By Dan Simmons

Many companies have had to deal with the challenges in their staffing strategy in response to the most severe recessionary period since the Great Depression. Companies have found it a challenge to make the necessary adjustments to stay in business today.

Due to declining demand for products and services, there have been cuts in wages, elimination of positions and other methods of reducing costs.  Companies will need to re-staff. Even though hourly staff may be easy to recall, some of the technical and managerial professionals may not be available. You will find the need to not only replace those people, but also fill the positions you were previously reluctant to fill due to the uncertainty brought on by the downturn.

While the three main areas from which to draw talent have not changed, we will discuss some of the nuances to these resources that are evolving with this recovery.

Recognizing and rewarding your existing team members with promotions for getting you through this difficult period is certainly one means of filling some of your open positions and will have the benefit of helping you retain those who have been committed to your company’s success.  At some point, those positions will need to be backfilled along with the aforementioned new positions.

Many organizations have indicated they are only interested in talking to people who maintained employment through the recession. They are interested in hiring the best. This is always the goal to have in mind when hiring since it gives you the best talent to help move your company forward. To accomplish this, it will take some serious recruiting on your part.

These individuals have succeeded in taking their organization through some pretty rough waters and their efforts should be rewarded. This means you must have an excellent value proposition to attract this high-caliber talent.  It will probably mean not only exceeding their present situation in terms of position and salary, but also exceeding both enough to beat the counter-offer they will receive. That’s right – no company is going to want to lose a top performer when coming out of a recession.  Be prepared to bring your “A” game and your checkbook.

In the event you are not successful in that approach, you still have opportunities to hire talented staff. Consider your own situation when you were going through your cost cutting process and some of the people you had to let go. Many were doing a very good job – but the health of the company dictated the necessary cuts. Today there are a significant number of very qualified professionals available who can bring value to your organization. Discounting those individuals simply because they are not currently employed could prove to be a very short sighted hiring practice.

They are readily available, anxious to get back to work and can add value very quickly to your organization. However, many companies proposing this approach are doing so because they also believe they can acquire these people at below market rates. Many will be successful and will probably think they are buying some loyalty because they were kind enough to give someone in need a job. There will be a percentage of those people where this technique will actually work.  However, this can pose a long-term problem.

As history has proven, we will recover.  When that occurs, many who were “low balled” will actively start pursuing opportunities that are more in line with their previous salaries.  This will happen. If you decide to exercise this approach, you will find people who will come to work for you because they need too.  How do you plan to retain them if they perform well?  When the market starts to improve, it would be prudent to evaluate the performance of those individuals who are working at below market rates. If in fact they are meeting or exceeding expectations, you need to bring their salaries in line with market values.

The advantage of this approach is that you will likely retain this trained and established employee and eliminate the cost of lost productivity while conducting a new search. Think of it this way: you can either bring the proven employee up to market value OR train a new person and still end up paying what the new market cost is going to be anyway. The decision is yours.

We have tried to cover some of the methods you can use to build your team as the economy improves. We are also available to discuss the pros and cons of these approaches, but the ultimate question you will need to answer is this: What is your strategy?

Dan Simmons Bio

Dan SimmonsDaniel 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.

Is Your Company Looking for Great Candidates? Contact Dan Today!