Talent acquisition specialists and recruiters are typically the first people from your company that interact with a candidate. As the face and voice of your brand, they are crucial members of your organization throughout the year. With their continued outreach to potential candidates and many transferable skills, they are constantly working to attract talent, even during slower periods. Thankfully, these periods don’t last forever. But why do they occur? Let’s find out.
What causes slowdown periods?
There is no one reason why a slowdown period occurs. Especially with a looming economic recession in the United States, those in the job market are nervous. Candidates especially become apprehensive about making a job change. For recruiters and talent acquisition specialists, approaching passive candidates is a more difficult task.
After the holiday season concludes and the new year brings on budget refreshes, companies may reevaluate how much new talent they can add. Hiring freezes may stabilize a company’s finances for the time being, but employees can feel the burden of additional work accumulating.
A Recruiter's Impact
No matter the reason for a slowdown period, your recruiters are your life source for keeping your company operating and improving. Here are some examples of how a recruiter can be impactful during this time.
1. Build Employer Brand
Maintaining your company’s presence and building on your employer brand is an all-year-round job for recruiters. No matter the conditions, a recruiter continues to sell candidates on working for your company. During a slowdown period, recruiters can take the time to refresh the content on your company’s Careers page. Keeping this page current maintains the company’s relevance even if the number of open positions is low. When more jobs open up, you’ll want this page to be prepared for candidates wishing to learn more about your company.
LinkedIn is an impactful tool for positioning recruiters as Subject Matter Experts in their industry. Taking the time to create and share engaging content, blogs, videos, and other media positions recruiters as leaders in their field. Candidates will likely contact you to learn more about your organization and if their skills align with current or future roles within your company. Adding a personal touch to your posts breaks the ice and can help you become more approachable to candidates.
2. Update & Improve Processes
Staying in touch with hiring managers during a slowdown period helps you recognize changes within roles that might be opening in the future. With up-to-date information, you can better communicate role requirements with candidates.
This is especially helpful when updating job descriptions, another task that recruiters can tackle during slowdown periods. You want to attract the right talent for the role while using compelling language to pique interest levels. Ensuring you are as transparent as possible in every aspect of the hiring process makes for a seamless transition for everyone involved.
Pay transparency is vital in your job descriptions and conversations with candidates. States such as California and Washington have recently passed legislation binding employers to disclose pay ranges. Take this time to keep organized and know which job postings require salary ranges.
Onboarding is a process that never stops developing. A slowdown period is ideal for reevaluating how you can improve onboarding. Do you need additional job guides and collateral to help the candidate better understand their new role? Onboarding and training can be very uncertain times for new employees. Consider how you can further help new employees better understand how they can contribute to the organization while motivating them to reach their potential.
3. Further Support Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I) Initiatives
Developing meaningful DE&I campaigns and programs allows you to diversify your applicant pool further. Creating goals for you and your fellow recruiters to reach diverse groups ensures you are not limiting your talent pool. Throughout the year, but especially during slower times, take the opportunity to reevaluate your outreach, messaging, and overall hiring process. Could you use more inclusive language? How can you further connect with underrepresented groups?
Teams only value from diverse voices. As one of the first people from your company that a candidate interacts with, recruiters represent the company's values and are a welcoming and inclusive presence.
4. Team Building & Collaboration
There is power in numbers! Your recruiting team is getting through this slowdown period together. There’s no better time to get to know your team better than in team building activities and sharing tactics to improve the recruiting process. Set aside time as a team to brainstorm new initiatives, set goals, and evaluate what you each want to accomplish. Especially during a beginning-of-the-year slump, your team can work on planning for the rest of the year together.
Consider collaborating with coworkers outside of your primary team. Familiarize yourself with the Employee Resource Groups within your company. Get involved with the groups that align with your interests and challenge yourself to learn more about the ones you need to become more familiar with. Learning from diverse voices helps you improve your candidate outreach, ensure that you are eliminating bias in the hiring process, and foster an inclusive work environment from the start.
The slowdown period is only a passing period in time. Remind candidates that these surges come and go, especially if you sense hesitancy in prescreening calls. If you don’t have a role for the candidate at the time, pipeline them! Keep in contact with each other and let the candidate know when a position that aligns with their skills becomes available.
Recruiters and talent acquisition professionals are one of the first people a candidate encounters. They embody what your organization stands for and bring significant value to the company throughout the year. Equipped with a never-ending list of transferable skills, they are adaptable to all hiring trends and ready to take on new projects to maintain an exceptional hiring process.