NOV 06, 2009
Most people are still too busy worrying about the next round of layoffs to be thinking about what happens when they start hiring again in volume. But counter-intuitive as it might seem, now's not a bad time to start thinking about what you need to do to ramp up your recruitment set-up next year.
Recruitment's never simply been about expanding your employee base, of course. Even if your organization isn't growing, chances are you'll be replacing at least some of your existing employees as vacancies come up over the next year. In fact, even if you're still cutting headcount and have a total freeze on recruitment, by next summer the picture could be very different.
The problem with recruiting in a downturn, of course, is that the volume of job applicants soars - and so does the cost of managing recruitment campaigns, particularly if it's done manually. High-volume also means slower response: the more applicants you have to cope with, the longer it will take to filter and shortlist them, and the greater the likelihood that anyone who's any good will have been snapped up by someone else.
And it's not just about today's jobs. For all you know, high-quality candidates may have been scouring your website this year, thinking that your organization looks a good potential next step when they feel confident again about moving on from a steady job. Candidate Relationship Management is all about enabling you to keep in touch with high-value candidates in case the right opportunity comes up - all of which usually requires some kind of software.
Of course, getting approval to invest in improving your recruitment systems will probably be a struggle today - and it doesn't exactly look good if you're laying people off from one side of the business while spending money trying to attract a new batch through the other side. But economic cycles shift, and finding talented people will be just as critical next year as it was two years ago. It doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg to do it either, as we'll show in a briefing paper to be published later this month.
One of the greatest ironies of a downturn, of course, is that organizations have the least money to spend just at the time when the highest number of good quality candidates are on the market, all victims of downsizing and corporate collapse. It's a buyer's market - but you still need to be in the market to get the benefit.
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