Pausing recruitment is throwing away money: How talent leaders outsmart their competition with agile recruitment

Want to stop recruiting? Okay, let me paint a picture for you.

You put a stop to your talent acquisition engine today. In three months your decision is looking great! The market is down and you only stand to gain.

But a year passes and the economy bounces back. You’re ready to hire again! But you’re scrambling to backfill roles and fill new ones. Uh oh.

Two years pass and you don’t have a job anymore.

Your decision to stop recruiting left your company horribly unprepared for when the market inevitably rebounded. And your brand suffered.

Gingerbread man is happy he stopped recruiting today but disappointed and surprised a year later

Here’s why you should never stop recruiting – even when your back is against the wall in a down market.

Why stopping recruitment is a big no-no

1. It’s not good for your brand

When you stop recruiting, it sends a negative message to potential candidates and your current employees.

Are they struggling? What do they think is going to happen? What do they know that we don’t? Are they preparing to make layoffs?!

These are the thoughts that keep your customers, employees and community up at night… Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But you get the point.

If your company is struggling, you give license to candidates and employees to look elsewhere for opportunities.

Sure, you may not be ready to hire at the moment, but don’t show your cards. And do not scare away your current and future talent.

In contrast, continue recruiting. Show the market your company is growing, stable and focused on the future.

More visibility will keep your brand strong and attractive to both employees and customers (wink wink).

2. It’s hard to stop & start

Recruiting requires momentum.

If you stop and start, it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things.

  • Just think of a muscle car. To stop and start and stop and start requires a ton of gasoline. Plus, it wears down your tire tread.
  • Comparatively, a nice, slower speed requires almost zero gasoline and won’t damage the car at all.

Which one are you choosing?

Every time you stop recruiting, you’ll need to rebuild your talent pipeline, reestablish connections with potential candidates and regain your bearings in the job market. Easier said than done!

An agile recruitment strategy means your talent acquisition team stays sharp and maintains a consistent flow of potential candidates. Even when you’re not filling any roles.

Plus, you’re better prepared to adapt to any changes in the market – not struggling to adjust in time of need.

Introducing agile recruitment, your best alternative

Now, we’ve established why stopping recruitment is a bad idea (that’s an understatement). Here’s why you should continuously recruit:

Robert Downey Jr. relieved he chose agile recruitment

1. A healthy talent pipeline

By continuously recruiting, you’ll always have a pool of potential candidates at your fingertips.

So when you’re ready to grow and fill some roles, you’ll be better prepared to move quickly. Plus, you’ll have more time to evaluate candidates and make sure they’re the right fit for your company.

One step ahead of your competitors. (👈 And by the way, because speed is likely the most important aspect of your recruitment process, this is HUGE.)

2. Better candidate experience

When you’re constantly recruiting, you can invest more time in building relationships with candidates. This means more personalized communication, faster response times and a more enjoyable experience for both you and your potential hires.

A great candidate experience leads to better quality hires and helps you stand out as a top brand.

3. Adapting to changes in the market

The market’s always changing. Tell me about it 🙄

Continuous recruitment helps you stay ahead of the curve. By keeping an eye on trends and keep communication lines open with candidates, you’ll be ready for changes in the market and get the talent you need to stay winning.

Keep your foot on the pedal. That’s what continuous recruitment means.

4. Saving time and resources

It might seem counterintuitive, but agile recruitment will save your company time and resources in the long run.

Remember the car analogy?

Imagine an ongoing talent pipeline. Now you spend less time searching for candidates and scrambling to fill open positions.

Plus, you won’t make any rushed hiring decisions (yikes!).

7 tips for building an agile recruitment machine

So you’re ready to embrace agile recruitment? Here are 7 tips to get you started:

  • Build your employer brand — Want to get the best talent possible? You need a strong brand. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Communicate your mission, values and culture from the get-go.
  • Leverage technology — Use recruitment software and tools (shoutout AI) to streamline your talent acquisition process. Don’t want to upgrade? Get left in the dust.
  • Network, network, network — Attend industry events, join online forums and connect with potential candidates on social media. Building relationships will help you stay in the loop and keep your talent pipeline fresh.
  • Stay in touch with past applicants — Just because a candidate wasn’t the right fit for a previous role doesn’t mean they won’t be perfect for a future position. Keep in touch with past applicants and let them know about new opportunities at your company. A strong talent pool is one of your greatest resources as a talent leader. Use it wisely.
  • Offer an employee referral program — Who knows your company better than anyone? Leverage your current employees as a valuable resource for finding new talent. Offer incentives like bonuses or extra time off.
  • Be proactive — Don’t wait for a position to open up before you start recruiting. Monitor your company’s growth and anticipate hiring needs… before they arise. So you can start building relationships with potential candidates ahead of time.
  • Regularly review your recruitment strategy — The job market will change over time. Duh. Adjust your recruitment strategy to respond.
My last words: never stop recruiting

So you’re thinking about pausing recruitment because you see a storm coming up?

Think again.

Instead, embrace agile recruitment. It’s a win-win situation that will set your company up for long-term success, even in uncertain economic times.

Need help refining this strategy? USA Gymnastics, Community Health and Outside Source have paid us to do exactly that. Join a long list of thrilled clients. Get your free consult here.

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Pausing recruitment is throwing away money: How talent leaders outsmart their competition with agile recruitment