investments during a downturn

While your recruitment firm may be experiencing some turbulence, there is opportunity during a downturn.  Focusing on your people, processes and technology by investing additional time and attention can help your company survive and thrive during and after this economic downturn.

While no one likes economic compression, it does give business owners and managers time to step back and evaluate their businesses.

  • Are you missing key roles in the company?
  • Are your internal processes adjusted to a modern workforce?
  • Does your tech stack accommodate today and future needs?

All of these are questions to ask yourself when considering investments during a downturn.

Nurturing and Investing in People

First, you can use this time to solidify your relationships with internal employees, candidates, clients, prospects and contractors.

This is not an easy task considering your entire workforce is probably working from home, now.  [Check out our practical tips to WFM here]

Your Employees

These times are concerning for everyone.  Help your employees calm their anxieties (and stay productive) by offering on-going communication and transparency during these times of uncertainty.  We’ve collected several example communication templates and resources in our Coronavirus Toolkit and Bullhorn has put together a collection of resources from across the industry which you can find here.

Candidates and Contractors

Depending on your industry, you may be seeing a surge in needs (like in healthcare) OR a cautious tightening.

We have seen our customers who maintain a consistent heartbeat of communication to perform better during and after recession times.  Keep candidates (and contractors) engaged and feeling connected by consistently checking in, asking how they are doing, and providing valuable resources.  When the downturn turns back up, they will be eager to work with you over another firm who has not stayed in touch.

Clients and Prospects

Similarly, on the client side, healthcare agencies will see an increase in needs and other industries will likely see a reduction.  Now is the time to offer support to your customers who are struggling.  Keep them informed of your firm’s situation and offer as much support as you can.

If you can afford it, consider special offers or deferment of fees for customers who are struggling.  They will remember this in a few months when things get “back to normal”.

Developing and Investing in Processes

This is a fantastic time to take a step back and evaluate your processes.  From your recruitment cycle to your sales cycle, take a look to see what is working, what needs to be re-development, and what needs you additional investment.

In a remote working environment, and with a possible reduction in workforce, automation can be a saving grace.  Cutting out busy work through automation will not only make your recruiters, sales and operations teams more productive, it will also save their sanity as they try to juggle working from home, home schooling, and managing an every changing landscape of uncertainty.

Second, automation is an advantage in a downturn just like it is in the growth period. Leveraging automation tools allows for processes, data quality and communication to stay on track while employees are out of the office.

Evaluating and Investing in Technology

The current COVID-19 epidemic is certainly causing destabilization in the global economy.

This poses an opportunity for staffing companies to improve their productivity, infrastructure and operating procedures through technology. Use this economic downturn to explore your technology options and address any barriers to efficiency that may exist in your organization.

During this period of uncertainty, investing wisely will help you optimize resources and streamline necessary operations. It is also a time to nail down your ideal workflows and plan how automation can weave it’s way through your business.

To download our automation planning guide, click here. Also, if you’re looking into tools to improve efficiency now and in the future, check out the Bullhorn Marketplace.

In Closing

Downturns are opportunities to outmaneuver rivals and make smart investments.  Your people, your processes and your technology are the building blocks of your business and are worth the investment. Once the world works through this pandemic, we will emerge stronger with new work paradigms; the question is, will your foundation be strong enough to support it all?