3 Hiring Best Practices Regardless of Unemployment Levels

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Unemployment levels fluctuate, sometimes subtly and other times abruptly. Although unemployment rates were declining as recently as the beginning of 2020, they spiked in a massive way early in the COVID-19 pandemic.


Thankfully, unemployment has started to decrease once again over the past few months. In other encouraging news, 57% of businesses expect hiring to return to pre-pandemic levels by the beginning of 2021. However, companies that scaled back on candidate sourcing and hiring this year may have stilted their business continuity and momentum.


If your company recently put the brakes on sourcing candidates, it’s time to revive your sourcing practices. Try these candidate recruitment strategies to avoid reacting impulsively to the effects of low high unemployment or low unemployment.


1. When unemployment rises, continue building relationships.


Why should waiting to source potential applicants during uncertain times interrupt healthy hiring practices? Companies must be able to scale up or down rapidly when marketplace needs change. Not having top talent waiting in the wings can delay business continuity and leave an organization lagging behind more nimble, pragmatic competitors. It can also extend the time to fill jobs.


As unemployment rates soar, don’t sit back and wait for amazing job seekers to find you. Look for the ones that have just been furloughed or laid off so you can grab their attention and make inroads before the competition does. You can even take time to reach out to former applicants to gauge their current job situations and see whether they are interested in reapplying. Even if you don’t have an open role in mind, start a conversation.

2. When unemployment drops, look for hidden gems.


Low unemployment produces a buyer’s market. Often, prime candidates will stay at their current positions instead of actively sending out résumés. Scour LinkedIn profiles, social platforms, and other sources to find low-profile, high-potential future employees.


One of the best ways to source candidates when few people are actively looking for work is to combine aggressive headhunting with grassroots industry networking. Take a look at your intern and mentorship programs to assess how interested or qualified those potential candidates might be in future openings.


Try using every available sourcing avenue to find high-caliber applicants. Otherwise, inactive or passive candidates may slip through the cracks and out of your reach when they’re ready for a new opportunity.


3. In all unemployment situations, create amazing employee experiences.


No matter what’s happening with unemployment levels, keep building your reputation as a place where winners work. At Integrity Staffing Solutions, we focus on maintaining the strength of our brand all the time, putting associates first from day one.


We focus on hiring for fit, which means finding the right fit and not just the closest one. Is it challenging to stay true to our desire for best-fit team members? Yes. But it pays off in terms of our own and clients’ business success.


During times of fluctuating unemployment rates, it’s crucial not to let those metrics completely drive your hiring practices. Rather than focusing entirely on the ebb and flow of unemployment, work responsibly to source and (eventually) onboard strong people. Even if you’re only in need of temporary talent, you deserve the right fit to improve productivity, decrease attrition, and boost employee engagement.


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