Why using an Executive Search specialist makes sense, even in a recession

Posted on Monday, March 13, 2023 by Graham Quinn

Rising inflation and the prospect of the UK economy heading into ‘the largest downturn since 2008’ means businesses are monitoring their revenue closely. When it becomes necessary to reduce costs, often the first step is to freeze recruitment. However, this knee-jerk reaction to economic uncertainty may be counter-productive when it comes to human resources. Recent research shows smart companies take advantage of recession conditions to build a high-calibre talent pool.

Why a recession can be the best time to hire talent.

The Harvard Business Review studied companies that became highly successful during previous recessions and made some surprising discoveries.

While these companies ‘did have to reduce their budgets’ they did it ‘strategically, and had a long-term plan.’ At the same time as cutting costs, these companies ‘still hired for important positions.’ Being one of the few companies still hiring gave them open access to a huge influx of talent to the labour market that mass lay-offs and recruitment freezes of other companies had created. In fact, these companies stated that ‘hiring top talent away from competitors’ was one of the strategies that most enabled them to prosper through tough economic conditions.

The research suggests the wisdom of applying a long-term view to recruiting, even when the majority of businesses are making hasty HR decisions.

 Why using an Executive Search specialist makes sense during a recession.

Although companies want to avoid taking on extra costs during a recession a good Executive Search Consultant can streamline the process, increase its effectiveness, reduce waste, and increase the likelihood of hiring ideal candidates that stay.

Here are 5 reasons why it makes sense to hire an Executive Search Consultant to support your recession talent strategy.

  1. Increasing efficiency


    A search consultant offers all the expertise you need to help you hire top talent. Even tasks which seem simple, such as creating a vacancy advertisement, can be the difference between landing the talent your company needs or ending up with a large, but unsatisfactory applicant pool. Hiring an experienced consultant to handle the whole process ensures every element is effective, potentially saving time and money.


    One aspect of this is enabling companies to shorten the recruitment process. Recruiting in a recession often results in a vast increase in applicants which is difficult for companies to process. Experienced search consultants who have devised highly effective and efficient screening processes can arrive at a short-list quickly reducing the pressure on employers. It also reduces the risk of a top prospect being lost as a result of the recruitment process moving too slowly.


  2. Experienced search consultants offer invaluable insights.


    Veteran search consultants who have supplied quality hires during previous recessions can also provide invaluable advice on what renumeration employers should offer. In its tips for recruiting for a recession, Forbes explained how consultants inside knowledge into what talent is currently looking for can be invaluable. This information can make all the difference to encouraging top talent to choose your company as quality candidates generally have multiple offers and will work with the firm that best aligns with their personal reasons for changing jobs.


  3. A search consultant allows you to take advantage of passive hiring.


    Mass lay-offs cause those currently employed to worry that their jobs, so they are likely to be insecure and open to considering alternative employers. Sourcing employed candidates who are not actively seeking work, (also called passive recruitment) can be a highly effective way of recruiting top talent. Rather than advertising and hoping the right candidates will apply,  passive sourcing means individuals can be targeted with the exact skill set and experience needed by the company. It also reduces waste in the process, as, according to Glassdoor, on average only 2% of applicants to advertised roles possess the right skills to be selected for interview.


    Few internal hiring managers utilise passive sourcing due to the difficulties of searching for ideal profiles. To the unskilled, searching for an ideal profile is like looking for a needle in a haystack: LinkedIn currently has 875 million users, including 34 million in the UK alone. To take advantage of the benefits of passive sourcing, it makes sense to outsource to a search consultant experienced in passive talent search with knowledge of the sector. This type of search consultant will  already be aware of the industry’s high-calibre profiles.


  4. It makes sense to focus on quality over quantity.


    Hiring an experienced search consultant with knowledge and connections in your sector greatly increases the chances of finding ideal, high-quality candidates. Hiring a search consultant may incur additional expenditure in the short-term. However, over time the quality hires they source will give a better return-on-investment than hiring multiple employees who don’t truly meet the company’s needs.


  5. A search consultant will deliver value over the long-term

Making a careful selection when choosing a search consultant will enable you to build an indispensable long-term relationship. Look for an experienced search consultant who specialises in and is knowledgeable about your industry. In initial meetings, you should feel that the recruiter is really listening and wants to develop a deep understanding of your needs. A capable, accomplished search consultant will have a portfolio of long-term clients through delivering consistently high-calibre candidates and boosting employee retention rates. If a consultant seeks feedback on submissions and is keen to ensure their selection criteria is aligned with yours, then these are good signs that they’ll become a trusted professional who is an invaluable addition to your HR team and company.

Wireless Mobile International Search: Specialist executive talent search for the Telecom industry

We have built long-term client relationships and a solid reputation by being well connected with high-quality candidates within mobile telecoms, wireless and IT communications.

Based in the UK, we recruit highly talented individuals from across EMEA, APAC, LATAM and North America who make a real difference to our clients and add significant value to your organisation.

We are experienced in passive recruitment, headhunting talent for sales, pre-sales, business development, marketing and other commercial roles from VP to middle management level. Contact us today to see how we can support your business.


Previous PostNext Post