Doing More with Less – How to Build Out a Robust People Strategy Without the HR/Recruiting Team I Used to Have

A Year’s a Long Time in Talent Acquisition.

It is August 2023 and the crystal ball we all thought we would have by now to help us navigate hiring has yet to appear.  In the last 3 years we have seen it all.

2020 pandemic shutdowns led to layoffs across the board.

2021 quickly came in with the Great Resignation and a bidding war for talent unlike anything we have seen before.  Hiring could be anywhere and almost at any salary, and often the race for talent led companies to scale up and pay premiums for all roles including HR, beyond the usual “hot jobs” list.

We entered 2022 in a world of Quiet Quitting and a focus on mental health and employee wellness. Now, in 2023, we are in a time of adjustment. We are in a window of uncertainty and companies are taking the cue from the FANG companies to self-correct or scale back. Those 2021 hires who may not be exactly fitting the bill have been the first to go, followed by a leadership directive to cut costs and avoid filling roles left open by Loud Quitting employees and those left open due to cost-cutting.

Businesses need to be profitable to grow and sustain. Business success is tied to people, but how to handle this chicken-egg predicament? If we look to history, (literally 2 years ago) we can see the challenges of staying still and waiting for the right time to hire. We are in the same cycle which will be short-lived and replaced by another hiring boost this 4th quarter. Top notch technical talent, customer success, UX, data science and project managers are available today. They have had the experience of holding the cards during a bidding war, and they are now also in a waiting game for the right company to reach out first.

How do you engage when you are not sure what roles you will have? The answer is the business of pipelining, engaging and wooing talent should never be put on hold. Perhaps your internal HR/TA team has been cut and you are only able to react, rather than source and connect with the talent you need in the future.


4 Tips to Use Today’s Market for Tomorrow’s Advantage

  1. Look ahead in the future, not just at the roles you have open today. The time to engage and pipeline passive talent takes weeks and sometimes months. The talent you need to hire by January needs to know about you today, engage with you by Halloween and be ready to accept before the New Year.
  2. If you have scaled down your HR team, all is not loss. Outsourcing today gives you the flexibility to cherry pick the service you need. Perhaps you want to use this time to understand your external perception of competitive talent so you can work on your salary, benefits and reputation before you find out where you may fall short once a candidate declines an offer.  Your outsourced team can handle the full recruitment cycle for key roles and then hand the reigns back to your team when you have balance of resource and responsibilities.
  3. Conduct an audit and look at the roles you have open or the skills you will need. If there is a gap from your internal workforce is there time to train and upskill your loyal employees to fill those roles that you may not have needed in the past?  The cost of training often pales in comparison to the cost of having an employee quit, pressure overworked peers to cover while a replacement is recruited and onboarded.
  4. Look beyond the boardroom. Leverage your outsourced partners to provide clear competitive information from roles to benefits and employer brand messaging.


In Conclusion

This current “pause” is the time to get the competitive advantage for talent.  Look at your people, understand what you are missing and be proactive to find the right people to join before another bidding war starts again. There are good options to temporarily scale recruiting resources without having to scale permanent TA / HR teams.


by Jody Robie, Senior Vice President NA, Talent-Works.com

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