The media hype around the looming recession merely serves to perpetuate the problem: businesses feel insecure and belts start to be tightened. However, while the economy is under increasing scrutiny, we are yet to experience a lull. In fact, salaries are higher than ever and the demand for skilled workers, especially in IT, is still strong.
Despite this, the recruitment sector in particular has been rattled. When the media starts to predict rises in inflation, human resources (HR) departments often fear they will be the first to feel the squeeze. HR directors may consider putting a freeze on recruitment – or even start to make job cuts. But this is simply a knee-jerk reaction, and often not the wisest course of action for the future success of the business.
Rises and falls in the economy and their knock-on impact on HR and recruitment are part of a cycle we have seen before and will no doubt see again. And while speculation about a recession is unlikely to die down just yet, when it eventually does, the scramble to recruit the best will begin again.
Instead of panicking, companies need to alleviate future recruitment issues by snapping up rare skills while the market takes a down-turn. HR teams need to prioritise projects that are essential to business growth and ensure they are well-resourced, whatever happens in the marketplace.
Companies should learn their lesson from this inexorable cycle and think proactively about the future. Instead of giving in to the squeeze, HR directors need to take the lead in ensuring the business has the skills and people to ride the wave and come out successfully at the other side.