How Recruiters Can Prepare for a Downturn

Steve Lowisz
It’s coming.

Sooner or later, we know that the economy is going to take a slump. As a recruiter, it may be scary...or you may view it as an opportunity to “get back” at candidates.

If you log onto most recruiting groups these days, you’ll see a lot of recruiters griping about candidates. Candidates that don’t respond. Candidates that ask for outrageous salaries, or ghost on interviews.

In short, recruiters are frustrated that candidates are abusing the fact that they have a lot of different opportunities.

As a result, a lot of recruiters are talking about how they’ll treat candidates the same way when the tables turn and jobs are in short supply. We saw it happen in 2008, and we know it’ll happen again when the economy slumps. It’s a vicious cycle.

Our advice to recruiters? Don't fall into this trap! No matter the economy, you have to put people at the center.

The Economy Always Rebounds

We know that the economy goes in cycles. After every boom, sooner or later there’s a slump. And after every slump, sooner or later there’s a boom!

Whenever the economy picks up after a slump, the recruiters with great relationships are the ones that hit the ground running. They’re able to make hires when no one else can get a response from candidates.


Because they took the time to build, maintain, and nurture relationships even if they didn’t have a ton of opportunities for those candidates.

Leverage a CRM or Other Tech

It can be hard to stay in touch with large numbers of candidates. That’s why we recommend leveraging a CRM or another tool to stay in touch.

Some of these platforms can even help you send automated check-ins, asking how someone is doing etc. It’s a great way to stay connected and stand out from other recruiters who have probably gone quiet or got too busy.

You should stay in touch with candidates even if you don’t have an opportunity for every professional. It shows you really care, and it means they’ll be far more likely to respond when you DO have an opportunity.

Recruiting is All About Relationships

Remember, recruiting is all about relationships. And the thing about relationships is that they shouldn’t really be affected by the economy! If you have a good relationship with someone, the economy should have no influence on how you treat them. Candidates can tell if you only care about them when you have 40 reqs vs when you have 5...and they won’t want to talk to you if that’s the case.

Put in the time today for great hires tomorrow.