After years of aggressive hiring, tech giants are dramatically changing track, with back to back announcements of layoffs and hiring freezes. Naturally, in times like this, companies can find it challenging to maintain their workforce or scale up their business. So, what should companies do when faced with the harsh reality of layoffs and hiring freezes to preserve their culture, appeal and competitiveness?
Even in a hiring freeze, talent teams have a lot to offer businesses, and there is still a lot of work for them to do to keep the company on track to come back hiring on all cylinders when the economy improves.
Here’s how your talent acquisition team can continue to add value during a hiring freeze:
Work on Building a Talent Pipeline
Talent pools are a key tool for recruiters and talent acquisition teams to find and land top talent - whether you’re hiring or not at the moment. Without a talent pipeline, you have to hope qualified candidates will find you and decide your company is worth taking a chance on—and you’ll be racing to catch up to the companies that are spending this time building and maintaining relationships with talent when hiring picks back up again.
A hiring slowdown is the perfect time to build your talent pipeline. When the market picks up again, you’ll have access to some of the best talent on the market.
Enhance Employer Branding Efforts
Employer branding is a long-term strategy. On average, it can take a company between two and five years to successfully build a brand, and employer branding is no exception. It’s not something that can be turned on or off at any given time — it must be consistently nurtured to be successful.
It’s not always easy to find the time to nurture a company’s employer brand strategy. But, with time freed up during a hiring freeze, a talent acquisition team can have the time to audit, review and improve the employer brand.
This can include creating or enhancing the company’s employer value proposition, develop more unique messaging and building a back catalogue of content.
Focus on Internal Mobility
Internal mobility refers to the process of moving employees within the organisation to fill vacant positions instead of hiring new candidates externally. During a hiring freeze, organisations can focus on internal mobility to fill critical positions and reduce the cost of recruitment.
The talent acquisition team are the perfect people to work with other departments to identify employees who have the required skills and experience to fill vacant positions. By focusing on internal mobility, organisations can also improve employee retention and engagement by providing growth opportunities to their employees.
Review and Refine Recruitment Processes
With less time spent on recruiting, the talent acquisition team has more time to analyse recruitment data, identify areas for improvement, and implement changes to streamline the recruitment process, ensuring it’s a well-oiled machine when recruitment picks back up again.
The team can also review the job descriptions and qualification requirements for various positions to ensure that they are updated and aligned with the organisation's needs.
Offer Upskilling and Reskilling Programs
While the talent acquisition team may not be hiring new employees during a slowdown, there are still current employees to think about, and this can be a great time to focus on personal and professional development by offering upskilling and reskilling programs. The talent acquisition team can work with the organisation's learning and development team to identify the skills that are in demand and design training programs to help employees acquire these skills.
By offering upskilling and reskilling programs, organisations can improve employee retention and engagement by providing employees with opportunities for career growth and development. Not to mention it can help the organisation to fill critical positions with internal candidates who have the required skills and experience.
A hiring freeze can be a challenging time for organisations to maintain their workforce or scale up their business. However, it’s important to realise that by pivoting away from traditional responsibilities and focusing on other areas, talent acquisition still have a huge amount of value to add to a company. In fact, taking this time to readjust and realign can ensure that you’re attracting the best talent when markets pick up again.
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