Posted by: garispang | August 4, 2009

Recruit Against the Tide

 Economic Downturn Expands Your Talent Pool

With the economy struggling and massive layoffs continuing, most companies are thinking this is the time to be conservative, cut budgets and put a freeze on recruitment and hiring.  But, in the chaos looms a strategic recruitment opportunity for the progressive company; a company that will not be a victim of the economic conditions and think out of the box to see new possibilities for positioning itself in the future.  As Naomi Gross concludes in The Recession is Coming! Quick Start Hiring:

“The economy is heading down a rocky road but if smaller businesses know how to take advantage of the situation, focus on their goals, and put a solid team in place, it could ultimately lead to long-term growth and success.”

Talent at a Premium

In this global market of talent scarcity, the attracting and hiring of quality talent is at a premium. Talent is considered the key factor for competitive advantage in the next decade. Often companies and institutions are understaffed to meet their growth projections.   Companies look nationally for the “A” qualified talent; often they settle for “B” or “C” players, or what is available in the local market place.  This limited talent pool has a direct effect on their competitiveness and growth.

Time for Change

Enter the economic downturn/upheaval. No one is sure of the future. This is a time for rethinking priorities and change. This state of flux creates many opportunities.

  • Expanded Talent Pool – Now there are many highly qualified “A” players that have been laid off.  There is much talent; many question their jobs and security and are just looking at possibilities.
  • Regional Growth- There are selected 2nd and 3rd tier cities that can boast a high quality life with significantly lower cost of living than major urban areas. Many job seekers will be looking to relocate in areas that will extend their budgets and increase quality of life.
  • Employer Branding – Many companies with little regional or national brand recognition can seize the opportunity to gain exposure and open up conversations with potential active and passive job seekers.

Seize the Opportunity

This is the time for bold, visionary companies to design a recruitment marketing strategy to attract this expanded talent pool.  Dr. John Sullivan talks about The Economic Downturn saying

“Any review of history will reveal that the majority of wealth in modern civilizations is more often than not created during times of significant economic crisis. Opportunities abound for those organizations that are truly strategic…”

He concludes;

Now is the time for talent management to step up and proactively re-engineer antiquated practices and programs, and to embed talent management activities throughout core business processes…”

These targeted job seekers (active and passive) need to be made aware of the opportunities.  Companies need to step up their marketing efforts to attract job seekers and develop conversations with newly available talent.

Courting Potential Talent… Career Showcase

Talented job seekers are looking for quality companies with challenging positions.  They are not looking for a quick fix; a traditional career site or job board that posts sterile job descriptions and directs the visitor to an application.  They are looking to gather information and survey opportunities. They are looking for a quick snapshot of the company and career opportunities.  

The “recruitment courting process” needs to begin by showcasing the company, its work environment, challenging career positions, employees’ feedback, company benefits and local quality of life. This online career showcase is an interactive career environment, designed to engage the prospective employee with rich media (video, photo slide show) and online tools for the visitor to talk to employees via live chat, message board or email. If engaged, job seekers will take the step to request information, alerts for future job openings, or the company newsletter. They want to begin to develop a relationship.

If the job seeker is actively looking, the career showcase could include an opportunity to complete an interactive online application designed to determine job fit.

Building your Integrated Recruitment Marketing Strategy


This career showcase is the centerpiece of an – Integrated Recruitment Marketing Strategy. This strategy incorporates diverse media – advertising, online marketing, social media and networking. It integrates, bringing together the best marketing tools to gain access to the target active and passive job seekers. Integrated Recruitment Marketing is not about inserting a sterile job classified ad online. It is about creating engaging conversations about your company-placing an engaging blog post about your company work environment; posting a challenging, media rich job description on your company’s Facebook page; tweeting about the career opportunities on Twitter; employees posting comments about your company on social networking sites ; and listing positions on LinkedIn and related LinkedIn groups.   The goal is to have your company “come up” in conversations in a variety of places, so this talented job seeker will take notice, get engaged and contact your company.


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