How Talent Acquisition Can Add Value in a Hiring Freeze or Slowdown

A hiring freeze or slowdown can stall talent acquisition efforts, which can be jarring for recruiting teams going flat out. But a pause is also a chance for project-based recruiting work and fine-tune hiring processes.

The inbound recruiting experts at Datapeople have outlined five projects for hiring teams looking to add value during a hiring freeze or slowdown. The company says these projects are more significant than they appear, and completing them (or any one of them, really) will take some work. But talent pipelines will be much stronger when hiring picks up again.

One, hiring teams can update job ad templates and boilerplate copy. Job ad templates ensure content and employer brand consistency across all jobs, says Datapeople. They create positive candidate experiences, ensure companies are speaking with a single voice, and provide peace of mind for talent acquisition teams.

But they need tending to, especially when job seeker attitudes are changing so quickly. Candidates now want to read job ads that speak to them as people, not just candidates, says Datapeople. Job ads that only talk about the company and don’t put the candidate first aren’t as effective. A hiring freeze or slowdown gives teams time to improve templates for upcoming recruiting efforts.

Two, every hire counts during a slowdown, especially if companies are only hiring for critical roles. It’s vital to cast as wide a net as possible to attract qualified candidates, quickly, says Datapeople. So once job ad templates are inclusive, hiring teams should make sure the job ads themselves are inclusive too. Inclusive job ads are accessible, clear, and welcoming to everyone, no matter how they look, talk, love, or anything else.

Three, hiring teams can optimize their workflows for job ads. Every company does job ad workflow a little differently, says Datapeople, but most use one of two approaches. One, job ads sit outside the rest of the recruiting workflow. Two, job ads sit inside the recruiting workflow.

The first approach means wild goose chases for job ads stored in multiple programs (e.g., Google Docs, Gmail) and either not finding them or not knowing if they’re up-to-date. It means inconsistency, errors, missing information, back and forths with hiring managers, and more headaches. The second approach, according to Datapeople, means incorporating job ad software into the workflow. Job ad software puts all jobs into a central repository, integrates with applicant tracking systems (ATSs), and reduces steps in the recruiting workflow for when hiring picks up again.

Four, data cleaning isn’t exciting, but inaccurate data leads to incorrect assumptions, missed goals for recruiters, and flawed strategic decisions for talent acquisition leaders. Data cleaning is the only way to get clear insights from an ATS, says Datapeople. The company suggests collecting full pipeline data for every requisition, using enough data to be significant, separating data thoughtfully, removing random outliers, and using median calculations rather than mean calculations.

According to Datapeople, managing recruiting data well means everyone on the hiring team has to learn basic data management techniques and use best practices at all times. They need to understand an ATS’s limitations (i.e., it doesn’t make leaps in logic) and quirks (e.g., it doesn’t do bulk rejects). They also have to attach specific candidates to specific jobs and move them through every hiring stage in real time to get full pipeline picture.

Five, recruiters don’t have time to connect meaningfully with hiring managers during all-out recruiting efforts. But a hiring freeze or slowdown gives them a chance to do that and improve processes, says Datapeople. They can educate hiring managers on best practices (e.g., inclusive language, appropriate job ad length, clear requirements), help them eliminate clunky workflows, and more. Those, in turn, can lead to reduced time to fill and more qualified, diverse candidate pools.

While a slowdown temporarily bogs down recruiting, hiring teams can leverage that time to strengthen candidate pipelines, says Datapeople. Often-overlooked parts of the hiring process like data cleaning can determine whether hiring teams meet or miss their goals. By revisiting internal processes, they can set themselves up for success when hiring picks up again.

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