How Hiring Managers React to Candidates During and After Economic Downturns

The current US economy has been up and down this past year and it’s unclear how much or when the economy will fully recover, but with the CDC changing guidelines on masks, we seem to be on our way. This affects all aspects of business in this country which includes recruiting. Every business has to roll with the punches of the economy and adjusting your hiring practices to the economy can be an important step in weathering any economic storm.

During a recession, unemployment will spike, like at one-point COVID-19 caused the unemployment rate to spike to 14% in 2020. In a time like this, lots of people will be out of work and looking for new employment. This can be a double-edged sword. While the job market will be flooded with qualified candidates the sheer number of responses can be overwhelming and recruiters may be faced with resume fatigue. When you read hundreds of resumes it can become hard to tell the good candidates from the unqualified ones and it can all become a blurry mess.

When there’s a downward shift in the economy and unemployment is high, hiring managers should be excited yet cautious about the new crop of available talent. These candidates probably have more experience than the average group of applicants but, you also need to evaluate your own company’s needs and thoughtfully make hiring choices based on what you need or will need and not just hire someone because they’re normally an un-getable get.

After a recession there is a tendency for a hiring boom to occur. New companies start up and others are now able to expand and take on more staff. This sense of confidence can suddenly cause the opposite problem. Now instead of having a glut of candidates for a few positions you have an abundance of positions and a shrinking pool of potential employees. Not only have active candidates who were in the market for a new job during the downturn found jobs, but passive candidates might be hesitant to make a change right away. The power may have shifted and the applicants may now have more control over where they go, but that doesn’t mean the hiring manager should hire just anyone.

Recruiters and hiring managers will have to be a little more aggressive when it comes to going after great talent as the economy recovers while at the same time, be a little more willing to bend to the desires of the applicants. The bottom line is always the same regardless of the state of the economy, if you find a candidate you like go after them.

Economic downturns and recoveries are inevitable and hiring managers, like candidates, need to be able ride out those waves just like everybody else. When unemployment is high, the few jobs out there will be ravenously sought after putting the employers in a position of power (but hope it doesn’t go to their heads). When unemployment is low the situation is flipped. It’s constantly evolving but either way there is always a path to finding the right person for the job. The most important thing to keep in mind is the right person is just that—a person, a human being, so be sure to treat them as such.

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

This article was written by Sam Rogal.
Sam Rogal is a writer and professional living in New York City. He has worked in the film and theater industry and graduated top of his class with a degree in Communications.

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