As businesses big and small struggle with high inflation and an economic downturn that may turn into a recession, recruiting and talent acquisition often gets pushed aside. Human Resources leaders are doing more with less and trying to handle the additional stresses of the times. As a result, strategizing for the future – when the economy may be better – is not a priority.

Recently, HR Exchange Network put hiring back at the front burner at the Recruiting and Talent Acquisition online event. During the sessions, experts shared their advice for pursuing talent, dealing with layoffs, and positioning one’s self for a brighter future. Here are the main takeaways:

Flip the Old Layoffs Script on Its Head

Once upon a time, people got laid off and it was their problem. Now, communities come together to help. Recruiters are among them. Ky Cunningham, Director of Talent Acquisition at Hair Cuttery Family of Brands, mentioned how she appreciates the fact that people unite to help those who have been laid off to find a new job. While she found this fact to be a beautiful gesture, she also wants people to realize that the application process is challenging.

“It’s not just rainbows and kittens, but it’s also making sure you’re well-informed throughout the process,” said Cunningham, who later in the session suggested that those seeking a job call people inside the organization and try to get the real deal about the culture, transparency, and mission.

Recognize the Depth and Breadth of the Talent Pool

In the age of remote work, employers are no longer limited by geography, and people have a range of new options available to it.

“So we can say that talent no longer necessarily needs to move to get a world-class job in a world-class company,” said Barry Rudden, Global 3rd Party Director at G-P. “Said another way, we can say that talent no longer needs to move for opportunity. In many cases, opportunities now follow talent wherever they may be located.”

Use Artificial Intelligence for Efficiency in Hiring

AI has shown the most promise in Human Resources when it comes to recruiting. In fact, the advanced technology is so good that many people fear it will replace them eventually. But Vikram Ahuja, Managing Director of ANSR and Co-Founder of Talent500, reassured the event audience.

“AI and machines are essentially good at automating simple and repetitive tasks, making sense of data, identifying trends and patterns, enhancing human capabilities, and learning and improving continuously. So, that’s really what AI does. What it doesn’t do is replace humans.”

Handle Layoffs with Care

Layoffs are happening every day, even at some of the biggest companies in the world, including Microsoft and other tech sector companies. Erica Briody, former SVP, Global Talent Acquisition and Leadership Hiring at REEF, opened up about having to lay off talent. She offered alternatives to letting people go, and discussed how hard it can be for HR after having recruited the people in the first place. An important part of the process is being transparent.

“The most important thing you can do is consult with your employees and explain to them what’s happening, and be transparent and get them to feel part of the process, and not telling them what’s happening,” said Briody. “Get them involved. No downsizing alone, and it’s been proven over and over again.”

Being Human Never Goes Out of Style

Kurt Webster, Director of Recruitment & Workforce Planning at MainGeneral Health, reminded the audience that some things never change regardless of the unique challenges presented to the workforce in recent years. There are basic truths that can carry recruiters into the new world of work.

“You know, as human beings, we’re not just a title, a job, a scripture set of tasks,” said Webster. “We want to be valued as human beings. One of the things I think that’s important in this case from our CEO here is we honor each person for the intrinsic value as a human being.”

By Francesca Di Meglio

Originally posted on HR Exchange Network

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