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Recruitment during a Recession

This photo shows 2 people shaking hands. By following this expert's advice employers have hired job seekers at no extra cost.

Recruiting during a recession may seem like a risk or even a contradiction, but think about the long term benefits to your business.

During these challenging times it is paramount to your success to have enough staff and, perhaps even more, importantly the right team/staff.

At a time when your competitors may be making redundancies you should be looking to capitalise and pick up on their missed opportunities.

As a recession continues to take hold more businesses and employers, will begin looking for ways to reduce their outgoings an increase profits. Some times this can come to the detriment of staff, in the form of Redundancies; reduced working hours and a freeze on recruitment.

Whilst in some cases this is a necessary evil, in most cases it is an initial knee jerk reaction which should be carefully considered. All business will have periods when they at their busiest and down turns, however you should maintain an ongoing search for new talent. More candidates will be searching for work during times likes these, giving you more choice.

One thing you should do is review how, when, who, where and the cost of your recruitment process per head. As your business will begin to feel the pinch so will your suppliers giving you the opportunity to re-address their charges. This to can be said for any recruitment costs you pay.

How? – Some employers will still continue to recruit but will do it all themselves in a bid to reduce costs. But what you save in recruitment fees may be lost in the time you spend sifting through applications and during the interview process. Is this most effect/productive use of your time, and is the person now task with finding staff able to do the job. The benefit of using a recruitment agency is that they save you time, how ever it will be at a financial cost. If you to carry on benefiting from using recruitment agencies make sure you use this down turn to renegotiate any fees previously agreed.

A little known fact is that there are government funded recruitment agents who will be able to advise you and assist you in recruiting.

When – Companies will either have a strategic plan of growth, mapped out busy periods or simply recruit when replacing staff. Any business must have an ongoing search for new staff as talented workers will not only add value to your organisation but can lift the spirits and increase friendly competition between current employees.

Who – Rather than employing the first suitable candidate who comes along, look for the candidate who can work across the many different disciplines of your business, and may have previous of experience of working in a down turn market.

Work experience. Work trials/experience are great ways for you to assess your chosen candidate before making a permanent job offer. As long as both parties are aware of the situation there is a real benefit to all involved. You get the opportunity to see how your chosen candidate will actually perform in the role, while they get a real understanding of the job, company, and tasks. In the vent there is no permanent offer the candidate will still take away valuable experiences.

Volunteers. Although not a viable option for all businesses, some can benefit from this opportunity. It gives the employer an extra pair of hands with minimal costs (expenses) and without a formal commitment from both sides. Volunteers can be contacted on a casual basis to coincide with the demands of your business or could come on set days/times.

In both circumstances it gives you a chance to really see how someone will react to the demands of the job and both can lead to you finding great permanent members of the team.

Where - look at where you advertise your vacancies. What worked for you in a buoyant market place may not be as effective in these times. A simple space section on your website asking for speculative applications may not always find the right candidate but is good for a consistent presence. Try different methods and make sure you monitor where you get the best response

Cost – how ever, when ever, who ever or where ever you recruit the current economic climate gives you an opportunity to negotiate with all your providers. In addition puts you in a stronger position to negotiate more favourable terms of employment for a better quality of staff.

There are a number of organisations who can assist your entire recruitment process at no cost. Giving you the freedom to concentrate on keeping your business the success you have worked hard to produce. As with any recruitment agency, these organisations will get to know your business and help stream line your recruitment process. In addition it is possible for them to assist you with on going staff training whilst providing in work support for your employees without sending you a bill.

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About The Author

This article was written by Warren Trunchion ( Chris Lees) of A4E

Author Profile

A4E is a government funded employment support and training
agency.  We work on government programmes assisting people in finding
local training and employment opportunities, whilst providing local employers
with a free comprehensive recruitment service.


We have recently been awarded a contract on behalf of the
Department Of Working Pensions where by our aim is to assist local candidates
in accessing training opportunities and sustainable employment. The project is
called Pathways to work. 


In addition to Sussex, A4e currently delivering the Pathways
project in Surrey, Devon & Cornwall, Yorkshire and the Majority Wales
offering companies a consistent national recruitment offer.


We offer

  • A unique recruitment service, saving you time and money

  • All Candidates are pre-screened and job matched before
    being put forward to an employer

  • A huge pool of job ready candidates available to work

  • A recruitment and training service tailored to your
    specific requirements

  • Provide volunteers

  • Arrange Work trials

  • Arrange Pre-employment training

  • Savings on advertising costs, HR and pre-screening time

  • Minimum 13 weeks support for the company taking on an

  • 52 weeks support for all candidates from an
    Employment Coach.


The 13 & 52 week support measures aim to keep sickness and
attrition to a minimum. Most employers suffer with sickness and attrition
issues with new staff within the first 3 month.


Effectively we offer all the
positive solutions of using a generic recruitment agency plus many additional
features yet we do not charge a fee.

Logo for A4E Warren Trunchion ( Chris Lees)

Author's Contact Details

Warren Trunchion ( Chris Lees)

Telephone: 01903 205882
email »
A4E website »

AllWorthingJobs are very grateful to Warren Trunchion ( Chris Lees) and A4E for taking the time to provide this advice, please use the contact details above if you'd like to contact A4E.

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