a man stood next to a set of switches

Brad Coombes

Leadership

Switching off your hiring creates more problems than it solves. Here's why you don't need to.

The situation

When the markets are as uncertain and volatile as they are right now, many companies’ place hiring activity on the chopping block first. At first glance, the rationale seems fair:

Hiring costs money. Hiring can be resumed at any time. Hiring is only useful for periods of growth.

In reality, this is flawed thinking. Switching off your hiring creates more problems than it solves.

The problem

You’re more vulnerable to leavers 🚶🏼‍♀️

Finding replacements for leavers and natural attrition can snowball into a huge headache when the plug is pulled on hiring altogether. It’s often completely overlooked, but backfills are crucial for maintaining momentum and stability in your team, especially during times where steadying the ship is priority number one. More often than not, a business will spend more time and money finding a way to replace a leaver than if they’d kept at least some of their hiring coverage alive.

You’ll lose ground to your competitors 🏎

In-demand candidates remain, well… in-demand, even in a turbulent market. Even more so than usual if they have the skills to help your business navigate tricky conditions. Candidates are generally likely to be more nervous about switching roles during times of uncertainty, and your competitors who continue to offer them the job security they’re looking for will surge ahead in the race for talent.

It can harm your employer brand 🤕

The result of your competition looking secure and attractive to candidates is that you don’t. Further down the line, when candidates compare you to other players in your industry (which they always do), you’ll be seen as the riskier, less stable option. That’s a tough blow to your talent attraction. At best, it leads to tricky conversations to navigate when interviewing; at worst it’s a deal breaker for candidates.

It’s crucial people leaders know there’s a middle ground between all-out hiring and a full hiring freeze. You can switch up your hiring, instead of switching it off, and still yield results for your business.

Solutions

No hire in the world is free: there will always be an investment of money or time required to make any great hire for your business. It’s easy to assume every hire is expensive on both fronts, but it isn’t always the case. The good news is there are other alternatives you should explore during times of uncertainty and purse-string tightening:

Referrals ♻️

Not only are your existing employees your best ambassadors, but they’re also likely sat on a network of professional and personal contacts who could add as much value to your business as they do. As an alternative to an in-house team or an external agency, try turning your attention to employee referrals. By creating a simple referral program (or developing your existing one), you can tap into a new source of great hires to keep things ticking over, at a much lower cost than scouring the external market for the talent you need.

Flexible contracts 🤸‍♂️

An in-house team can be overburdened or under-utilised at different points of the year depending on your hiring needs, whilst costing you the same all year round regardless. Similarly, recruitment agencies and most RPO partners will offer little flex, contractually, when your hiring needs ramp up. This is felt especially sharply when your hiring spikes last for months – not years – at a time but you’re tied in for the long haul. The middle ground here is utilising a flexible hiring model that follows your demand and scales accordingly. Canda’s TalentNow service, for example, is built to offer as little as one-month commitments to solve short-term, critical hiring headaches.

As a result, you achieve 40%+ cost savings vs. recruitment agencies in addition to huge hiring manager time savings as we effectively become your in-house talent acquisition team for as long as we’re needed. 

Conclusion

Whether you’re navigating rapid growth, slow growth or are in a holding pattern, hiring should still play a crucial role for your business. We’re seeing so many businesses right now being affected by market turbulence and reaching for the handbrake on their hiring. In the same way that applying the handbrake just to slow your car down would likely make things worse, it only serves to create further headaches down the road for your business. You can still navigate rockier times with a modified approach to hiring when such times are viewed as an opportunity to experiment and try new things.

We’re on this journey with a number of our customers right now and if you’re in a similar situation we’re always open to a chat about it, obligation free 👇

Author

Brad Coombes

Leadership

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