Let’s face it. The year 2020 is a tough one. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going. 

Among the many challenges facing companies in 2020, talent acquisition may seem back-of-mind. And if your business has or is considering a hiring freeze, then you may be wondering about the long-term implications. The truth is, working on long-term plays can make all the difference as the business climate returns to normal. 

Here are a few strategies to add to your 2020 playbook:

1. Maintain Momentum

Just because there’s a hiring freeze doesn’t mean talent pipeline management should stop. In fact, right now it is more important than ever to maintain momentum and take care of business. You can keep operations moving, even if it’s in a passive approach, with a few simple tweaks to your strategy.

  • Discuss the coming challenges with stakeholders, and use any insights learned to improve job descriptions that will attract the talent you need at this moment, or for future roles.
  • Strengthen relationships with hiring managers, stakeholders, employees and potential employees to build resiliency throughout the process. 
  • Continue searching and interviewing candidates for future roles. Keep top talent in the loop by informing them of the current situation, as well as updating them regularly as the business environment shifts. 
  • Conduct stay interviews among high-value roles to get a sense of how they’re feeling, and what they expect going forward.

2. Optimize for the Future

 It’s time to ramp up your tech arsenal. Whether the coronavirus persists or simply “goes away”, the fact is that many online tools will prove invaluable for future success. 

  • Get comfortable with online interviews, virtual events and conferences, and a re-imagined onboarding experience. 
  • Connect with other business leaders across a variety of industries to glean fresh insights on the latest technologies.
  • Look inward to see how your own processes and acquisition capabilities can be refined for efficiency and success. 

3. Maximize Downtime

The fast-paced rat race that was our economy left little room to slow down and reflect on the hiring process. Now is a great time to look back at what works, what doesn’t, and how you can make changes to source the most successful talent.

  • Perform an audit on the effectiveness of your hiring process. 
  • Take a deep dive into performance data, and look for insights on what has worked best. 
  • Review past job descriptions and effective source tactics. Refine current and future listings. 
  • Research new hiring and deployment systems. And most importantly, create a solid plan for when the hiring freeze ends, because when those floodgates open there is going to be a tidal wave of job seekers ready to get back to work. 

It’s often during periods of disruption that companies conjure game-changing ideas. Take this time to improve talent acquisition processes and you’ll have a competitive advantage when everything returns to a new normal.