Recessions can be tricky times for businesses to navigate. Some business owners might think that a recession is not a good time to do any hiring. But in fact, the opposite is often true.

The trick here is to understand the factors that are at play and may affect the labor pool in a shaky economy. Read on to learn what you need to know about hiring employees during a recession.

Do Take Advantage of Expanded Talent Pools 

During an economic downturn, older professionals with a plethora of industry experience are often encouraged to take early retirement as part of company-wide  belt-tightening maneuvers. These employees can still have incredible value to bring to the hiring table, so be open to taking some on as new hires.

Don’t Lowball Your Candidates

Hiring managers may be tempted to offer far lower salaries to new hires during a recession. While budgets may be much slimmer now than in the past, resist dropping your salaries and wages much (if at all). The danger here is that as soon as the economy begins to improve, businesses will notice a steady drain of talent being siphoned off to higher-paying positions elsewhere.

Do Examine Your Internal Equity

What changes can be made internally in your organization? Are your ranges on par with industry averages or is your business an outlier on the fringe of either range? Make what changes you can now and note which changes can be made in the future when the economy levels once again.

Don’t Change the Job Requirements

During a recession, it is highly likely that you will get higher-quality applicants for the advertised position than you normally would when the economy is stable. While there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the field of applicants you have, it is not a good idea to require additional degrees or more experience just because you can.

Do Use This Time to Review the Job Requirements

Some positions are degree-mandatory, but others may not be. Could you be more flexible and allow candidates to substitute years of experience in the field in lieu of a degree? Also, the reverse may apply in the case of new grads without any experience in the field.

Remind Yourself of the Cyclical Nature of the Economy

If you are at the end of your hiring rope trying to keep your business well-staffed during the recession, understand that the economy periodically shifts and will likely soon be on the upswing again. This can help you maintain your own sense of equilibrium in troubled times.

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