Recent hiring freezes and layoffs are creating an environment where recruiting organizations have to stay pliable and responsive to change. Industries like retail trade, warehousing, and storage have stopped hiring for the time being, and job growth has slowed in areas like leisure, hospitality, and healthcare, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Layoffs, meanwhile, are up 15% for the past month and nearly 400% over this time last year. Labor participation rates are also lagging: There are fewer workers ages 20 to 24 and over 55 than there were in February 2020, data shows. Other research highlights about 700,000 “missing” workers in the U.S. labor force.
In a tight market, recruiters have to be creative and nimble to attract the best talent. Here are six strategies for being quick on your hiring feet.
Always be Recruiting
With 50.5 million people quitting their jobs in 2022, making sure you’re always recruiting can ensure that you’re capturing the newest entrants to the talent market and that you’re prepared when a job opening is available.
“If someone reaches out to us about a role with our company, we will chat with them, even if we aren’t currently looking,” says Eric Mochnacz, director of operations at HR consulting firm Red Clover. “They may be someone we can call on when we decide to go to market for an open role.”
This works both ways: Don’t stop reaching out to candidates, either. “Even when someone tells you ‘no,’ most candidates appreciate it when potential employers seek them out,” says Karolina Kijowska, head of people at tech company PhotoAiD. “And that answer might change within the next few months.”
When outside talent is hard to find, recruiters may need to find their candidates in-house.
“Companies are turning to what I call ‘quiet hires,’ — promotions within the business, announced with little fanfare,” says Travis Hann, co-founding partner at boutique recruiting firm Pender & Howe.
This doesn’t mean there’s no role for a recruiter, however. “Combing through a roster of employees can often be more challenging than simply going with a big name,” Hann says. “It requires a comprehensive evaluation of the potential impacts on multiple departments. But when done thoughtfully, these internal moves can result in tighter teams and faster transitions.”
Incentivize Passive Job Seekers
Passive job seekers are candidates who have the skills you need and typically are already employed — but who may be open to the right opportunity if it finds them.
“The best candidates are often passive recruits, especially as other businesses increase layoffs,” says Marnix Broer, co-founder and CEO of Studocu, a student document resource community. “Our biggest source of passive candidates is employee referrals, though we also link up with passive recruits and keep those relationships warm year-round.”
Publicizing the great benefits available can also help organizations lure candidates who aren’t really looking. Some companies do this by “offering career-development opportunities and flexible working arrangements,” says Paw Vej, chief operating officer at personal finance site Financer.com.
Widen Your Reach
If traditional channels of candidates have run dry, recruiters will have to consider other avenues. For instance, a recruiter might establish a relationship with universities and other educational institutions in order to identify potential candidates, says Samar Pahwa, HR manager of health site FindHealthTips.com.
Opening a position to remote workers also allows you to broaden your search. “Organizations that offer flexible work arrangements can attract a larger pool of geographically unrestricted candidates,” Pahwa says.
Stay Active on Social
Making sure a company’s brand has a strong presence on social media can help build an audience and a pipeline of candidates with brand awareness.
“We are active on LinkedIn, both from our personal accounts and our company content,” says Mochnacz of Red Clover. “So we drive a lot of organic traffic through our content. In doing that, we build up interest in our firm. So when we do post a job, those people are more inclined to apply because they’ve been following our company.”
Be Smart About Your Job Ads
At Monster, recruiters are taking advantage of Pay for Performance job ads, which offer maximum flexibility and agility. Monster promotes jobs across our partner network to increase reach, and you pay only when a seeker clicks to view the job. Recruiters can strategically syndicate content, and campaign strategy and segmentation are tweakable based on changing job volume and customer priority.