If we picked one word to describe the recruitment community, it would be resilient.
The past year, let alone the past three years, would be reason enough to say this.
But it's easy to forget that beyond the past three years, talent acquisition has been through many peaks and valleys across decades.
That context is important because it lets all of us know that regardless of difficult circumstances, there will always be an upswing from a downturn.
The Current Fears and Frustrations in TA
During the very first session of Recruiter Therapy with Head of Community, Shannon Pritchett and Technical Recruiting Manager Steve Levy, they set the tone for what we're dealing with.
As Steve explained, “These are real fearful times. From the beginning of Q1 last year until now, we've seen so many of our friends fired from their jobs through no fault of their own. Yet, the people who created and implemented the strategies that required the hiring of all these recruiters and investment in TA tech are pretty much still there.”
Greg McKeown, Senior Director of Innovation and Customer Success at WilsonHCG, who works extensively with their recruitment function, provided context on what happens to recruiters who are working currently. “Recruiters have consistently seen their requisition loads increase over time as companies tend to want to do more with less.”
What Recruiters Can Do During Downtime
Our Head of Community, Shannon Pritchett, has very vivid memories of recruiting during the 2008 recession. It was that experience that allowed her to understand how recruiters can capitalize on the current downturn.
She explains, “Hiring teams that have become too comfortable with a reactive, offer-letter-after-one-interview environment should be wary of waiting for the next shoe to drop. If you drift for too long, you risk being too far behind to catch up when it does. In short: The threat of a downturn is not a reason to pause executing your talent strategy. Instead, think of it as permission to reset it, by resetting your mindset — from one that is reactive to one that is proactive.”
That proactivity doesn't just extend to talent strategy, but also upskilling as a recruitment professional.
Founder of Vaia Talent, Angie Verros who has been in TA for over 20 years, provided some insights on what professionals should focus on to be set up for success when the industry bounces back.
- Great communication skills: Whether it's writing an email or talking to someone, you need to be able to manage expectations. It's not rocket science to communicate with your client, colleagues and peers.
- Critical thinking: There's a certain level of professionalism in talking through certain ideas. It can be learned in a fashion where you can shadow or develop it from a person you're working with.
- Aptitude and Willingness: They should have the willingness to learn. If you're a specialist for “ABC”, then you're going to be great if role “ABC” is available. But what if it's not. If you're a specialist in A + B + C, then you can co-mingle those. If “A” is unavailable you can always lean on B and C based on demand.
Navigating the Peaks and Valleys of Talent Acquisition
“Breaking habits can be hard, but what better time to make changes in your approach to recruiting — to improve your game — than when the market is changing.”
We couldn't have said it better ourselves. If you're having a tough time navigating the current valley of Talent Acquisition, you should join the recruitment community at Recruiter Therapy. It's a safe space to get advice from recruitment veterans, voice frustrations and come together with the community.
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