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External recruiting economic downturn

Should You Leverage External Recruiting During an Economic Downturn?

As the U.S. economy continues to experience slowdowns in activity, businesses struggle to decide whether to keep their promotions in-house or leverage external recruiting to get the talent they seek. An economic downturn combined with talent shortages affecting every three out of four companies has caused insurmountable concerns. Still, the fact remains: if you want to keep or get your business on top, you need top talent to do it. 

According to research, the right mix of both is important. In fact, more than half (55%) of U.S. companies reported they have “no overriding preference and act according to shifting business needs,” but 11% say they aggressively recruit externally. This means that most are leveraging external hiring as needed or regularly to compete in their market. 

If you’re still on the fence about leveraging external recruiting during an economic downturn, here are the top reasons you should reconsider. 

Access to a Broader Range of Professionals 

Although internal hiring is popular for saving on recruitment costs, more companies are looking externally to fill open positions. This is because you gain access to a wider range of professionals, reducing the need to ‘settle’ and increasing the chances that your company will find the best fit for the role.

As Marc Benioff, Founder, Chairman, and co-CEO of Salesforce, once said, “Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was, and still is, the most important thing we do.” Expanding your candidacy reach to outside talent is a crucial component of hiring that ensures every position you fill is occupied by the best possible candidate. 

This doesn’t mean that internal hiring is obsolete — even new hires consider career development and growth when choosing what company to work for — but it emphasizes the importance of considering all your options when your competition is scrambling to fill similar roles. 

Specialized Candidacy 

Another significant benefit of leveraging external recruiting during an economic downturn is connecting with a specialized candidate. Although studies show that internal promotions cost less than external hiring, they don’t often report the costs associated with hiring a team member that is underqualified for the position. 

And not every business will have the top talent they need working for them already. There’s a good chance that an in-house hire will require much more than an external hire for specialized positions. 

A candidate working in a similar role for another company will require much less of the following compared to an in-house hire without the same experiences:

  • On-the-job training
  • Educational training 
  • Time needed to get acclimated with the role and the responsibilities that come with it
  • Monitoring to ensure the team member is okay and able to complete important tasks
  • Risk-taking if the team member has never taken on a role like this before

So, although economic downturns make it tempting to save by hiring within, they can cost more if you do not have the right candidate working at your company. In worst-case scenarios, it may even lead to losing money on the internal promotion and having to look externally for a replacement soon after. 

Outside Perspective

Another reason to consider external recruiting during an economic downturn is the outside perspectives it can bring to your current business approach and strategies. A fresh perspective can make all the difference in your company’s success and growth because it brings a new viewpoint that can help your staff better identify areas that need improving and discover more effective and efficient solutions.

The popular saying goes, “Those who do not think outside the box are easily contained” (Nicolas Manetta). You don’t want to contain or limit your staff’s potential by refusing to leverage external recruiting when it makes more sense. 

Often, it can be challenging to think outside the box when staff is limited to internal experiences and viewpoints. Following the same routines and strategies without someone new to shake it up can hold your team back. On the other hand, broadening your talent can add some new takes that inspire fresh ideas and innovations.

This is significant because a new approach to doing things can go a long way in combining new and old ideas to create a competitive advantage.

Better Positioned to Spark or Handle Rapid Growth

Not all businesses expect to experience much growth during an economic downturn, but it’s far from impossible. In fact, HubSpot reports at least seven companies that have scaled their brands during a recession:

  1. TeamLogic IT
  2. Netflix
  3. Citigroup
  4. Lego
  5. Groupon
  6. Mailchimp
  7. Warby Parker

This shows that with the right talent on your team, your business will be able to overcome anything as we face economic challenges and talent shortages in the coming years. 

And who you hire to fill important positions will play a substantial role in whether your business remains relevant or fall behind. Whether the rapid growth is directly linked to the new hire or a company effort, a candidate that has extensive knowledge and experience in the role will be better able to respond to and handle rapid growth. 

Maintain Your Competitive Advantage With External Recruiting 

According to Henry Goldbeck on Glassdoor, a recession can “present an opportunity for recruiters. Recruiting may be even more important in a dire economy where companies need any and every competitive edge they can get to weather the storm and best position themselves for success after it.” This means reaching as many high-quality and qualified candidates as possible by leveraging external recruiting. 

How can you maximize your potential and results with external recruiting? 

It’s simple. Get connected with a team of talent acquisition experts who can get you the talent you need to meet your hiring targets without the time-consuming hassle of sourcing and qualifying candidates. Using Comeet’s Elastic Recruiting platform, your hiring needs are met in real-time with flexible solutions that scale with you as your hiring needs change.

To learn more about elastic recruiting, schedule a demo with Comeet.

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