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Recruiting and Hiring During Major Layoffs: Obstacle or Opportunity?

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Anyone watching the news or social media recently has had a ringside seat for the unfortunate reality of large-scale layoffs at some of the biggest companies out there. With inflation and interest rates continuing to plague a struggling economy, tech giants including Amazon, Meta (Facebook), Twitter, Microsoft, and Alphabet (Google) have let go of almost 40,000 employees combined with an estimated 15% to 20% more expected to be laid off over the next 6 months.

The great dismissal

You might say the tech giants are leading the charge in what could be dubbed – the great dismissal vs the well-documented great resignation. And while the current state of all-things employment (or unemployment) has recruiters and HR teams scrambling to meet the latest in a slew of workforce challenges, the great dismissal isn’t limited to the big tech giants. Other tech-dependent businesses including Airbnb, Roku, Pelaton, and more are also feeling the pain of a fractured economy and likewise shedding thousands of jobs.

It might seem like a recruiting and hiring nightmare on the surface. But one recruiter or hiring team’s obstacle, might just be another’s opportunity! And even at a time when massive layoffs seem like a mountain too high to get over – there’s definitely potential for recruiting and hiring organizations to not just get through, but to also get the upper hand. In fact, with a little help from recruitment automation, and the right approach, recruiting and hiring during major layoffs can actually result in key benefits you may not have considered. But before we get into that, it bears mentioning that layoffs are not the sole reason for the recent 20% jump in employee turnover.

Other factors affecting employee turnover

 While it’s true that layoffs are an unfortunate reality whether you’re in a down economy or not, they’re not the only reason for the high employee turnover rate in the workforce.

A 2022 SHRM Research Institute survey of 1,516 HR professionals across the U. S. identified the top five reasons for employee turnover.

  1. Poor compensation – 74% of survey participants highlighted compensation as the number one reason employees leave their employer.
  2. Lack of career advancement opportunities – 61% surveyed listed lack of career development as a driver for employee turnover.
  3. Workplace flexibility – With the brave new world of remote and hybrid work firmly cemented into the employment ecosphere, workplace flexibility has become a major consideration for employees when considering whether to stay at a company and whether they accept a role that doesn’t have the same flexibility.
  4. Unrealistic work expectations – In companies where layoffs are happening or workers are scarce, existing workers may be asked to take on more and more duties, that may be unsustainable in the long term.
  5. Uninspiring leadership, poor company culture – In a word (or two words), leadership matters. Ranking fifth in the survey, HR leaders pointed to the importance of effective leadership and communication from an organization’s leadership team – especially regarding company values and culture.

Having a good finger on the pulse of your organization/industry can help mitigate reasons for employees to seek out other opportunities. In many cases, layoffs are the natural outcropping of an employment market affected by many economic, social, and geopolitical factors that ebb and flow as the market does. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be advantageous to the companies who look towards the future and plan for their long-term needs.

Finding the silver lining

It’s important to remember that in many cases, employees are not being laid off because of performance. Many businesses went on a literal hiring frenzy after the great resignation and other global issues necessitated preparing for a shortage of workers. Now that the tide has turned, those same companies are finding themselves over-staffed at a time when the economy is fragile, and inflation is high. The silver lining lies in the newly available pool of talent that could very well be the key to your recruiting and hiring success in the future.

But it’s essential to develop the right strategy for engaging and actually capturing that talent. After all, just because certain sectors of the market are laying off in droves, there are others who will see this as an opportunity to scoop up top talent before the competition.

Arm yourself with the right tools

This is where AI technology and recruiting automation can save the day. Why? Because the faster you identify and engage the most compatible talent for the jobs you’re looking to fill, the better. An AI recruiting platform such at Ayra Quantum can help you gain an edge over the competition by not only automating time-consuming tasks including candidate communication and engagement, but also provides critical Market Intelligence that enables you to tailor sourcing activities to your specific needs. Looking for a rare, niche candidate in a rural area? The Market Intelligence in Arya enables you to geographically focus your talent search and gives you the ability to transform the data collected into actionable strategies that help you find that niche candidate. But you can also navigate a season of major layoffs by sourcing talent in your own back yard with talent retargeting.

Talent retargeting

In many ways, talent retargeting is very similar to Direct Sourcing. In a Direct Sourcing recruiting model, the focus is on tapping into your own talent resources to rediscover and engage with valuable candidate resources you’ve already invested in. Just like Direct Sourcing, talent retargeting begins with identifying potential candidates. This can include alumni, former employees, and other candidates who have expressed an interest in your organization before.

Recruiters use a variety of methods to reach out to these candidates, including email campaigns, social media outreach, or even direct messaging. This is again where having a powerful AI-recruiting tool like Arya can keep you ahead of the curve with a multichannel candidate engagement dashboard that streamlines and automates communication.

Identify, target, curate your own talent pools

Once Arya has helped you identify the most compatible candidates, you can also leverage the features within the platform to create more personalized job postings and targeted campaigns that ultimately – result in highly-curated pools of talent who have the potential of becoming long-term resources.

This is also where the obstacles presented by major layoffs can result in opportunities to engage with talent you may not have had a chance to in the past and can help you develop a robust pool of talent for the future.

A multi-faceted approach

It’s not an understatement to say the competition for top talent is fiercer than ever. As technology continues to advance and the entire recruiting ecosystem continues to evolve with new challenges around every corner, the industry as a whole will need to quickly adapt and find solutions that keep businesses hiring and people working.  Arya is one of those solutions. Whatever your recruiting, sourcing, or hiring challenges may be, Arya has you covered. Contact us today and see for yourself the power of Artificial Intuition.

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