5 Ways Recruiters Can Add Value During a Hiring Lull

Steve Lowisz
As a recruiter, it can be stressful when your company goes through a hiring lull. You may feel like you’ve been made redundant.

While a recruiter’s core responsibility is to fill open positions, the reality is that recruiters can add value in so many other ways.

A hiring lull is your opportunity to position your company for future recruiting success and prove your worth in a variety of different ways. 

Improve Your Employer Brand

One of the best things you can do during a hiring lull is to give your employer brand a tune-up.
Start by rewriting job descriptions.

Answer some key questions for candidates – why does this position matter? How does this position impact your organization – and your community? What’s the mission of your company, and what impact does your company have on its customers or the community?

Candidates want to know why they should work for you, not the other guys. Give them a clear answer and a unique value proposition – a unique reason why your company is better to work for than the rest.

Consider creating video job descriptions too, following the same ideas. Candidates love video job descriptions as it allows them to better connect with the real people behind your organization.

Lastly, take a look at your careers page. How can you make it more appealing to candidates? Can you rewrite any sections to make your organization more attractive to skilled professionals? 

Build New Talent Pipelines

Your company may not be hiring much now, but sooner or later hiring will pick up. Position yourself for future hiring success by identifying new talent pools and building new pipelines.

For example, you could plan an early career pipeline or internship program. You may not implement it today, but it’d be useful to have the plan in place when hiring needs pick up.

Additionally, you can explore new associations, universities, meetups, and other groups. You could partner with mentorship organizations or expand upon your referral program.

If your company is ever looking to boost DEI, now is the time to look for new pipelines and talent pools that could help you meet those goals. You could also look into whether your hiring process might be biased towards one type of candidate or another. 

Find Ways to Improve Candidate Experience 

Improving candidate experience is one of the most valuable things you can do as a recruiter. However, it’s also something that typically falls by the wayside when everyone’s busy in a hiring boom.

A hiring lull is a great time to study your candidate experience and see what can be improved. Interview every candidate you’ve talked to in the past year. 

What did they like about your interview process? What did they dislike? Would they apply to your company again – why or why not?

You can go a step further and look at data. When did most candidates drop-off or “ghost” you?

How much time on average passed between application, interview, and communicating a final decision to the candidate? Can you find any ways to accelerate things?

After all, a lengthy hiring process is one of the most common reasons candidates abandon the process.

Find Ways to Improve Onboarding (and Pre-Boarding)

Onboarding is another key step to hiring and retaining great talent. Take this opportunity to review your onboarding process. Interview recent hires and ask how they felt about the onboarding process.

What did they feel worked, and what didn’t? Is there anything they would rather be handled differently?

Pre-boarding is important too. This includes the administrative tasks you might handle before a candidate’s first day, like tax forms and NDAs.

Consider sending some company swag or a personalized gift and providing time to answer the new hire’s questions.

Communicate what the new hire should expect on their first day – like what time to start, dress code, how to find the office, what equipment to bring, and so forth. 

Learn About New Industries and Build Your Network 

A recruiter who knows the ins and outs of a certain industry is a very valuable member of the team. Take advantage of a hiring lull to learn a new industry, like tech or finance.

The first step is to learn common roles in a given industry and get an understanding of what each position is responsible for. Scour the web and professional groups online to learn about current trends, what people are looking for in new roles and so forth.

Learn the lingo so that if you’re talking to candidates, you can show you understand their line of work.

It’s always a good idea to meet new people and foster new relationships. But don’t forget to nurture and strengthen relationships with good candidates you already know too! 

Always be Adding Value

You can’t control the economy. You can’t control whether your company is on a hiring boom or lull. But you CAN control how much value you’re adding at any point in time.

Don’t be the recruiter who blames outside circumstances...be the recruiter that’s making your department incredibly valuable regardless of the situation!

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