Tech Hiring After an Economic Slowdown? Your Guide to a Recruitment Reboot

Restart Recruitment Guide: How To Reboot Tech Hiring Post-Freeze

Have you paused tech recruiting? Persevered through a hiring freeze or slowdown? When it’s time to restart recruitment, where should you start? Keep reading to kickstart your tech hiring after challenging economic times with this guide.

1. Before you restart recruitment, reassess the current circumstances

Start by re-evaluating hiring needs. Review the roles that were initially put on hold. Are they still relevant or have your business needs shifted? You’ll also need to understand the new market conditions for a better idea of the employment landscape. 

Which industries have bounced back and which are still lagging? Are you in a candidate-driven market? How have candidate priorities and expectations changed? 

Resources like Hired’s 2023 State of Tech Salaries offer detailed insights to adapt and keep moving forward in the current hiring market.

Related: Less Competition, More Talent: Here’s How to Recruit in an Economic Downturn 

2. Re-engage with past candidates

Take inventory of the connections you might already have. Check the availability of past candidates and get back in touch with those who were in the interview process before the freeze. Hopefully, you maintained a feedback loop and shared feedback from previous interviews with candidates. This is an effective way to foster goodwill even if you didn’t hire them.

3. Review your employer brand and employer value props, or EVPs

After shaky economic times, people – understandably – may become more cautious when it comes to employers and their stability. Post-downturn, rebuilding trust in your company’s stability and growth is a priority. Be transparent and highlight recovery plans and growth potential in your employer branding.

It’s also a great time to showcase company culture. This is especially true if your organization’s culture includes supportive elements like mental health initiatives, flexible working options, and employee development programs. 

Related: 2023 Survey Results: Top 3 Benefits Ranked by Engineers (Besides Salary) 

4. Invest in training and development

Sometimes the best hires are internal. Consider investing in training programs to upskill existing employees for new roles, promoting internal mobility. Not to mention, supporting internal mobility and upskilling are great ways to retain talent, support internal candidates, inspire loyalty, and provide professional growth.

Related: How to Support Internal Candidates When They Don’t Get the Job 

Offering continuous learning and development opportunities will also attract jobseekers looking for long-term career growth. Our 2023 State of Software Engineers report revealed development and career growth as top priorities for an ideal company culture and work environment according to surveyed engineers.

Related: How to Nurture Innovation, Strengthen Retention (Use Professional Development) 

5. Revise your recruitment strategy

Think back to when you re-evaluated hiring needs. What shifts can you make to your recruitment strategy given the new circumstances? From revising your candidate messaging to rethinking how you conduct interviews, we have a suite of resources to help employers make these updates a little less overwhelming:  

6. Re-evaluate your recruitment tech stack

Now is also the time to consider new platforms or tools to support your hiring revamp. Hired, for example, connects employers to a curated pool of experienced and responsive tech talent seeking their next role. The platform also integrates with applicant tracking systems to fully streamline your hiring process. 

Related: How to Secure Approval for New Tech Tools (Free Template) 

Restart recruitment lessons learned from Laura MacKinnon, VP of People at Clari

On Hired’s podcast, Talk Talent to Me, Laura shared learnings from a massive hiring freeze. She gave a few tips on what she would do differently when ready to restart recruitment:  

“One of the things we did up front was make sure not to bring our recruiting team down to a skeleton crew. We knew these things usually do have a bit of an up-and-down cycle. If we were to have brought our recruiting team down to the need we had at the moment, we would not have enough people respond to the demand. Luckily, we kept our scheduling, sourcing, and recruiting teams around with the hopes the downturn would be short. Being a cloud-based company, we accelerated back to needing to hire engineers along with other people to help lead the business forward. 

As you can imagine, the head of people is involved with finance, the head of engineering, and the CEO requesting the board to fund additional resources. What I would do with 20/20 hindsight is make sure we also included asking for the increased spending needed to spin up that machine because it was idle. That means not just the recruiters, but money in place for proactive talent sourcing and time with the marketing team to help get the word out that the company is recruiting.”  

Laura’s tips: 

  • Don’t bring the recruiting team down to a skeleton crew
  • Get on board when you hear about other teams requesting funds

Related: Need help talent sourcing? Hired’s got you covered with temporary or ongoing help. 

6. Secure funding before you restart recruitment

Laura MacKinnon emphasizes the importance of collaborating with other teams to ensure the recruiting team has a seat at the table. 

She says, “If you notice a team talking about potentially adding headcount, that’s the time for your Head of Talent to jump in. They should ask to include two recruiters, a sourcer, and a scheduler. The earlier you hear that coming up, the faster you want to jump in so you have funding. If your company is proactive, you can even onboard those people before the official big ask gets approved.”

Partnership with finance is especially critical because a lot of what recruiting does has a cost. Laura illustrates this with example from Clari: “Diversity and inclusion are such an important part of how we’re going to grow as a business. As opposed to waiting until we’re a thousand people, the needle-moving time is when the company is at its smallest. 

We want to have a diverse team of men, women, people of color, and any underrepresented groups. Starting with that helps build because a lot of our hiring – probably one-third – will probably come from referrals. Those initial efforts to spin up the machine and make our commitment to that community clear come with a need to fund. It could be through innovative internships for students or being present at events to show Clari wants to be an employer of choice for a diverse population. 

You need financial support. The more HR can learn how to make business cases that make finance people happy and understand, the better we are at getting funding.”

Restart Tech Recruitment Checklist:

  1. Reevaluate hiring needs
  2. Engage with past candidates
  3. Update online employer profiles
  4. Revise recruitment strategy
  5. Review salary benchmarks
  6. Plan for onboarding
  7. Measure effectiveness regularly

Emerging from an economic downturn to restart recruitment and hiring can feel daunting. However, with a strategic recalibration and a systematic approach, it’ll be a smooth transition. 

Restart recruitment for tech and sales roles with Hired! Get a free demo.