriously talented individuals who have had insight and experience at leading tech organisations like Strategic Blue.So view this as a time of opportunity - not despair.

Here to Help

As always, don’t forget we’re here to help!

As a start-up ourselves, we know talk of recession is frightening and there are times when your budget is tight. So, to help you on your growth journey, we operate two pricing models to choose from:

Option A) Shared Risk Split Payments — your fee to us for securing your dream candidate will be 23% of their starting salary paid over 6 months from their start date. If the candidate leaves or you have to let them go, you just stop making payments… We win & lose together.

Option B) The Traditional Model — your fee to us is based on 18% of your candidate’s starting salary paid on the candidate’s start date. If the candidate leaves within 3 months, you’ll get a fee replacement or sliding scale rebate.

This is just one of the great benefits we’ve implemented to help start-ups and scale-ups build the right team, with help from the right team.

Find out more about how we can help you hire through good and bad times or get in touch with our team of good people people here.

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