Economic cycles come and go, and we have been fortunate in the US to have enjoyed a decade-long recovery following the Global Financial Crisis. Recent headlines might have you thinking a downturn is imminent. If you’ve never worked through a slow economy, or haven’t spent much time thinking it about recently, here are a few things to keep in mind for your recruitment firm.
First, don’t panic
Confidence is an important tool in handling economic uncertainty. Pundits and media outlets can dominate the news with alarmist reporting on economic signals. That reporting can impact both business and consumer confidence. In turn, businesses slow down hiring, investors delay investing, and consumers stop spending. So while it’s smart to pay attention to experts, it’s also important not to talk yourself into a downturn. In the USA, we’re experiencing our longest-ever bull market, hiring demand remains strong, and the economy continues to grow. A slowdown in growth is STILL growth.
Control what you can
It’s easy to get complacent about spending in your recruitment firm when business is strong and jobs are plentiful. Regardless of the economy, it’s always a smart idea to review the tools, products and services you purchase to ensure you are getting the best deal. If you are paying for services you don’t use, cancel those items. Other tools or services might be available for less money. If you are part of an organization that offers access to discounted products and services, make sure you are taking advantage of those.
Remember to consider VALUE – if you are paying for something that frees up more time for you to spend on money-making activities, that might not be something you want to cut. If you’re the sole proprietor of your recruitment firm, see if there are some overhead costs you can trim at home so that you’re more able to absorb a reduction in income. Focus on increasing savings both at home and in your business.
If you haven’t been offering contract services to your clients, now is a great time to add that to your business mix. Not only does this offer a “just in time” way for clients to hire the talent they need when traditional payroll budgets aren’t available, it’s a great way to smooth out cash flow fluctuations in your recruitment firm.
Keep calm and continue recruiting
Even if the pundits and reporters are right about a recession, it’s unlikely we’d see a repeat of 2008-09. Someone is always making money. Put your head down and work through it. Seek out pockets of opportunity – growing your recruitment firm can help you ride out a slowdown. See if your existing clients have business in different niches or locations. Work on split placements with committed partners. Remember that economic cycles are natural occurrences, much like the ebbing and flowing of the tides. A down cycle can help you improve efficiency and reduce competition, so you’ll emerge in a stronger position.