June 28, 2023

Don’t be an empty suit


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Cause and react states, in hiring.

My prediction on what we’ll learn from the current downturn?

Not much. Lol.

What? You were expecting something more optimistic?

Let’s review a few trends:

  • Requirements that change after multiple candidates have been run through the ringer.
  • Final stage exec rule outs over easily identifiable early stage concerns.
  • Interview processes that move at a snail’s pace.
  • Frustrated recruiters bailing on the field entirely.

Here’s the kicker: these were the trends from the mid/late 2020 Covid hiring slowdown. And we’re seeing them all over again now.

And they’re the exact opposite of what we saw in the hot hiring markets of 2021 and early 2022.

  • Short, streamlined hiring processes.
  • Org wide ‘value-selling’ to candidates.
  • High exec engagement in interviews.
  • Decisiveness.

So yeah, that will come back too. When the market gets hot.

I’ll be clear: this isn’t a complaint or a dunk. It’s merely an observation of human and organization behavior, which I believe is true in any aspect of business. Not only hiring or recruiting:

👉We spent most of our time in “react” state. Not “cause” state.

I do believe the industry is changing for the positive. By industry I mean all aspects. Internal processes. External agencies. And most of all, the partnership and collaboration models between them.

But it’s slow. Hot markets, when things fire on all cylinders, trick us into thinking the positive changes are permanent. Interview efficiency, positive candidate experience, the high priority placed on recruiting, etc.

In reality, they last until your organization gets an economic punch in the face. Forces out of your control cause you to react by changing plans and abandoning things you know you should do.

You’ve probably seen lots of recycled business hot takes echoing “a down economy is when the next empires are built.” I don’t hate that one, actually. Because it’s simply suggesting that you remain in cause state when things are at their worst.

👉Do proactive, impactful things with long term in mind. Even when you’re in reactive panic-mode about your short term issues.

Tldr don’t let a down market turn you into an empty suit.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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