At its best, recruiting is one of the most rewarding careers. After all, what’s more satisfying than connecting the right person with the right role? On the flip side, talent acquisition professionals could make a convincing argument for also having one of the most difficult jobs. Just when you finally started figuring out how to navigate The Great Resignation, a talent drought and a job market that favored candidates, your company suddenly announces a hiring freeze and layoffs. Any one of those challenges on their own would be overwhelming, especially since they’re out of your control. If you find yourself facing a slowdown or suspect a pause may be coming soon, there are several things you can do to support your organization and prepare your team for future success.  

1. Support efforts to grow and redeploy internal talent 

You worked hard to hire your top performers, and it’s understandable you want to do your part to retain them. These employees have already proven they’re smart and motivated, so why not help them pursue a new career path or learn a new skill? No one wants the colleague they relentlessly pursued to leave after nine months because it was easier for them to find a new external role than to move departments. Support your company’s internal mobility program by doing three things:  

  • Communicate open roles through your internal job board, company emails, and Slack channels, along with names of team members and managers to contact.   

  • Encourage hiring managers to consider internal candidates instead of relying solely on external sourcing.  

  • Partner with HR to host an internal job fair to help employees feel more comfortable about expressing interest in another role. 

2. Double-down on hiring the best candidates  

One advantage of not having as many open job reqs is you can devote more attention to each role. And you need to be laser-focused—a reduced headcount makes it even more critical to bring in the best people. As the talent advisor, it’s up to you to guide hiring managers.  Start with the job description. Set up a meeting to review the role together and discuss any changes to team structure and long-term goals. Ask questions to help managers think beyond their immediate needs and plan for future success, such as:    

  • Do you need an experienced leader or an individual contributor with leadership potential?  

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a generalist or a specialist? 

  • How do you see this team member significantly contributing within the first 30 days, 90 days, and year? 

  • If market conditions change, how might their core competencies and transferable skills be redeployed?  

Staying closely aligned on the hiring strategy will allow you to conduct more accurate searches and fill the role faster.  

3. Perform an operations tune-up   

When a company temporarily scales back hiring, people often mistakenly think talent acquisition teams are left with nothing to do. “Talent advisors in this time can find it to be busier,” said Marc Hamel, Senior Technical Sourcer at Meta AI.  Everyone has those operational items on their to-do list that always seem to get deprioritized due to lack of time or resources. Here’s your chance to cross them off and fine-tune your program. “I am using this time to help improve hiring processes, remove bottlenecks we found while moving so fast. Equally (and most fun), I get to learn more about what the teams I’m supporting are building, what tools are they using, and how they are using them,” said Hamel. After checking in with your team, the next step is to do a deep dive into your tech stack.  Try these tips to help you reduce inefficiencies and overspending:  

  • Check user logs and contact inactive users to be able to reassign available licenses.   

  • Configure your ATS and set up essential reports and metrics.   

  • Fine-tune your interview process to provide a better candidate experience.   

  • Evaluate if current tools and systems will be able to evolve with your needs.  

  • Sign up for demos with new vendors to stay up to date on the latest tech innovations and compare your current solutions.   

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that companies shouldn’t overreact to changes in the market. SeekOutoffers solutions to empower your organization and people to grow and be successful. Now is the time to remind your organization that talent management requires a long-term outlook. As Hamel puts it, “All of your talent advising will pay off when hiring picks up.”  Download the talent advisor guide for additional insights on how you can be a strategic leader for your organization

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