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Structuring your business case for hiring during a pandemic

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In times of crises that ultimately affect the bottom line, it is common for businesses to trigger an immediate hiring freeze while they spend their resources fighting fires elsewhere. In the current global pandemic, the focus logically shifted during lockdown to remote working and its associated tech implications for staff, processes and communications. Some organisations had to transition thousands of employees and it was understandable that recruitment became less of a priority. But what happens when there is no clear end in sight? How long until a freeze becomes a problem?

While it can be difficult to consider the long-term future when there are short-term problems, it’s vital that organisations do. In the last recession, those who didn’t unfreeze after a period of time suffered. The top talent in the market had already been snapped up as the upturn approached. This time, while there may be a ‘new normal’ to factor in, there will still be fierce competition for key candidates in all sectors once recruitment begins again in earnest. Companies that start addressing their hiring needs now will gain an advantage, both in terms of the quality of talent they are able to find and the associated costs. If you know the time is right to restart your recruitment plans, you may need to put forward a stronger justification than before to get sign-off from the decision-makers, as your hiring processes will inevitably be different now and may involve additional investment. Here are some key points you should make to help make your case:

1. Think strategically: align your recruitment project to the bigger picture company strategy and highlight how your plans will help achieve those aims.

2. Expand strategically: produce a competition analysis to show how your budget will result in a competitive edge by securing top talent early or targeting niche talent better.

3. Think financially: think in terms of the numbers when you’re dealing with stakeholders. They will want to know how your proposal compares in terms of ROI against other ways they can spend the budget.

4. Expand financially: stress how recruitment can get more expensive when delayed, especially if your competitors are also hiring. Landing and developing talent earlier can be more beneficial.

5. Speak financially: change your recruiting jargon to business language to resonate effectively. Forget quality of hire, turnover rates or retention, and talk in terms of the real impact on the bottom line.

6. Back yourself: let the decision-makers know how invested you are in the outcome of this new recruitment drive and show them you’ve assembled a hiring team who are prepared to be accountable.

7. Back your plans: all new processes need to be innovative and future-proofed, so emphasize how your plan addresses any latest trends in recruitment or candidate experience.

If you’ve reached that point where hiring and growth plans are back on track, contact us today.

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