The Upside to the Economic Downside!

The Upside to the Economic Downside!

by Sara Bennett | November 2, 2020

0 Author-Jeanne, Featured in Newsletter, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS main whats happening


employers win the Northwest race for talentRecruiting During A Recession

In our 40+ years of business, one thing we’ve learned from navigating the ups and downs of many economic environments is that there is always an upside to every downside.

While economic challenges can drive companies to change in ways that seem forced at the time, many of these changes are sustained long after the economic challenge because they serve people and companies well.

Companies that embrace these market innovations thrive and those that don’t often are left behind.

Evidence of this can be found by looking at how companies adapted during the Covid-19 pandemic and recession. Despite extended shutdowns throughout 2020, employers continued to bring on new hires and innovated to find fresh ways to get work done through the economic downturn.

The recession also motivated businesses to discover new recruiting models and strategies. Companies that adapted early secured their financial future and maintained a steady flow of quality candidates to help them weather the storm.

If you’d like to know how to continue recruiting during a recession, keep reading. This blog post will introduce you to the tactics businesses are using to survive and thrive despite the performance of the economy.

Recruiting In a Recession: 7 Strategies to Make Sure You Weather the Storm

Is a recession a good time to hire?

Initially, many businesses expect hiring during a recession to be risky. After all, quality candidates may be difficult to find under the surge of less qualified candidates flooding recruitment departments. And should you risk investing in additional employees in the face of an economic downturn?

While these are valid concerns, we’ve witnessed dozens of Northwest businesses turn the 2020 downturn into a major hiring upturn.

Here are seven key strategies people are using to grow their businesses and continue hiring in a recession:

  • Fuel Your Build-Back By Only Hiring Exceptional Candidates.  During the covid shut down, employers were forced to take stock of their talent assets — the skills and mindsets of the staff they had in place pre-covid and the skills and mindset they believed they would need to compete in the new business environment, post-covid.As these employers downsized they were forced to ask existing staff to “do more with less.”Employees who weren’t up to the challenge were often the first to be furloughed or in some cases downsized. But on the upside, as these employers reduced the size of their teams, they also discovered they could get more done with fewer staff.This has given Northwest employers the unique opportunity to reposition their teams for long-term success. And as the economy has recovered, employers are taking advantage of this opportunity by only hiring exceptional talent. If you need help hiring during a recession and identifying qualified candidates for your business, we at Pace Staffing are happy to help.
  • Take Advantage of the Recession to Find that Star Candidate You’ve Been Missing.   As a result of the recession, the candidate marketplace is rich with high-performing talent. Unemployment in the local area is in excess of 9% and revenue-strapped employers have been forced to lay off even their best performers. This reveals the primary advantages of recruiting in a recession: there haven’t been this many high performers actively looking for recruitment in several decades. Of course, one downside to this influx of lost jobs is that inexperienced recruiters can be overwhelmed by the vast numbers of candidate applications responding to job postings. On the upside, you can easily mitigate this risk by partnering with expert recruiters, like Pace Staffing, who know how to target exceptional talent — helping a skilled candidate find job security and helping your business level-up.
  • Look For Talent in New Places.   A huge upside to the recession is that employers have been able to cast a much wider net for the talent they need. Virtual work settings have become the norm, allowing employers to look for and find talent without geographical restrictions. Employees living in Everett can now consider working for companies headquartered in Tacoma — a phenomenon that wasn’t possible prior to the lockdown and the normalization of virtual work models. This means the search for the “best talent” can be broader and better than it has been in the past. As a recruitment firm, seeking out, engaging, and ultimately signing up new hires is more complex than ever, but we now have the fresh advantage of being able to fill roles from previously untapped ponds of talent.
  • Decreased Operational Costs Enable You to Put More Money Towards Hiring Top Candidates.  The impact of lowered operational costs (minimized rent as just one example) stemming from the massive migration from offices to homes will benefit employers and staff for the next decade. And the success of work from home models will slow down efforts to bring employees back into traditional office settings for some time to come. Whether building owners will be able to lure these companies and their staff back to their abandoned buildings is yet to be seen, but one of the clear upsides to the recession is that it’s leading to renewed financial models about “employee costs” — perhaps encouraging more hiring in the future. Employers who learn how to optimize performance in a virtual economy will be the winners on the go forward. Recruiting and vetting talent who will thrive in virtual work settings will be key as we are already seeing that not all staff can make that shift. If you need help finding candidates who will be assets to your virtual business, contact the quality recruiters here at Pace Staffing.
  • Take Advantage of the Recession to Improve Your Task-Tracking Process.   One of the benefits of virtual job environments has been an increased emphasis on managers and employees working together to define work and setting clear (and often measurable) expectations for performance. As work behaviors are no longer observable, managers have turned to other methods of getting information about what an employee is doing and how they are contributing — methods that, when properly implemented and executed, improve how managers and their employees interact on issues related to performance. Even though this may sound like more work, staff and employers are telling us that they appreciate the increase in conversations about how to initiate course corrections when results are off. We think this is a good thing that will impact how candidates are recruited, screened, evaluated, and hired, in most cases reducing hiring mistakes. Virtual work settings have not only required managers to better manage the results the organization needs but also to collaborate more effectively with their remote staff.
  • To Help Secure Great People For Your Business, Give Candidates More Job/Life FlexibilityUnder the pressure to deal with a whole range of uncharted work/life situations, Northwest employers have been forced to reconsider flexible work arrangements and have seen them benefit both employers and staff. The challenges employers have faced not just to manage large teams of remote workers, but to rearrange work schedules to allow staff to be available for children doing virtual learning, has required forward-thinking managers to re-think the logistics of how work get done. Simply put, flexibility is no longer a “nice to have” but an important “need to have” in order to retain high-quality staff. For many employers, this need has been formalized into fresh policies and operating norms. An upside to this change is that managers have uncovered that for most employees, holding them accountable for results, not just time at work, is a more productive and satisfying way to work — a management skill that will have considerable upside in the future.
  •  Attract Talented People By Rethinking How Your Company Delivers Value to Staff. Top candidates are redefining what it means to have a great job or work for a great employer, so if you want them to stay at your company, then you need to update how you show value in the virtual economy of today. Before the pandemic and recession, a recruiter could attract a top candidate by advertising how your company offered job perks like snack bars, arcade-like play areas, and Friday afternoon wine downs. While benefits like these may have been enough to draw applications in the past, perks like these are no longer feasible given the remote nature of the current market. This means you have the opportunity to redefine the value proposition your jobs offer.

Here are several ways you can deliver practical value in a virtual workplace:

  • Create a process for encouraging staff. This will keep morale high and help team members feel valued.
  • Keep staff engaged by making it easy for them to deliver feedback and communicate their needs.
  • Think about how leadership gives and earns trust — how can these systems be improved?

The challenge of delivering these cultural features in settings without face-to-face interaction has required both managers and employees to operate more intentionally.

From a recruiting perspective, what hasn’t changed is that offering work that engages the employee in ways that match how they want to be engaged is what always makes the difference.

If you need help figuring out how to work these virtual benefits into your recruiting, contact the expert recruiters here at Pace Staffing for assistance.

Optimize Your Recruiting By Partnering With Our Firm of Experienced Recruiters

PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire candidates based on the “right fit” for over 40 years.

A 4 time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide, based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.

PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.

To learn more about how partnering with PACE will make a difference to how you find and hire employees, contact our Partner Services and Solutions team at 425-637-3312, email us at or visit our website at www.

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