Challenges of Hiring During a Recession

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the American (and global) economy. Over 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits, and as of right now, the unemployment rate within the country is at nearly 24%. It is estimated that during The Great Depression, the unemployment rate was at 25%. Needless to say, our country is facing a recession that can impact business owners in a variety of ways.

Many employers and small business owners have had to lay off employees in order to practice financial planning and keep their businesses afloat. Layoffs are one of many ways to cut costs during a recession, even though that can be a difficult decision for employers to make. Others have had to take on more workers due to a boom in business:

● Grocery stores

●  Delivery services

●  Manufacturing industries

●  Home improvement stores

Some businesses are even experiencing a shortage of workers because they either can’t keep up with demands, or people have voluntarily quit in order to stay home and stay safe.


So, what can you do as a business owner to keep your current employees on board, keep your business above water during a recession, and use ethical hiring practices as things slowly start to rebound?


Worker Shortages

One of the problems some businesses can face during a recession is a loss of workers for various reasons. When it comes to the Coronavirus pandemic, many businesses might end up losing older workers - even those who have been there for a long time. In 2014, about 40% of people over the age of 55 were looking for work in the U.S. Additionally, as of 2018, 66% of adults between the ages of 54-64 were still in the labor force.


Older individuals have been listed as one of the more at-risk groups for Coronavirus complications. In order for them to stay safe, they may have left their jobs to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. Other at-risk groups include the following:

●  Those with compromised immune systems

●  Those with respiratory issues

●  Smokers

With people from these groups wanting to protect themselves, they may have chosen to file for unemployment benefits instead of staying in a public work setting. Unfortunately, that’s caused a worker shortage for some businesses who now need to focus on the best hiring practices as more states start to reopen and everyone adjusts to a “new normal.”


The Importance of Great Employees During a Recession

Business owners face many challenges during a recession, but it’s important to never make business decisions that are rooted in fear or anxiety no matter how stressful the circumstances. With that in mind, keeping strong employees working for you and helping them to succeed through the recession can keep your business strong enough to see the other side.


If you’re running a business in a tough economy, you need to be the ultimate leader and motivator for your employees. That includes having a strategy in place that will keep your current employees happy and will make it easier to attract new workers. Keep these tips in mind to boost the morale of your employees during a recession:

●  Be passionate about your business and share that passion with your workers

●  Have a clear vision/plan in mind to keep moving forward

●  Find a way for your business to reach more people

●  Be creative in how you can separate yourself from competitors


With a strategy in place, having the right employees on board and being able to hire people who are willing to share your vision will help to keep your business standing throughout the recession.


How to Practice Ethical Hiring

In addition to simply keeping a business afloat, employers have other challenges to face during this particular recession. At the beginning of the pandemic, when states were shutting down and businesses were forced to close their doors, many business owners had to fire or lay off their employees.


Now, as things are starting to re-open, those same employers have to go through a hiring process to bring on new people. Obviously, laying off employees one month just to hire new ones the next doesn’t look good.


Businesses need to go about hiring new employees in times like these in an ethical, responsible way. Firing some to hire others can create a lot of backlash and scandal and tarnish your business’s name. Not only will it make a business look bad to the public eye, but it can make employees less likely to want to work for you. In fact, 39% of professional workers say they would leave their jobs if they felt their employers were doing something unethical. So, while times are uncertain for sure, it’s important to tread lightly throughout the hiring process, perhaps by re-hiring previous employees first or offering them their jobs back.


Unfortunately, it may take several years for the U.S. economy to fully recover from the effects of this pandemic and the recession it has caused. But, by hiring the right people, keeping the right people, and staying on the same page with your employees, your business can make it through to the other side and start seeing success once more. Remember: any business is only as good as the employees that work there. Make your employees and the people you intend to hire a top priority, and your business has a better chance of surviving.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for preventing automated spam submissions.