How Recruiting Teams Can Make the Most of a Hiring Slowdown

Explore how moments of slowdown can offer opportunities to rethink and improve your recruitment practices, preparing you to be in pole position when the job market picks up its momentum.

Avatar of Lia Ianora

Lia Ianora

I'm Lia, one of the Marketing Managers here at Teamtailor, responsible for the French market. I grew up in Paris but moved to Stockholm when I finished my studies where I am based now. I love learning more about all the HR topics, from candidate experience to employer branding, etc.

In recent years, the labor market has changed immensely. Initially prompted by the challenges of COVID-19, companies worldwide had to embrace teleworking, a shift that continues to resonate positively with candidates even as the pandemic wanes. 

Phrases like "The Great Resignation" and "The Big Quit" emerged, highlighting a dynamic where candidates wield significant influence in the job market. While recruitment may be slow or even declining in some sectors, recruiters who remain steadfast in their commitment to adapt and thrive will reap rewards in the long run.

Indeed, these moments of reduced activity offer a golden chance to reevaluate and enhance your recruitment strategies. Here, we offer insights on leveraging this period of uncertainty to proactively position yourself ahead of the curve for when hiring activities resume.

Build and maintain your candidate pool

Nurturing candidates is an essential strategy to convert your passive candidate pool into future talent that will contribute to the success of your business. In recent years, this recruitment approach has become widely used and is of increasing importance during the current circumstances. 

Right now, an argument could be made that it's more important than ever to build a pool of passive candidates. Being proactive and establishing relationships with potential candidates before a position is open is a smart move. It also creates an opportunity to develop your relationships, without any obligation from either party.

Identifying people outside of your company who aren't actively seeking new jobs but could become valuable assets when recruitment needs rise again is important. Keep talent engaged by providing personalized content regularly. Using nurturing campaigns, you can share information about your company, culture, teams, products, etc.

The more people connect with you, the more likely they will think of you when a new opportunity arises, or even recommend you to their network.

Audit your recruitment processes

It's common to forge ahead with our usual processes without pausing to evaluate their effectiveness. Right now, however, you may have the opportunity able to step back, reflect, and enhance your processes.

Reduced recruitment activity allows you to examine recruitment processes and identify areas ripe for improvement. Dedicate this time to fine-tuning job ads and email templates, elevating the candidate experience. Furthermore, reassess the complexity of your recruitment procedures, streamlining them where possible.

Assess existing processes to identify areas for improvement that align with current and future organizational needs. Enhance relationships with operational managers to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and aspirations. Assess past recruitment experiences for insights into future hiring needs and engage in dialogue to imagine future hiring needs.

Take advantage of this time to gather information on upcoming priority positions so you'll be well-prepared when recruitment efforts resume. Utilizing this downtime will make you stronger and better positioned for success when the hiring landscape shifts.

Conduct an audit of your tools 

Having the right tools is crucial to ensure a smooth and efficient recruitment process. If your company is already using recruitment tools, take the time to assess these tools, whether it’s your ATS (Applicant Tracking System) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management Tool).

By evaluating the effectiveness and adoption rate of each tool you currently have, you can determine which ones should be kept, and which should be replaced. Moreover, this audit will reveal any overlap between the tools, which may justify adopting a cost-effective and better-suited all-in-one solution.

You can take advantage of a slowdown in recruitment activity to find the right ATS for your needs and implement it with confidence. You'll then be in good shape when hiring recommences.

Our recommendation for overcoming budgetary constraints in your hierarchy is to highlight your return on investment. Highlight the benefits of adopting an ATS, such as time saved, improved collaboration, a better structure, and reduced fees for external recruitment firms. 

Strengthen your employer brand

Your employer brand plays a key role in attracting and retaining talent and in the company’s overall reputation, even during downturns.

Hiring slowdowns offer a valuable opportunity to strengthen your employer brand. HR and recruitment teams can work closely with marketing and communications teams to develop compelling content that highlights corporate culture, advantages, benefits, career development opportunities, diversity and inclusion policies, and more.

Consider the resources you have and the resources you need to produce authentic and compelling content to attract candidates. This could include your career site, writing blog posts, creating videos, and adding testimonials from your employees.

Discover the top 6 best practices for employer branding.

Another strategy to consider is implementing an employee advocacy program where your employees become ambassadors for your company. Messages shared by employees generate on average 561% more impressions than those shared by the company. This is why it is important to offer training sessions to learn the best sharing practices for social networks and guidelines for brand tone and maintaining consistency in your communication.

Improve your diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

As hiring slows down, you can turn your focus towards creating unbiased hiring processes that attract candidates from all backgrounds and genders. To do this, we recommend, first, stepping back and reviewing the latest interviews.

For example, if you want to attract more female candidates, it's imperative to include women from your company in the recruitment process. In other words, the more you include your female talents in your assessments of potential candidates, the more you demonstrate that they will not be underrepresented.

Analyze the data from your entire recruitment funnel to identify any stages where you often lose candidates, as well as any signs of potential inequality within your company.

As a result, identifying these issues and addressing them requires actions such as educating people about unconscious bias, redesigning job descriptions to make them more inclusive, and seeking out candidates with diverse backgrounds.


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