Times have changed since the last recession. Companies are starting to see that they need to be more creative when it comes to hiring top talent. This is especially true for specialized roles, such as data scientists, AI or machine learning engineers, or SaaS product managers. These roles have been traditionally difficult to fill and will remain so regardless of the recession. We consider these roles as recession-proof roles because the demand for these roles will never go away.
What has changed is how companies are approaching these difficult-to-fill roles during the recession. In the past, most companies would rely on their network of personal connections to find qualified candidates. However, this is no longer enough. Companies need to be proactive and use all available resources to find these specialized technical roles.
With all of the recent layoffs, do you think posting a single job post will get you hundreds of resumes? Well, you won’t, especially if you are hiring specialized talent. The reason being is that most people who are laid off will not have the required skills for your role. And those who do have the required skills are usually not actively looking for a job. If you want to find top specialized talent during a recession, you’ll need to get creative.
We will share a few strategies with you that will help you find the top specialized talent out there.
Hiring Specialized Talent During a Recession
We have created this guide on how to hire specialized, knowledge-based roles during a recession. This guide covers everything from how to assess your company’s current needs to the best time of day (or week) to post your job listing.
What Are Specialized Talent Roles?
Specialized talent roles are those that require a specific set of skills or knowledge in order to perform the job. For example, a marketing specialist role might require experience with a certain type of software (Hootsuite, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, etc.), while a customer service specialist role might require fluency in a second language.
Specialized talent usually has formal education, training, certifications, and years of experience in their field – which can make them difficult to find, there isn’t a ton of them around.
When Are the Best Times to Post Specialized Talent Roles?
The best time to post a job listing for a specialized talent role is when you have an immediate need for that role. For example, if your company is launching a new product and needs someone with experience in product marketing to help promote it, you would want to post the job listing as soon as possible.
If you have a role that needs to be filled but there is no immediate need for the position, you can wait to post the job listing until you have a better idea of when you will need someone in that role. For example, if your company is planning to expand into a new market in the next year, you may want to wait to post the job listing for a salesperson until you have a better idea of when you will need someone in that role.
How To Source Specialized Talent Roles
If you have a role that is very specialized or niche, you may need to get creative in your sourcing strategy. For example, if you are looking for a software engineer with experience in a specific programming language, you may need to post the job listing on forums or online communities where people with that expertise are likely to be active.
You can also try attending meetups or conferences related to the skill set you are trying to hire for. This can be a great way to not only find potential candidates but also to assess their interest in your company and the role.
Another way is to work with an external recruiting agency that specialized in sourcing for the specific role you are looking to fill.
While it may take some extra effort, getting creative in your talent acquisition strategy can be well worth it when it comes to hiring top talent.
Strategy For Hiring Specialized Talents
There’s no one strategy that will work for every company when it comes to hiring specialized talent. However, there are a few key things that you can keep in mind that will help you optimize your process.
First, it’s important to start by clearly defining the role you are looking to fill. This includes not only the skills and experience required but also how this role fits into the overall strategy of your company. Once you have a clear understanding of what you are looking to achieve, you can start to look at how best to attract candidates with the right skills and experience.
1 Create Clear Job Descriptions
Your job descriptions are often the first point of contact between your company and a potential candidate. As such, it is important to make sure that they are clear, concise, and accurately reflect the role you are looking to fill. A good job description will not only help you attract the right candidates but will also save you time by weed out those who are not a good fit.
2 Consider Culture Fit Ahead of Time
When you are hiring for a role, it is important to consider not only the skills and experience of the candidate but also how they will fit into your company culture. This is especially important if you are looking to build a team or department from scratch.
A specialized talent may have the skills and experience you are looking for, but if they do not fit into the culture of your company, it is unlikely that they will be with you for the long haul.
3 What’s Your Company Wow Factor?
In order to attract top talent, you need to have a company wow factor. This is what sets your company apart from the rest and makes it an attractive place to work.
Do some soul searching and figure out what that is for your company. Is it flexible hours? A relaxed dress code? A fun workplace environment? Whatever it is, make sure you are promoting it when you are recruiting.
You may also want to consider offering some additional perks and benefits that will sweeten the pot and seal the deal with top talent.
4 What’s Your Company ‘Why’ Factor?
In addition to a company wow factor, you also need to have a company ‘why’ factor. This is the purpose behind your company – what drives everything that you do.
Your company ‘why’ factor should be something that resonates with your employees and is something that they can get behind.
It’s important to have both a company wow factor and a company ‘why’ factor when recruiting top talent because it shows that you are not only an attractive place to work but also a place where employees can believe in the work that they are doing.
5 Prepare To Share Company Financial Health
While it may not be the most glamorous topic, being prepared to share your company’s financial health is an important part of the talent acquisition process.
When you are meeting with top talent, they are going to want to know how stable your company is and what kind of growth potential there is.
Being able to share this information in a clear and concise way will go a long way in convincing them that your company is worth their time.
6 What’s Your Company Vision?
Another important aspect of the hiring process is sharing your company vision.
Top talent wants to know that they are not only going to have a stable job but also that they are going to be working towards something larger than themselves.
Sharing your company vision and how each employee plays a role in achieving it will go a long way in convincing top talent to come work for you.
7 What’s Your Company Mission?
Similar to sharing your company vision, top talent also wants to know your company’s mission.
Your company mission should be more than just making a profit; it should be something that drives each and every one of your employees.
Sharing your company’s mission will show the top talent that they will be working towards something larger and that their work will have meaning.
8 Social Media Activity
In today’s day and age, it’s important for companies to be active on social media.
Top talent wants to see that you are keeping up with the times and are using social media to your advantage.
They also want to be able to easily research your company and get a feel for your culture before they even apply.
Make sure that your website and social media platforms are up-to-date and accurately reflect your company culture.
The Bottom Line
The economic downturn has no effect when it comes to hiring top specialized talent. These roles continue to be difficult to fill, so you need to be prepared to put your best foot forward.
By being honest about your company’s financial health and sharing your long-term vision, you will be in a much better position to convince top talent to join your team.
So don’t let the recession get you down, use it as an opportunity to show off how innovative and resourceful your company can be.
What other creative ways have you used to hire top talent during a recession? Let us know!