In the span of a few short weeks the job market has turned upside down and the world is facing a global recession. These are trying times for anyone in the HR world.
I have been through these boom cycles many times before. It seems like every ten years or so we are faced with a big crisis but this one is unprecedented.
Back in the ‘great recession‘ of 2008-9 my job boards lost half their business. I laid off my small staff and went back to being solo. But I pledged to build them back up and did so by 2012 thanks to a recovering economy.
The worst part about this particular event is the uncertainty that is pervasive. Not knowing where the bottom lies is scary.
Much of hiring has been put on hold and hourly job seekers are beginning to overwhelm the unemployment systems. So what’s a job board (or any HR tech vendor) to do in times like this? I have a few thoughts.
Crisis like this will not be kind to new startups. If you are a new job board or other type of HR technology vendor, no employer is looking to buy your solution right now. So you might as well pause or pull back your marketing efforts. I would expect big vendors like Indeed to freeze hiring themselves while they wait this out.
Now is the time to be helpful and provide value to whatever community your site serves. Whether thats putting together some resources or perhaps raising money for something worthy, think about what your business can do to help.
Don’t think about sales, think about fostering community. Hold a virtual networking event to help people connect online or start a facebook group to help those negatively affected in your industry. Do something positive. I have been holding a virtual happy hour for my peers to commiserate and talk. Giving people a way to connect is more important than ever.Chris Russell
Also, stop promoting how your business is handling the Covid19 crisis. No one really cares at this point. People are worried about their friends and family, not what your company is doing. Just put this information on your social channels or blog, stop clogging up peoples inboxes.
A number of vendors in the HR space are starting to give away free products and services. Video interview platform OutMatch is giving away their tool and PandoLogic announced they are giving away $150k of free advertising to businesses who desperately need to hire right now.
Realize it’s going to be a tough coupe of months for hiring except in some industries (companies like Amazon and grocery stores are ramping up). My guess is we will come out of this sometime in the second half of the year but until then, reduce your expenses and hang on tight.