Almost quite literally overnight, hiring managers went from trying to navigate the lowest unemployment rates in decades to being faced with some of the highest unemployment rates we’ve seen since The Great Depression. And while it may seem like high unemployment might make it easier to find candidates, the opposite is often true. Recruiting in a time of high unemployment can have unique challenges but the right candidates are out there if you know where to look.
The Challenges of Recruiting During High Unemployment
What could be challenging about a vast supply of potential candidates in the market? Quite a bit.
- You will receive dozens if not hundreds of applications for a single job, adding to the time it takes to qualify potential candidates.
- Many applications will be from people who are not qualified for your open roles because they are applying to every job that they can.
- There is no guarantee that anyone in that vast sea of applications is the right person for your job or your organization.
- All of the extra work and time involved means higher recruiting costs and the potential for little return.
How To Attract and Hire The Right Candidates During High Unemployment
The strategies you use to find great talent during massive unemployment are very similar to the strategies you used to attract candidates during low unemployment.
- Call back laid–off employees: Don’t assume that people you laid off to control costs were able to find new jobs. Get in touch with your highest-performing people who were let go and ask them to return, even if their role might be slightly different.
- Focus on passive candidates: If you have a pool of passive talent, draw from those people first. If you don’t have a pool of passive talent, now is the time to start building one.
- Look at past interns, contractors or temps: Odds are you’ve hired some great people for short-term and project work who might be interested in working for you full-time.
- Craft thorough job descriptions: There will always be people who apply to every job they can find, but many job seekers do look at requirements before applying. Make sure your job postings are thorough and explain exactly what your minimum requirements are. This will encourage some people to self-select out of the process.
- Work with a staffing and recruiting firm: The best way to streamline hiring is to work with a staffing and recruiting firm that handles all of the initial screening and vetting for you. They only present the most qualified candidates, saving you significant time and money.
Are You Looking For Agriculture Talent?
If you are looking to improve your recruiting, hiring and retention processes for sales and marketing positions at your ag business, reach out to the expert agriculture recruiters at Morris Bixby today. We can help you access top talent in both boom and bust markets.