By Dan Simmons
During a recession, one of the popular mantras in the workplace (or perhaps more accurately, one of the most over-used ones) is “Do more with less.” While resources – including budgets – are limited, workloads and projects are not scaled back accordingly. In fact, in some cases, it may seem as though workloads are increased.
Situations such as these and the challenges they present call for creative and effective solutions. Operating in a recession doesn’t mean you have to abandon your hiring strategy. It just means you must sharpen its focus and devise a workforce planning initiative that will allow you to leverage the resources you do have in order to finish important projects and accomplish stated goals. So how do you go about hiring during a recession?
Eight is enough
That initiative can involve a number of components, all of which are designed to provide flexibility for those companies seeking to “do more with less.” A list of these components, along with a description of each, is listed below:
- Contracting – Hiring workers on a contract basis is an excellent way in which to finish projects and meet deadlines, especially since money for contract workers is often taken from a different budget than the one tied to full-time employees.
- Temp-to-hire – This “try before you buy” contracting technique allows you to assess workers for a specific period before deciding whether or not to hire them full-time.
- Retiree re-staffing – Retirees are an excellent source of knowledge and experience. Bringing them back on a contract or part-time basis can help you to maximize your team’s performance while keeping costs at a minimum.
- Interns – At a cost of little to no pay, interns can also provide considerable value to your team. In addition, they are often eager to learn and motivated to perform at a high level.
- Cooperative education programs (co-ops) – Similar to internships, co-ops differ in the fact that they combine paid employment with academic study. Still, they’re a very attractive low-cost solution, as well.
- Part-time – In the same fashion as contractors, part-time workers can be plugged in when and where they’re needed, also providing a significant measure of flexibility.
- Consultants – These workers can be hired for a clearly specified period of time, lending expertise designed to accelerate the completion and enhance the quality of larger, more important projects.
- Project work – By focusing on specific projects and hiring workers through any of the methods outlined above in order to complete them, you can more effectively maximize your resources, as well as increase your team’s output.
There’s always a need for flexibility
The best part about adding these components to your workforce planning strategy is that they’re just as valuable during good economic times as they are during tough ones. While resources might be more plentiful in a growing economy, the need for flexibility in certain situations still exists. Through the experience you’ll gain by implementing these various components, you’ll have a better idea of when to use which ones, further increasing your company’s productivity while keeping costs at a minimum.
Your budget might be tight at the moment, but that doesn’t mean work has to fall by the wayside or that deadlines and objectives can’t be met. You can add to your team on whatever budget you currently have, and by selecting a strategy that best fits your needs, you’ll be setting yourself up for even more success once the market starts to rebound. Hiring during a recession doesn’t have to break the bank. Make sure your team is steady through all the ups and downs of an ever fluctuating economy.
Daniel C. Simmons is a Certified Personnel Consultant who has been recruiting since 1991. Dan has won over twenty awards in the last decade with the Top Echelon Network, America’s leading placement network including Placer of the Year in 2009 & 2010.
Frequently Dan also is a recruiter trainer and has been featured at various Top Echelon Conventions and online as a speaker for various webinars. He has also been published in The Fordyce Letter the recruiting industry’s #1 magazine.
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