Please say it’s not so! Analysts again are warning of an upcoming recession due to recent market behavior and various financial factors. Whether you believe their assessment of the economy or not, the fact is we are due for a recession at some point. The American economy is cyclical in nature, and considering we are in the longest bull market in history, a recession seems to be due sooner rather than later. I am not speaking as an economist or financial adviser, but as a recruitment partner who has weathered these economic fluctuations with my clients in the past. History has proven that there are ways to weather a recession, and maybe even thrive until the market starts to pick up again.
1) Hire the Perfect Team Early
We are in a booming economy right now. Use it! Build your dream team now that way you can increase your budget and secure funding now before it is too late. Once a recession hits, your ability to ask the company for a bigger budget to hire someone you need is almost impossible. On average, budgets will remain stagnant or even decrease a little bit. However, if you go into a recession already having built your recession-proof team then their salaries have already been accounted for in the budget planning meetings and their job should be secure going forward. This being said, don’t go overboard by hiring people you don’t need or whose jobs are too similar. This is when you’ll be forced to slim down and let good people go.
2) Prioritize Your Marketing
During a recession, marketing is often the first thing to go. Marketing is essential in a recession to keep your brand remembered and fighting for consumers. When you decrease marketing and your competitors don’t, you have already lost consumers. However, if you keep marketing strong while your competitors lapse you have an opportunity to win market share. It is possible to grow during a recession, and marketing is the key to doing so. Instead of cutting marketing entirely, create a ranking for campaign importance. The most important and effective campaigns remain funded while other costly or overly risky campaigns get put on hold if the market goes sour.
3) Add Value not Price
A big trend we saw during the 2009 recession was that prices go up and never come back down. While consumers may choose your brand for a number of reasons, you can be sure that during a recession price is a huge factor of if they keep choosing you or try someone new. Increasing your price will turn away loyal consumers who are looking for a cheaper alternative, therefore boosting your competitors and making you lose market share. Instead, focus on adding value that doesn’t cost much such as excellent customer service, satisfaction guarantees, and loyalty programs to convince your consumer that your existing price is worth it.
4) Develop Short Term Goals
A volatile market can make long term goals tricky. The economic conditions that exist at the beginning of a recession may not exist in a month, or even a week, after. Therefore, make your goals reflect the volatile nature of the market by adopting challenging yet achievable short term goals. A 30-day goal that can adapt to market volatility from month to month is a good way to keep realistic expectations and act quickly when the market begins to change.
5) Utilize Partnerships
You aren’t the only one going through the recession. Every one of your partners is feeling it too. Incorporate Co-op marketing campaigns with retailers or other brands. You marketing dollars will be stretched by bringing partners into a campaign. You should focus on preserving your partnerships because you and your partners are able to do a lot more together than each of you can do alone. To go back to economics 101, like nations, companies have comparative advantages. An advertising firm can do advertising for much less than it would cost you. Similarly, a recruiter can recruit talent for much less than it would cost you. Therefore, by utilizing each of your partners' specialties each of you are able to benefit from gains of trade and produce much better than you would be able to alone.
A recession can be nerve-wracking but you will get through it. Make preparations now before you are left scrambling when the market begins to slow. It may be in a month, a year, or 5 years but it is always better to be ready for anything. DCAProSearch is proud to be your recruiting partners throughout good and bad, and we are always ready to help you build your corporate dream team to help you ride out any storm.